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SENTRY JOURNAL » America, baseball, Constitution, We the People » America, Baseball, and "We the People"

America, Baseball, and "We the People"

These past few weeks have been tough weeks for America in terms of states’ rights, federalism, our Constitution, and individual liberties.  We witnessed one federal judge strike down key provisions in the Arizona law that enforces federal immigration laws rendering it ineffective and leaving the people of Arizona defenseless to address their overwhelming illegal immigration problem.  Another federal judge steam rolled over rights of a state and its people by ruling that a provision in their state constitution (California Marriage Protection Act) was unconstitutional, nullifying the right of the people to have a voice on key issues in their own state.

To make matters worse, our congress voted (63-37) confirm Elena Kagan as our 112th Supreme Court justice, an individual based on her experience and political activism should not qualify her to be one of nine justices whose main charter is to rule on the Constitutionality of laws created by states and the congress based on Constitutional Law.  Maggie’s Notebook wrote a great post on this topic and is worth the read.

Finally the ground zero mosque cleared its final hurdle for construction only a few blocks away from where a deadly terrorist attack occurred on September 11, 2001.  A number of blogs posted articles against this move and conservative talk radio shows were abuzz with debates and anger on how such a thing could be allowed to happen on what many consider to be sacred ground (I’m one of those many).

During the latter part of the week I started to notice the frustration level growing.  Some people were beginning to question if the Republic could even be saved at this point.  Some were tired of their voice being ignored.  Still others talked openly about secession and nullification.  This was the prevalent tone on a number of talk radio shows and blogs.  I was even feeling a bit down, and then last night something happened that lifted my spirits…a baseball game.

Now many of you might be wondering how the game of baseball can lift my spirits and give me hope?  Well truth be told I was a huge baseball fan up until the 1994 strike.  The strike so upset me that I walked away from a game that I truly loved, swearing it off for the rest of my days.  Then last night my wife and I went out for dinner and during dinner she asked me if I would like to go watch a game that one of her friend’s kids was playing in.  I looked at her and for some strange reason I replied, “Sure, but only for an hour or so.”  My town is hosting the Midwest regional 15 year old Babe Ruth League tournament this year and for a slightly smaller than average town in North Dakota to host such an event is somewhat rare.

The field is old and weathered, but very well kept.  I had driven past it many times and it always caught my eye, but this was the first time I stopped to watch a game.  My wife parked our car along a side road and we paid our $10 bucks for the night.  The first thing I experienced was the smell of the grass and chatter of the fans.  Teams were on the field warming up, working through their loosening up drills, and playing catch.  Parents were working their way through crowds with tournament programs and other treasures to mark this time in their memories.  The grounds crew was spraying down the dirt and remarking lines.  The smell of popcorn filled the grandstand as my wife and I found a place to park ourselves.  The sky was clear, the wind calm, and the temperature was just right for an early August evening.  It was almost a perfect moment in time; magical.  A moment that has played out in a number of times at baseball fields across this great country over the years.

The opening ceremony was simple and pure. It consisted of an introduction of the teams, military honor guard, the national anthem, and the head grounds keeper throwing out the first pitch.  Before we knew it the teams were taking the field and playing for nothing more than the pride of their communities in the spirit of competition.  Parents were talking about their trip, their kids, and the best places eat while in town.  They were cheering on their teams in the hopes that their long journey to a far off land would lead to a victorious return home.  From Colorado to Missouri and Nebraska to North Dakota, they came from all walks of life to our small community to watch their children play a simple game that is woven into the fabric of our nation.

With the exception of my wife’s friend and her husband, I really didn’t know anyone at the game, but oddly enough that didn’t seem to matter.  Before I knew it I was on my feet, cheering for the home team and high fiving strangers.  Once again I found myself swept up in a game I once so loved.  For that moment all other things faded away and the game and everything that goes with it embraced me, telling me that everything is going to be alright.  Because even when times appear to be out of control and ever changing there are those things in life we can always fall back on as an anchor to steady us when the waters become choppy.  For me that anchor has always been baseball.

America is America not because of our system of government, our politicians, our military, our fast food restaurants, our shopping centers, or even our sports teams.  America is America because of its people.  “We the People” are the owners of this team and we run show as it was set forth in the preamble of our Constitution.  And when I see people willing to travel over a 1,000 miles to a place far detached from the rest of the country to support and watch their children play a game in the spirit of competition and for the pride of their community I know we’ll be just fine.  The American spirit is indeed alive and well.  I rediscovered it last night on a baseball field in the middle of nowhere North Dakota and it swept me up.

The one thing politicians, elitists, and those that would steal our liberties away under the guise of a crisis don’t understand about America is that America is about us.  It always has been, and it always will be, end of story.  We all need to be reminded of this every now then.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite parts from the movie Field of Dreams:

God bless America and the people that make her great.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


Filed under: America, baseball, Constitution, We the People

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  • Randy-g August 7, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Golf last week, a few baseball games this week. What are you doing? Enjoying America as it should be? It is good to get that refreshed American feeling now and than. Great post(again).

  • John Carey August 7, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Thanks Randy. Our boys beat Missouri last night 5-4. Fargo lost in the first round so they are now in the losers bracket. Double elimination.

  • Right Hand Man August 7, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    American poetry John.

  • John Carey August 7, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Thanks Right.

  • Teresa August 8, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    What a great All-American post John! Thanks for the positive, refreshing, and encouraging post.

    Baseball will always be one of my favorite sports. Golf is pretty fun also.

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

  • Maggie Thornton August 8, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    The only thing missing is a hot dog! Our mission is to keep America, "all American" in spirit. Great post. Thanks so much for the link John.

  • John Carey August 8, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Thanks Teresa. It was such a good time. I came away feeling like a kid again and recharged.

  • John Carey August 8, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    You're very welcome Maggie. And shhhhh…I did sneak a hot dog when my wife wasn't looking. :o)