America - What Simon & Garfunkel were looking for ...

As Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken up the 1968 song  "America", by Simon & Garfunkel, as the slogan for his Presidential campaign - - -

That high taxation, heavy government regulation, administrative bureaucrats doling out "free stuff" paid for by a pixie dust magical wealthy "other", forced civilian disarmament, notion of the United States, is not the America I was thinking of when I first heard the song - America - by Simon & Garfunkel while I was still a child in 1968.

Hearing the lyrics, "to hitch-hike from Saginaw", while living not too far from Saginaw, and thinking about the lyric  - - -

"They've all come to look for America"

was an America I thought I already had, and an America I dreamed back then was one that my childhood peers and I could and would nurture from the conceptions of fairness, equality, and most importantly of freedom, I thought we had in our visions of America's  future.

In 1968's "Age of Aquarius", I was hoping that my brother wouldn't get drafted and sent to Vietnam to possibly die for - I don't know what - with an M16 machine-gun in his hand. In 1968, I was being acculturated to believe that we wanted government out of our lives. In 1968 we wore peace symbols around our necks, spent our weekends at rock music concerts listening to political anthem songs about our ideals, and discussing the related issues of the day on our way home. In 1968, just as I hope I can today, I quite seriously thought I didn't have to "look for America". In 1968, I thought of great importance for our future was the protection of an America we already stood for back then and hopefully still believe in and stand for today.

In response to the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign ad, Art Garfunkel has expressed a much more dystopian view, but a view in line with my own long term perceptions of his song. In response to the Sanders campain ad Garfunkel said recently that, “We never knew who we were. We’re still working out what Alexander Hamilton was working out. How do we fuse in becoming United States of America and not southern planters who want states’ rights? In the very Constitution, we’re working out the fusion of the nation. We’re still doing it.”

No matter who takes the oath of office as U.S. President on January 20, 2017, I'll be wondering whether the rest of us Americans will have to squint to "look for America" as the "America" seems to be getting squeezed out of what remains of the fabric of the once supposedly inalienable rights, comprised of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, among other things, I already thought was, and is supposed to be, America.