North Carolina congressional candidate Sue Googe describes her childhood growing up in Communist China and how that makes her appreciate the United States all the more.
The best way to predict the future is to create it. It’s true that in the past I was one of these people that believed America’s best days were behind her. However, while running for U.S. Congress in 2016 in North Carolina’s 4th district, I connected closely with the community and saw up close and personal the hopes of the American people. Nowadays, I’ve changed my attitude and am looking for what can be done collectively to achieve our renewed American dream. I am determined to set a new tone to make our positive mark in history.
I grew up in communist China in extreme poverty, which is quite a dramatic contrast to modern day America. Even after receiving the honor of officially becoming an American citizen it took me a while to fully understand the concept of freedom and democracy as these were concepts that were very foreign to me. All I knew from my personal past was that the communist government is very powerful, overreaching, and legally able to control literally every aspect of a citizen’s life including how much money you have, what you eat, what you buy and sell, and even which town you can live in.
I was taught that a wise citizen should be obedient and only say, think, or do things within the strict boundaries of the communist government. The price for any dissent would be hell to be pay, including paying with one’s own life.
Now as an adult living in America in 2017, I look back considering what the communist regimes and other authoritarian governments around the globe did to their citizens. In these non-democratic societies the common tactic was to consciously break the spirit of individualism, to create self-doubt, encourage self-censorship, and to obey the regime even against one’s own best interest. Their strategy is to promote conformity and collectiveness to the extreme. Every human life in the country is there to serve the top tier leadership’s own private will.
In 2014 I learned some unfortunate revelations about my own family’s history in China. This sparked me to rethink the relationship between country and it’s citizens. I started to explore what America was founded upon such as freedom and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Through literature I followed and traced the footsteps of America’s Founding Fathers. I’m very fascinated with the early pioneers’ adventurous brave spirit to seek out “freedom,” which to me and many others is the highest form of humanity.
Back then this idea was a departure from the societal norms, a breaking of the chains applied by oppressive and over reaching governments. Yes, only a few hundred years ago the greatest nation in human history was born and its name is the United States of America. I only wish my great grandfather, father, and mother could have known that this possibility existed in the world. I’m sure they would have fought to support this idea just like I have done.
America is the “land of the free” because of the brave. Never forget that fact. Americans’ love for independence and to be in charge of their own destiny, their love for individual sovereignty against powerful regimes: these are the American founding stories, and they are 180 degrees opposite of the Chinese history books.
In America good citizens are encouraged to be brave and courageous defending their constitutional rights. In stark contrast to America, countries with dictatorships are full of cowards and timid people. These attitudes are created by governmental design. The citizens don’t have the will to fight against evil oppression; rather they surrender themselves for temporary peace and security.
The American style relentless and unyielding fight for freedom is virtually non-existent anywhere else in the world. The promotion and defense of personal liberty is not just for the American people alone but are actions that serve as an example for the world and provide a lighted beacon of hope for all mankind worldwide.
However, it’s true that in America right now we are facing our own important issues right here at home. For example, the intense proliferation of political correctness is basically laying the foundation to eliminate freedom of speech. Also, the intense polarization in the political process is sowing the seeds for an internal societal turmoil—all the while undermining the process intended by the brilliant founding fathers.
Another important issue facing America is the lack of good strategy to negotiate fair trade deals that work for the average American citizen. Our past poor strategies are setting our country up for economic invasion by other countries and large offshore corporations.
For example, one symptom is our poor economic education system for citizens, our young people overwhelmingly prefer to rent over owning their home or property. If this trend continues then one or two generations later Americans will no longer be owning America’s land. We are voluntary giving up our nations land base to foreign states. In the political arena no one really brought this up until President Trump took office.
While I am fully subscribed to the idea of America first, it doesn’t mean we should disconnect from rest of the world. However, for far too long we have put our citizens at the bottom of priority list. It is time to shore up our bloated international obligations that will likely break the back of our future generations. We should be empathetic and connected to the world community while balancing that with fiscal responsibility to our own citizen’s future; if we are broke then we will perish and won’t have the ability to survive—much less help anyone else.
Unfortunately, the intense polarization of American political parties has made fighting intensely among ourselves. The “us against them” mentality has become the norm, and this will certainly make us weaker as a nation.
It’s not about liberal again conservative. We may be at the brink of collapse as a nation right now. We must set aside our differences and use our time, resources, and talents to rebuild this country to it’s full potential. We should strive to leave a great framework for our future generations. If we are wise, we will help them to spread their wings to fly rather than cropping their wings.
If America is brought to her knees it will likely not be by military power, it will be through either economic invasion or cultural suicide. That’s what I see is happening in America, unfortunately many of our men and women in power are very busy worrying about the wrong stuff. The average Americans probably don’t see collapse coming, but I can see it as a possibility. We need to get our long term national security and foreign economic policies straightened out before it causes lasting damage to our nation’s well-being.
We have the resources at our disposal, and it’s our civic duty to make America great again. Let’s set a common goal we can all share: to create a strong, prosperous, and peaceful country for all of us, to ensure a place to call home, America.
Sue Googe was the 2016 Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives race in North Carolina’s 4th District.