Hope for America


Dear Friends,

I’ve been silent for awhile.  Been reflecting and not feeling well.  Life is settling down for me now.  I give thanks every day that I’m able to make a bit of progress in my life.  Hopefully, I will be able to write more often.

I will begin with the sharing of this amazing musical tribute to America.  It’s filled with hope.  And much needed against the background of incivility that has emerged in public discourse over the past month or so.  Guns at town meetings?  Are we returning to morality of the Wild West???

C’mon, everyone!  Let’s turn this thing around. Bind together.  And refuse to let the you-know-what get us down. Ignore them.  Don’t fan the flames.

Turn up your speakers,  open your mind and your heart.  Be prepared to be inspired.


By Keith Carradine

Just a workin’ man without a job
It got shipped off to China via Washington, D.C.
And I know I’m nothin’ special, there are plenty more like me
Just the same
I thought I knew the rules of the game

I stood up for this country that I love
I came back from the desert to a wife and kids to feed
I’m not sayin’ Uncle Sam should give me what I need
My offer stands
I’ll pull my weight you give me half a chance

I went up to a congressman and said to him “you know
Our government is letting people down”
He said he’d need a lot of help to buck the status-quo
I said there was a bunch of us around

I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

My brother’s welding chassis at the plant
He’s earning what our granddad did in 1948
While CEOs count bonuses behind the castle gates
How can they see
When all they care about’s the do re mi

It’s getting where there’s nowhere left to turn
Not since the crash of twenty-nine have things been so unfair
So many of our citizens are living in despair
The time has come
To reaffirm that hope’s not just for some

The promise of America’s surrendering to greed
The rule is just look out for number one
But brace yourself ‘cause some of us have sown a different seed
A harvest of the spirit has begun

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and The Bill Of Rights
My creed’s equality
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

It’s clear my country’s soul is on the line
She’s hungering for something that she lost along the way
The principle the framers called upon us to obey
That in this land
The people’s will must have the upper hand

I felt the calling once before and took a sacred vow
And faithful to that vow I have remained
I hear the calling once again, my country needs me now
And to her cause I have been re-ordained

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill Of Rights, all people living free
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea

Brothers and Sisters,

I want to repeat what I said in January in the run up to the inauguration:  Unless we find a way to go below the level of political discourse and bind together we’re not going to make it as a country.  Turn your TV off. And PRAY AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR!!!!

Here’s what I said in the January 2009 issue of Arise:

Binding us together. The first thing we need to do is bind together as one nation.
FDR said, The only thing to fear is fear itself.” Since 9/11 we have been set on a course
of fear and hate that is simply not worthy of us. As a result, fear and hate have
infected our relationships with our neighbors. My vision for 2009 is that we will
come out of our homes and bind together in our neighborhoods to help each other
through the difficult times ahead. We all have gifts to offer to the re-building of the
moral, spiritual and economic strength of our country, if only those gifts are called
So this is a call to community – to boldly reverse the trend to shut others out of
our lives. This isolation in our society is symbolized by the omni-presence of ipods
stuck in people’s ears. My vision for America and my own condo complex is that we
get out our flutes, guitars and drums and create our own music – shared music.
Ponder the ipod phenomenon and contemplate its meaning. We’re so wrapped up in
our own little worlds we don’t even notice each other. In our living rooms, we are
often focused on huge HD screens rather than sharing with each other what’s going
on in our lives.
taken on the steps of the Jefferson memorial / Washington, D.C. / October 2007
Simple suggestions that will help us begin the transformation of America. (1) Be
quick to smile or wave at your neighbors and someone in the car next to you. You
would be surprised; just that little bit of acknowledgment can make someone’s day.
It says Someone sees me as a person! Someone else recognizes my right to exist! Believe me
I know what I am talking about. I lived for two years with neighbors five feet away
who would never speak to me. The homeless live with that sort of disrespect all the
time. (2) When you enter a 7/11 hold the door for the person behind you to enter
ahead of you. I am wont to make a grand gesture with the sweep of my hat and to
swoosh them in on a small wave of exuberant energy. (Exuberance is a trait of us
bipolar folks when we’re on the up side.) (3) Realize that every person on the planet is
deserving of respect. Say hello or smile at people of a different race or culture. (4)
Catch people’s eyes across the street and give them a nod. These simple things will
transform our country like nothing else. And it requires little effort or sacrifice.

P.S. There is a second video on the web site above entitled “Broke Again American.” That is worth watching is well.

I hope this Music Video brightens your day.  It will, if you take the time to brighten someone else’s day.

With love,

Bob Traupman

priest / writer

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