The country I grew up in was an idyllic place; people cared about each other, and even though we all had differences, they took a back seat to simply being human.
The country I grew up in was deeply religious, and while those without religion were looked upon with a little suspicion, when their homes burned down or if they had an accident and needed help and support in the days, weeks, or even months following, everyone was there to lend a hand with casseroles, hotdishes, housework, yard work, or just a listening ear. Even more so, people got together to make sure Emergency Services could get to them more quickly if such a tragedy happened again, to anyone.
The country I grew up in had its problems, but those problems were not inflicted upon the children; things that belonged to the world of adulthood were relegated to adults, and those things that belonged to childhood were relegated to children, and the lines did not cross.
The country I grew up in was deeply Patriotic and flags flew from most homes, without harassment from anyone except the local neighborhood ragtag group of delinquents. Whom were always known to be from certain families and tolerated, still treated with respect and told where to go when they needed to be told where to go. They also knew they were under surveillance by pretty much everyone and that kept them in line until they got older, and then they went to California and did what they wanted to do and got murdered. True story.
The country I grew up in had respect for other countries and other beliefs, looked well upon people of good will and encouraged learning languages for the purpose of friendship and communication. Racism was not tolerated in my redneck corner of the world, and although it might have been a very "white" place, certain words were never used and we were taught to treat EVERYONE with respect, no matter how different they were. That went for babies, people of few means, people with "mental retardation" (one of whom actually helped me learn how to ride a bike), those of other races, and those who simply were mean old ladies who regarded everyone around her with suspicion. Respect. Always. Respect and kindness were the keys to the world; the Golden Rule: "Treat others as you would like to be treated." Pithy saying, but hard truth. Even if treated badly, don't lose that adage.
The country I grew up in had a spine; our past leaders spoke of "Walking softly but carrying a big stick." Kindness and respect were important, but that did not mean lying down and allowing oneself to be treated like a doormat. Not personally, not professionally, not in terms of sovereignty
The country I grew up in respected Veterans, celebrated our Patriotism, knew our enemies and made no apologies about it.
The country I grew up in had good education that focused on the foundations of knowledge and prepared students for the real world in matters of reason, language, history, science, reading, music....and many other matters. Even though I grew up in a time of transition, I'm glad to have been there then, when education hadn't been taken over by immoral hacks and the foundation was maybe cracked but still intact. That education gave me a respect for my country and the ability to strive for more.
The country I grew up in encouraged subsidiarity along with solidarity so that no one ever had to fight their battles alone, but could do so with their peers.
The country I grew up in believed in the right to free speech, the right to religious observance, and the right to bear arms....all fundamental rights belonging to the human person under Natural Law and basic common sense, and coherent with the ability to live life, freedom, and pursue happiness.
The country I live in now is comprised of people who are isolated from each other and even in tight quarters, don't interact very much and differences reign supreme and separate us all.
The country I live in now attacks religion (except for Islam, which it idealizes, which even Muslims think is weird especially given what their terrorist factions have done to this country and the people of the world on our soil.). And now if someone's home burns down or someone suffers a tragedy, no one notices or if they do, they go on record to talk to reporters about the person involved, just to be on TV. Not that they ever knew the person to begin with; and if the person involved was "religious" they are painted as a fanatic of some sort because "that kind of devotion is just not normal."
The country I live in now actively inflicts its problems upon our children, and socially indoctrinates the children in adult issues without the knowledge or permission of the parents, inflicting tough moral inconsistencies upon them while refusing to allow the parents to "opt their children out" of such psychological engineering.
The country I live in now actively works to remove the American flag from the homes of disabled Veterans who gave their hearts, souls, and limbs to protect the freedoms we no longer enjoy.
The country I live in now pampers delinquents and criminals while systematically disarming her legal, law-abiding citizens in the name of "public safety".
The country I live in now looks to the worst decisions and practices of other countries and inflicts it through illegal means upon our sovereignty, against the will of We the People, bringing tyranny to our States while telling us we need to be "tolerant", all while refusing to tolerate our very foundations as a country and the right of the People to be heard, to overcome, and to be save in our homes from the tyranny of the government.
The country I live in now creates situations designed to bring division, instigated by the government, fueled by the biased media, and tolerates no dissent against enforced racism and political division.
The country I live in now advocates the outright legally-imposed slaughter of the most innocent among us; unborn children. Especially those belonging to minorities, evidenced by the fact Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are mostly found in neighborhoods with a high demographic of races who are not white, all planned by racist Gloria Steinem, and our government is still saying that this is a good idea and even with an African president, killing his own children, he is being adored. This is the country I live in, killing her children in the name of...what?
The country I live in now is bereft of proper discourse and any disagreement descends into a political and personal attack, so issues are never properly discussed, but only deflected in hostility. You can see it live on C-SPAN in Congressional hearings right along bi-partisan lines.
The country I live in now pays those serving in the military so little that their families have to live on food stamps in spite of the fact they are serving our country with their very LIVES. At the same time, "elected" officials are pulling off triple digits FOR LIFE. With no actual risk to themselves other than political lampooning on Saturday Night Live, unless they're Obama Democrats, in which case they're safe from any actual insult.
The country I live in now sells weapons to terrorist nations to be used to murder Christians live on TV, like in Egypt and Syria, just for example. At the same time, my country actively works to disarm loyal citizens who want only to protect themselves and their families from the wolves, yet can't get ammo since it's been confiscated to be sent to Syria to kill Christians.
I live in a country where maybe we can still get guns, but the ammo that makes them useful against home invaders? In Syria and Egypt.
The country I live in now has a very strong citizen population; those of us who have not been compromised by the gospel of obedience to government overlords are wide awake and the knowledge of what's coming makes us lose sleep at night because we know we are no longer protected from the enemy, for the enemy is WITHIN our borders, and has been actively ELECTED in a fraudulent vote by stymied voters. Twice.
The country I live in now looks for handouts instead of looking for a way to work for a living, looking instead for the government to "save" us, even though we're now a sinking ship in an ocean of immorality and deception.
The country I live in now stymies free speech in the name of "tolerance", stymies the free practice of religion in the name of "birth control" and "tolerance", and stymies the right to bear arms in the name of "public safety" even though lawful citizens are already sacrificing for the safety of all, all ready to put themselves in harm's way in order to protect their own family or any innocent person.
The country I live in has criminalized the People and has made us all an enemy of the State, simply for being...Citizens of These United States.
We the People may still be Citizens, and this may still be the Home of the Brave, but we are no longer the Land of the Free.