Make America Humble Again?

While neighborhood-scouting in the tony areas of Northern Virginia with my family, I saw a house proudly decorated with signs reading the following:


I wasn’t able to get a picture since I was driving, but here’s how they looked: They weren’t homemade, so I know there’s some enterprising company wishing to express this sentiment (which only seems to arise when a Republican is president, but I digress), and there are obviously people who want to pay for this sentiment. 

The text was meant to simulate something, a name-card, maybe, reading “Make America ________ Again,” like a political mad-lob. The word “humble” was written in a cursive script in the blank space, and the whole thing was on a pinkish background. 

Not the sign, but the closest picture I could find.

The signs got me thinking about the concepts “America” and “humility,” which is a persuasion win on both the signmaker and the sign-hanger’s part. 

But given what I know about America specifically and geopolitics at large, was America ever humble?

It’s the same way people wonder if America was ever great (hint: It still is, but mostly in relation to most everywhere else). 

America began life as a gigantic “Eff You!” to the most powerful empire in the world. 

It prevailed against incredible odds, and somehow survived the difficult decades after, to emerge some two centuries later as the world’s only superpower.

It’s kind of hard to be humble with a history like that. 

Look, we all know it’s not going to last. All empires–because that’s what America is, like it or not–have their ups and downs. And they change forms. 

Look at England, for example. It’s not the same country it was in 1066, or even 1966.  And yet it persists. 

America isn’t even that old, and we already don’t exist as founded. We haven’t for a lot time. 

America as founded died a long time ago, and is now firmly in the “smells funny” phase. 

But maybe we’ll be alright. Maybe something new wil change, not based on some mythic past that never really existed, but by using the past as inspiration. 

So we need to be humble? Why?

Humility is a great thing, especially in your personal life. But humility doesn’t exactly translate into success on the world stage. 

National humility is great when dealing with allies and friends. When dealing with hostile forces, though, it’ll get you killed. 

Sorry. It’s true, and you know it. 

“Okay, Mr. Jesus Guy, what about your precious Bible? Huh?”

I’ve gone over that before: Christianity isn’t a suicide pact. You’re allowed to fight back. Indeed, we’re urged to take care of our brethren

Is that humble? Well, standing up for yourself takes some stones. I’d rather be humble before God than before my enemies. 

So to answer this random person’s random sign’s point, I think personal humility would do all of us good, but national humility is as nebulous as it is weird. What would this even look like? Would we to become a nation of flagellants?

Honestly, I think people promoting this have a pretty specific definition of “humility” in mind, and it includes “agreeing with ten, or else.”

The last 16 years have brought this nation to its knees, but not for reasons the sign-hanger thinks. 

This article about “cost disease” really stick with me because it disturbed me. It describes something I and I’m sure many other Americans notice and feel, but haven’t articulated. 

Basically, the costs of things–important things–like healthcare, education, and infrastructure, have skyrocketed over the past 50 years while their quality has stayed the same or gotten worse. 

Think back to my househunting. In this area, the cost of living is insane. At least, if you want to live in a safe neighborhood with a good school system. 

And “good” is relative, in that it means “not-crime-ridden” and “not-failing.”

Because otherwise, you’d have to shell out big bucks to pay for a private school that would do what your taxpayer-funded public school can’t. 

And then there’s college. If your kids can afford to go, they’ll be saddled with loads of debt for jobs that pay the same or less than they did 50 years ago. 

If they find a job.

No wonder most people have few kids, if any. Big families just aren’t affordable anymore. 

That’s just the way of the modern world. It’s inevitable, just like everything else. 

But hey, at least consumer electronics are cheap.

Somebody wants this. Somebody is profiting from this disfunction, and it’s not regular folk like you or me. 

Make America humble again? Do you feel safe that our leaders can protect us from foreign threats?

Make America humble again? I and the rest of my generation are destined to be worse off than our parents. And our kids are destined to be worse off than us. Because “that’s just how it is.”

Make America humble again? I’ve had about as much humbling as I can take. I’d be happy making us sane again. 

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6 thoughts on “Make America Humble Again?

  1. Like you said, humility starts with us first. If this nation humbled itself before God and followed Him, I think we would be greater than ever. Not in a prideful way, but in a way that combines love and grace and peace, with wisdom and discernment and judgment. One of those spiritual paradoxes that are everywhere in the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Daytime Renegade says:

      Dylan, you make an excellent point that I only danced around. Humility and self-reflection is an individual practice that spills over into how a people comport itself. That said, it does start at the top in a sense, though we like to deny it in America. Our leaders for generations (centuries?) have looked out for them and theirs, which has resulted in a system that works great for THEM, and not so much for the rest of us.

      Public service is supposed to be service. We trust them and they have a responsibility to us. I wish they’d pray a lot more for guidance too.

      We are at a crossroads my friend. I don’t foresee those at the top changing their ways. I think God abandoned this country long ago but only because we as a people (not all of us, but you know what I mean) we’ve turned away from Him, and loudly.

      Great comment my man. Food for thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you, and while I think the leaders/media sets the tone for discussion in America, I don’t see much evidence in my own life of what I’m being told is happening. Not saying I don’t believe it fully, only that I question it.

        In other words, how much power does the government actually have? A lot of it is posturing to me. God can reverse matters in a heart beat if he chooses to. He wants to use people that are willing to be used (ordinary Joes like us) in order to change things “on earth as it is in heaven.”

        I take comfort in knowing that God enjoys using the least of these, and that He can raise up whoever to do His will. Heck, one of Jesus’ disciples (Levi) was a tax collector, one of the most reviled professions of the day. And I doubt when Jesus invited Levi to follow Him that He was the perfect Christian. There’s hope for us all, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Daytime Renegade says:

        True. There is always hope when God is involved.

        And I don’t mean government per se because I don’t think they’re as influential as they like to think.

        It’s when the powerful have no humility whatsoever that is troubling because, while we all need it, they shrug (metaphorically) and we feel it.

        Liked by 1 person

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