Do you remember the real America?

By Jan Dolcater | Dec 26, 2019

Can you remember when you never dreamed our country could never lose? When you went to church and found spiritual consolation, when people knew what the Fourth of July stood for, and when you took it for granted that the elderly and the clergy were to be respected?

When you didn’t feel embarrassed to say that this is the best damned country in the world, when socialist was a dirty word, and when liberal was by all?

When taxes were only a nuisance, when the poor were too proud to take charity, when Protestants and Catholics thought enough of their own beliefs to argue without rancor about them, and when you knew the law meant justice?

When the songs you heard actually had a tune and lyrics, when you could get away from it for a time, and when you bragged about your home state and home town?

When politicians proclaimed their patriotism, when you could always find someone willing and able whenever you wanted something done, when riots were unthinkable, when the clergy talked about religion, and when you took it for granted that the law would be enforced fairly?

When Christmas was merry, and Christ was kept in it, when the Flag was a sacred symbol, when our government stood up for Americans anywhere in the world, and when a man went wrong, he was actually blamed?

Hopefully you are old enough to remember the real America, if you can remember when everyone knew the difference between right and wrong, even Harvard professors. When things weren’t perfect, but you never expected them to be, and when people still had the capacity for indignation instead of being offended.

When sick meant you were not feeling well, when a complaint could accomplish something, when people expected less and valued what they had more, when everyone was not entitled to a college education, and when college kids swallowed a wide variety of things and not acid.

If you are old enough to remember the real America, then you can remember when America was the land of the free and home of the brave.

Does any of this have resonance with you? Does it illuminate any poignant thoughts for you? Actually most all of the above came from an article written for a bulletin of a service club of which I was a member of in the summer of 1968. Think about it, over 50 years ago.

However, when you pause and think for a moment, it is realistic to accept the fact that there have always been many differences that have existed among our viewpoints on politics, religion and many areas of discussion in all parts of our society. The unfortunate situation is that currently it seems most differences are expressed in anger, hostility and hatred without reasonable discussion being utilized.

Christmas Day was yesterday and it is my sincere hope and prayer that in the coming year that the Word of God will be considered by all sides on issues that affect each and every one of our citizens as we move forward together in the New Year.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.

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Comments (13)
Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Dec 31, 2019 11:24

I haven't read anything written by this group I would consider award winning. All I read is a bunch of republicans that want to blame the liberals for all of the ills of society. And to make matters worse, they chose Donald Trump, a poor excuse for a human, as their hero.

Posted by: Seth Thayer | Dec 31, 2019 09:30

Dear June:  Your comment shows all that is wrong with this group of conservative writers.  You write "The hatred extended by the left side of the aisle is incessant, but hopefully in the coming year we can disagree but move the country forward with the Peace of God".  Have you read the tweets by Mr. Trump lately?  How do you define a President whose best work are the hateful nicknames he comes up with for people who question his lack of judgement?  Do you think the antics in the press of our last Governor are to be lauded?  Try, perhaps, taking your head out of your conservative hole in the ground and look around at the people you choose to follow.

Posted by: RALPH WALLACE | Dec 31, 2019 09:07

Mr. Stanley:  What "compels" the writers of "Another View" is a good-faith mission to express a conservative view which, by the way, has received numerous Maine Press Association awards (including 1st place in the state) this year. What "compels" the small group of trolls to respond each week is a desire to outdo each other in attacking the column with off-point leftist talking points. There is no one else in their audience - just a half-dozen trolls who rant at each other. Really, a little sad.

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Dec 30, 2019 17:09

Mr. Merriam, I surely have no idea what compels this version of American history any more than you do. I also do not know what compels the individuals who respond to it. Best left alone.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Dec 27, 2019 20:41


Little or no empathy

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Dec 27, 2019 17:03


That fact that you see hatred here and from the "left" in general says so much more about you.

Demons where there are none. Hatred where there is none. You see counter point as hatred and that is one of the reasons you fail!

Posted by: RALPH WALLACE | Dec 27, 2019 10:57

There are those who are so jaded about life in general they they can never acknowledge the greatness of earlier times - and if someone espouses so, they are written off as "old" - kind of like "O.K., boomer". Nice article, Jan. Keep up the good work. Signed: an "old" guy, not jaded but a patriot.

Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | Dec 27, 2019 08:02

to the folks who criticize,

You obviously read only the initial portion of the article.  It was written in June of 1968 except for the last several paragraphs. It does accurately describe how life was and not in the hostile, snarky atmosphere of today. The hatred extended by the left side of the aisle is incessant, but hopefully in the coming year we can disagree but move the country forward with the Peace of God

Jan Dolcater, Rockland

Posted by: Patricia Keyes | Dec 27, 2019 07:49

Yes, I remember. I remember taking my first quarter at 5-yrs-old and walking 3/4 mile alone on Route 2 downtown, to buy penny candy from the Tip Top Five & Dime, and nobody thought I might be snatched for abuse. I remember riding standing up in the front seat without a seat belt, and I SURVIVED.  At 5, I had a square mile of my town to ramble in with my friends, riding bikes without helmets, and drinking sap from the pails in the spring in 2 feet of snow.  I remember Sundays, with blue laws, when everyone got together with their friends and neighbors to eat and talk about the world and ideas, and go for rides in the country to see the leaves in the fall, or the cows.  I remember when adults were kind to children, and every visit to someone's home included milk and cookies.  I remember Danny Kaye movies, pure sweetness, rather than the R-rated subject matter, deliberately down-graded to PG-13 to soil our society on TV these days.

I remember family reunions as joyous occasions. I remember lonely neighbors being included in our family events. I remember. The negative responses are probably from folks who made themselves so mean-spirited that they were given the wide berth they demanded. Be sour all you want. Soak yourself in your misery. You have to make an effort to join in. You have to learn forgiveness and generosity. If you don't, you won't be forced to be nice in return. And you will have missed out on the best part of life.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Dec 26, 2019 13:47

Ah Mary, you think we're all "youthful"

Hot tip, don't assume.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Dec 26, 2019 13:41

Yes Jan, there is a Santa Clause and our generation will always do good and forget the thoughtless youthful negatives. Loved the article.

Posted by: Kevin Riley | Dec 26, 2019 12:49

Reminiscing about an America that never existed with memories distorted by self delusion.

Yes Ron, he/she has lost the ability to view the world as it actually and is living in a fantasy of what they wish the world was.

Sad really. Reality is so much more interesting than fantasy.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Dec 26, 2019 11:47

Not sure what compels this author's distorted view of American history.

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