History shows us that when presented with a power vacuum: there will arise a force; a personality or a world view, that will rise to the occasion and try to fill that void. History also shows the force will be sinister. A force that will take away your liberty, your property, your happiness, and ultimately your life. I have seen this in my own lifetime, in the form of Communism, and have second generation knowledge of the scourge of Fascism in Nazi Germany, Italy, and the Imperial designs of the Japanese empire.
We’ve seen the pattern throughout history, with the empires, monarchies and savagery of forces seeking to conquer their know world. They all try. They all seek the ultimate in power. They all fail, but leave behind them a devastation that the common folk has to deal with until the next tyrant comes along.
Then in the late 1700’s, something different happened; America.
America, founded on the idea that all men were created equal. That they were “… endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these were: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….”. America; founded on the belief that man can and should be governed by the people, and not some tyrant.
America. An experiment in government that had not been seen or tried before. And, some 240 years later is still that shining city on the hill that attracts people from all walks of life, from all forms of governments, from all forms of religions. America has welcomed them all, providing them with liberty and opportunity.
America has been a good country; a very good country. But America has also been a bad country, and we need to see and recognize the good, and also the bad. We need to understand, that the good America affords the freedom to correct the bad America and move forward. Did we not have slavery? Did not the good in America recognize the evil of slavery, and end it at the huge cost of hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Civil War? Did we not then have the national sin of Jim Crow and segregation? Again, the good in America stepped forward correcting those sins.
What of the “Indian” wars throughout the 19’th century? Were these wars examples of the good America? No, they were not, and this is indeed an example where America, good and bad, should hang it’s head in shame, but the head should not be left in a posture of shame. Do I have an explanation other than the depravity of man? No I do not, and am troubled by these episodes in the history of my country. All I can do, all any of us can do, is to look at this scar, even gaze upon it, resolve to ask forgiveness, and learn. Learn, and let the good America move forward with the resolve to never let such an episode happen again.
There are those among us who gaze on America, and seem to see only the bad America. This is a “yea but … “ view that is too willing to camp out in the past; not knowing or willing how to learn and move on.
Others see the bad America, and dream of a place of perfection that can never be achieved. They dismiss the good America as something that must be transformed so as to leap forward to a utopia that will replace the bad America.
Then there are those that would destroy the very foundations of America, the good and the bad, and transform it into something of their own, to transform it in order to gain the ultimate power trip of destroying the greatest civilization of their time.
Like it or not, the America we have is a nation of good and bad. But in spite of the bad, and because of the good, America is and has been the greatest civilization in the history of the world, bringing the greatest outburst of liberty and opportunity ever seen on this planet. How has this happened? Because the foundations were built by wise men who understood the nature of man, and the nature of governments. They understood that government cannot, and should not be trusted. They understood that man could govern himself, if only he would entrust the government to the people. The governmental structure they set up codified this notion that government cannot, and should not be trusted. Thus we have; separation of powers between Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of government. We have a federal government, but also state governments, with separate and distinguished powers. We have a Bill of Rights, protecting the rights of individual citizens of the nation. We have a free press to keep government in check.
What say you?