Last Time I Checked This Was Still America, But If I’m Being Honest, That Was A While AgoCommentary • Our Annual Year 2013 • patriotism • Opinion • ISSUE 49•27 • Jul 2, 2013 By William K. Marlatt As a man born and bred in the US of A, I’m sick and tired of the direction this country is headed in. There are people out there who think they can just turn our morals and principles upside down and undercut the very values that make this nation great. They think they can deface the vision of the Founding Fathers while the rest of us just stand idly by. Well, those people have another thing coming, because the last time I checked, this was still America, although if I’m being completely honest with you, that was a pretty long time ago.At least six months ago, if not longer.Am I wrong to think this is a democracy? Am I wrong to think we have a government for the people, by the people? Because I really could be wrong about that, and if I am, please let me know. In the America I know and love, everyone is created equal, and every person is born with a set of inalienable rights, but if this isn’t even America in the first place, then those tenets would obviously not apply, and I would of course have to reassess things.Because this is a free country, is it not? Is it not a free country? I admit, I haven’t looked into it lately.But I will say this: Whenever I see an American flag waving in the wind—the one with red and white stripes is the American flag, right? That’s the one I see most often—I’m reminded of everything this nation stands for. I’m reminded of liberty, of We The People. I’m reminded that this country—again, assuming that I’m thinking of the right one—guarantees the freedom of all its citizens.And when I wake up every morning and look out my window, you know what I see? I see the land of the free and the home of the brave. At least, as far as I can tell. To level with you here, it’s been a while since I’ve corroborated that with anyone, and there’s really no way for me to definitively know just by looking out my window. I mean, that could be a lot of countries I see out there, really.This ain’t communist China we’re living in, though, pal. I’m about 70 percent sure about that. Sixty to 70 percent.There are some people out there who are trying to make up a lot of fancy laws and rules telling you how to live your life. Well, I’m sorry, but I must not have heard the announcement that I no longer have the right to exercise my freedoms, to make my voice heard, and to live my life without the government sticking their big noses into my business. And if there was an announcement about that, and I missed it, I just want to say right now that I am truly sorry for missing the announcement. That’s on me. I wasn’t aware things worked on an announcement-based system. Say, where do you get the announcements, anyway? I haven’t done the best job keeping up on this stuff, to be honest. Not to make excuses or anything, but I’ve had a lot on my plate lately.Let me just spell out what this country is about, plain and simple: We’re a God-fearing Christian nation founded on Christian ideals. We speak one language, and that’s English. We believe in the right to own as many guns as you want. We believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Above all else, we’re red-blooded Americans, and we don’t let anybody—anybody—tread on us.Does that all sound more or less correct? Especially the stuff about being Americans. Are we? If someone could get back to me on all of that, that would be great. Because, you know, it’d be pretty embarrassing if I turned out to be totally wrong about all of those things.By the way, if I did want to check if this was America, how would I go about doing that? Like, how does that work? Do I go to a post office? Do I ask a police officer? I mean, legally speaking, there has to be a way to figure this out, right? Is there some sort of country verification system that I could check at the library? Or maybe at city hall? I could look it up online, but God knows not everything on the internet is accurate. I hope I don’t have to drive all the way to Washington, D.C. to check on this, but I bet someone at the Library of Congress would know. On second thought, this actually might be more of an abstract sort of thing without a clear-cut answer either way.God damn it. Now I’m all confused.Ah, whatever. God bless America.