Maybe you can help me with a vague answer I gave to a Ukrainian national I recently met up with in the Chicago area.
This woman lives with her young teen son and mother and works in the midwest. I’m guessing she has been here about seven years from what she said. She casually but sincerely asked me the question, “With all the high gas prices, inflation, and all of the changes in the United States, why do you Americans put up with it? Why don’t you fight back?”
My instant reaction was that she needed an instant answer. What I would like to have said is that if we fight back, foreign nationals will not be excluded from the fight. Everyone living on American soil would be affected. Instead, I explained that we vote. That is how we express our desire for change or affirm the people currently holding office. We do not resort to violence but engage in a peaceful transition of power. We understand that when a person takes office, we live under our laws and their leadership until the next election. She wasn’t buying it.
She seemed to believe that “smart people” would do what other countries do-depose the leaders by any means necessary. To her way of thinking, that is the way We the People could maintain control. She doesn’t understand that we are a nation of laws, not of men (people’s whims), or that We the People run the government by our Founders’ design. We have self-government through voting and our constitutional representative republic.
The next thing that came to mind was the Declaration of Independence. I told the kind woman that in the D.O.I., there is a sentence which says, “and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” I explained that we are in that place. We are more inclined to suffer while evil is still sufferable than to change things right now. People will suffer rather than make a change until evil becomes unbearable. There was corruption when she was in her own country, so she left and came here. What I failed to say is, “Where will Americans go? We are the world’s last, best hope for a free world.”
I’m left uneasy and keep thinking about our conversation. Maybe you can fill in the blanks. What did I leave out? What else could be said? How would you answer the question, “Why do you Americans put up with it?”
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸