The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Opinion

September 17, 2012

Do we need to care for the world?

TARBORO — My Daddy has been gone for more than 20 years now, but I’m thankful for the lessons he taught me in the years we weren’t at one another’s throats.

Today, even with a (step) son in the military with the potential to come into harm’s way, I think there’s value in the old school practice of loading up the B-52s (not the rock group) and carpet bombing portions of this world where our presence in not wanted — unless we’re handing out money.

And, if you’ll look back over the years, that has pretty much been the role taken by the United States around the globe, regardless of which political party was in charge.

Daddy said our nation wanted to be like that old and long-used slogan belonging to the Holiday Inns of the Kemmon Wilson era ... “The Nation’s Innkeeper.”

He changed the wording a bit, though, modifying it to “The World’s Innkeeper.”

Daddy would have been a wonderful history teacher, because he studied it.

No, he didn’t study the textbooks — which carry the views of those who produce them and the state textbook committees that approve them as much as anything — he studied the current events through the daily monitoring of the evening news and the reading of at least four newspapers.

And that was in the days before the gutting of the newspaper newsroom and the dismantling of state, national and international news bureaus.

Daddy never had enough newspapers and, when we went to visit Granny Walker in Sullivan's Hollow, Miss., no Sunday morning was complete until Daddy got in the car and drove 20 miles to Laurel to the newsstand downtown to pick up a copy of the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register and the New Orleans Times-Picayune and States-Item.

I will always remember him saying that it made no difference what country we discussed, the end result was always the same — there was upheaval and civil war, we came to the rescue, American soldiers were killed, our flag was burned and, when all was said and done and we were told how dirty we were, there we were ... loading aircraft with food and medical supplies ... throwing money at whatever despot was in power ... and hearing those haunting strains of “Taps” all to often here at home.

We’ve now watched for days as our embassies have been attacked and our citizens killed across the Middle East, in Africa and Asia ... we’ve heard numerous times now about how the military and the police we’ve trained to help ensure a peaceful transition have been responsible for the murder of our troops ... a smiling face preceding a shot in the back.

As a nation, we’ve catered to China’s demands at the cost of job after job after job ... we’ve allowed ourselves to be tied into deals with the European Union that do little, if anything at all, for our people and everything for a system that is failing miserably.

In a question that, in reality, is decades old, why can’t we spend the money at home that we send overseas? Why can’t we feed and shelter our homeless and, instead of trying to bring peace to the streets of Cairo, why can’t we put that same effort into stopping our young people from killing one another?

Holiday Inn changed it’s slogan ... perhaps we, as a country, should as well.

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner and may be reached at 823-3106 or jwalker@dailysoutherner.com.)

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