Op-Ed: Has America lost its pioneering spirit?

Posted May 17, 2010 by R. Francis Rubio
Throughout our history we as a country looked towards the future and paved the way. I just can't help but think that today we are looking back more than looking forward. Myself included.
USA Flag
USA Flag
At the dawn of our birth as a sovereign nation history tells us that the thirteen American Colonies yearned to end the oppression of King George and were wiling to fight to the death for their (and in turn our) independence.
Since that time we as a people have striven to forge a new way of thinking, a new way of life, a new and great Country. Our strength was in each other and our fortune came from our ability to adapt to the present and look towards the future.
Of course we've been through turmoil, I don't know of any Civilization throughout history that hasn't had it's share of ups and downs, it's triumphs and failures, it's time of great pride while remembering it's time of great shame.
Although I believe that we have chosen to be different than other Nations. We evolve but of course when we first started we had an uncharted continent with room to evolve and space to expand, not only expanding our territory but most important, evolving our minds.
I am a student of history but I will not close my eyes to the present and ignore the future.
When I hear some in America saying "I want my Country back" it just makes me wonder, back to what?
Back to the original constitution? Back before any amendments? How far back should we go?
In the original constitution only white male land owners were eligible to vote and participate in government and I won't at this time get into slavery where blacks as they were called were counted as 3/5 of a human being and women were second class citizens.
The constitution is a living document as it was meant to be when written by the founding fathers. We were given the ability by our forefathers to amend our laws along with our constitution to insure our continued existence as a united people.
Today's political environment is so polarized on the left and right that I fear that we not only missed the lessons of the past, we may have lost the pioneering spirit towards the future which made us the envy of the world.
The American way is to move forward, be the best we can and give all to solve any problem we confront. The only one that can defeat us is ourself.
I know I may get some grief from some saying this is a blog not an article but I disagree. This is an opinion piece about what I feel is the current and sometimes over the top discourse in our partisan political atmosphere.
Just remember the Civil War and what Abraham Lincoln once said: "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand."
You may take my views any way you choose but with all the problems facing us such as the economy, terrorism, two wars, the Gulf oil spill and countless other challenges we need to deal with in our world today I just feel that we need that pioneering spirit that got our Country through all the trying times before, together.