All Maine Matters

May 2006



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America, While You Were Sleeping
by Vincent Fiore

The setting is a common room in Maspeth, Queens, an old and history-laden area within the sprawling metropolis that is New York. In the common room, about 15 to 20 tradesmen await the time-clock’s imminent arrival of 3:00 p.m., and quitting time.
Always abuzz with the day’s doings — job-related tales and technical jargon fit only for the ears of these technocrats of the Trades — I decide to liven it up (once again) by pursuing my favorite topic, politics.

Needless to say, most of the time I am poked fun at by my fellow mates. But once in a while, they seem to tolerate me and my fondness for political pursuits. The areas of discussion vary greatly, from drilling for oil in ANWAR, to whether Rudy Giuliani will run for office in 2008.

But the political flavor of the day this time was — in case you were comatose these last two weeks — immigration. Since the group was fairly representative of New York’s famed “melting pot,” I thought that the discussion would be wide-ranging and informative.

I soon realized that my brother workers — my friends and fellow Americans — cared about immigration about as much as Bill Clinton cared about fidelity within the institution of marriage, specifically his. Yes, that much.

Try as I might — and I raised more than a few hackles here — nobody really seemed to care. I was even patronized by an otherwise even-headed and good-hearted friend who said to me: “Well, thank God the rest of us have you around to fight these battles for the rest of us,” as he snickered aloud, thereby leading the way for the others to react in the same manner.

At that moment, I felt about as angry as I have felt in many a day. Not one to ever be accused of being a wallflower, I expressed my anger and defiance of their attitudes, condemning them and their flippant and grossly irresponsible behavior toward an issue that has generational consequences.

Because we are friends, all was essentially back to normal within two or three days, but not before I drew this little hot iron out of the fire to poke them with: “It isn’t you who will bare the brunt of your cynicism and uncaring attitude towards the real problem of illegal immigration. It is not only your children, but your country which you betray today by your lack of concern.”

Well, I can over-dramatize at times and be conspicuously over-emotional —even bombastic. Some say that is the Italian in me that is speaking out. But is it?

Hardly. It is the patriot in me, the American that loves the country, and the people that are in it. My question is this: how long will the rest of you continue to sleep while America and its ideals erode a little more each day? Not just the issue of illegal immigration, but all kinds of social ills that have crept upon us over the years and blotted out our practical sense of what is right.

America, while you were sleeping:

Don’t look now, America, but your country is in the process of becoming a shell of what it once was. But in actuality, it is we who are becoming shells of what we once were. While you were sleeping, America, the country you once knew has become, in many respects, the stuff of dreams.

Vincent Fiore is a freelance political writer who lives in New York City. His work can be seen on a host of sites, including the American
Conservative Union, GOPUSA, ChronWatch, and theconservativevoice. Vincent is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance and a contributing writer for He receives e-mail at:


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