Whether angry American workers who go on killing rampages in theworkplace have gone "ballistic" or "postal", isn't it terrorismby any other name? While we fear the idea of someone poisoningour water or using lethal chemicals in our public places hasanyone been on a college campus lately? There our youth areblending academic pursuits with the kind of alcohol abuse thatwould make all the combined pubs of Ireland and brew houses ofGermany glow with a blush. A good number of these students havelost their lives to their binges, why doesn't this qualify as achemical attack on our youth? Or should we think of this as onlyjust another facet of our ‘way of life?' Is successfully keepingprayer out of our schools while miserably failing to keep gunsand drugs out of them, our ‘way of life'? If the answer to anyof these questions is no, shouldn't we be looking for somedefinition for the phrase that might give it some vindication?
Although it is just a personal observation, I would challengeother Americans to make note of the fact that most people can'tbe faulted for asking the wrong questions, but rather they arenot asking any questions at all. When is the last time you heardpeople asking serious questions about life in a roaring party?If the adage that "Americans play as hard as they work" is truethen consider this. No one has time at work to ask life'sserious questions and no one at a party has an inclination tooask.
I live in one of America's premiere party cities, New Orleans.The hub for most of the partying in New Orleans is the FrenchQuarter and within that space is another hub called, BourbonStreet. Anyone who has lived in this city and more specificallyin the Quarter has learned one thing. Eventually if you expectto accomplish anything at all or even think about accomplishingsomething you must move away from the hub. There is an obviousanalogy here for all of America.
Perhaps the single best source to find a definition for "theAmerican Way of Life" would come from the mouths of those whoare putting their lives on the line to preserve that way oflife, American soldiers. They would all gladly give you a cleardefinition if asked, even though they may not be aware they weredoing just that. If you were to ask any soldier in Iraq orAfghanistan what he or she planned to do when they returned homeagain you would have your definition. Yes, the first thing theywould say would be something like; I'm going to have the biggestparty of my life. No one would question that; in fact most of uswould lend a hand to get that party going. But no soldier wouldsay that was all he wanted to do. As Paul Harvey would say, "andnow here is the rest of the story". Depending on each individualsoldier you may hear, I'm going home to marry my sweetheart andstart a family, or I'm going to start my own business or finishschool. Some might say they were going back to help theirfamilies or become builders, preachers, scientists, orpoliticians. The list is endless but it is this list thatdefines what we know as "the American way of Life".
The mindless pursuit of power, fame or fortune are all thoughtto be at the top of the list under the heading of "The AmericanWay of Life" But let's take another look based on the answers ofour own fighting men and a stern warning from the pages of theBible. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the endtherof are the ways of death. Proverbs 16:25 KJV