Independence Day Thoughts

The People, thus capitalized, is a powerful two-word phrase rather unique to the United States. Not only is it documented in this Preamble to the Constitution, but also in Lincoln’s powerful Gettysburg address when he emplores, ‘of the people, by the people, for the people…” American poet Carl Sandburg wrote, “I AM the people–the mob–the crowd–the mass…” French artist   Eugène Delacroix’s,”Liberty Leading the People”  inspired the Statue of Liberty.

There is a delicate dance that must be performed between a democratic government of, by and for The People and other forms of governance. Communism, as history shows, often becomes just as corrupt as right-wing dictatorships.

It’s always difficult to play the middle when the extremes are so much more comfortable. Parenting, for example, is much more challenging from the center than at the two extremes, which is why parents often gravitate to one of the extremes.

So too with governance. Frequently, “The People” become the victims of overarching political schemers. The vision that Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, Jay and Washington dreamed for this new nation was pure and unblemished. Surely, they were not altogether ignorant of the possibility and probability that this virgin government would be repeatedly raped by men who had their own personal agendas and ambitions. These so-called Founding Fathers had to know, deep in their souls, that this quest for a government of The People would soon be challenged, compromised, by aggressive men who would use their power for specious purposes.

And so it has been, over these 234 years. Nauseously, every four years, we hear of yet another a new plan, a new set of promises, a new line of verbiage which promises that The People will be better served through this or that set of politicians. We are often hoodwinked. Our dreams deferred.

Perhaps a government of, by and for The People is surreal. It may only exist in theory. The innate human quest for dominance, power and greed may trump this ideal. Fantasy posing as reality.

Nonetheless we slog on hoping that, maybe this year, as we set our flag out today, our leaders will focus their efforts on The People whom they were elected to serve.

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10 thoughts on “Independence Day Thoughts

  1. As Benjamin Franklin left the Pennsylvania State House after the final meeting of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, he was approached by the wife of the mayor of Philadelphia. She was curious as to what the new government would be. Franklin replied, “A republic, madam. If you can keep it.” [Source: The U.S. Constitution and Fascinating Facts About It]

  2. Hello Muddy,
    A well written posting that reminds us on this day to stop, reflect, and savor the foresight of our Founding Fathers. It is ashamed that a little over eight years ago, those who cradled the Bible to their chest, wrapped the American flag around their shoulders while proclaiming American Values, forgot what these true American Values were, and pass the incorrectly named Patriot Act; unless of course they were being satirical, that infringed, negated, and basically disregarded Thomas Jefferson’s Bill of Rights.

    Now also to be fair, the current Administration and ruling bodies in Congress and Senate have not corrected this atrocity to our Founding Father’s visions.

    Just after the Constitution was signed and ratified with the first ten amendments, Jefferson said, “We have handed our citizens their own republic, the challenge is if they can keep it.” Benjamin Franklin said that the Bill of Rights would not be taken away by a foreign power but from within with the argument to protect us from a perceived threat from without.

    Well the first decade of this millennium proved their predictions correct.

    I will close today with the most sincere “Happy 4th of July to All” who read this blog whether you agree or disagree with my comments in the past. Open debate, freedom of speech, to seek truth, is what makes this country great. As per the oath that I took when I served in the Navy during the Viet Nam, later in South America, and the Mediterranean, I would give my life to make sure you have the right to disagree with me.

  3. The Rockets Red Glare
    The Bombs Bursting In Air
    Gave Proof Through The Night
    That Our Flag Was Still There…..

    Get Out Of Afghanistan, NOW!
    By the way, Evil Poets quote was excellent!
    The maintenence of a true republic is a full time job. The American model was violently and rapidly spawned by a revolutionary Union of disimilliar parts. The Constitution is fragile fabric which can be easily soiled, ripped, discolored and destroyed.
    Our Freedom, Ideals and Morality are all concepts which can be highjacked and misrepresented to hide their true opposites.

    Accept no substitues!

  4. Yesterday in a white suburb of Toledo 160 “patriots” gathered for Tea. The had all the right signs, wrapped themselves in the flag and listened to a 5-minute opening prayer.

    Wow! Just how patriotic can a group get, eh?

    I hope that these folks and those with like [simplistic] minds can pool their money together to buy a Pacific atoll several thousands of miles from California and set up their Theocracy and live happily ever after.

  5. Hello Muddy,
    I just read your message about the Tea Baggers gathering. I would like to also add from my Masonic background as many of our Founding Fathers were members of, “Freedom From Ignorance.”

    Science Facts and Historical Facts are what they are no matter how inconvenient they are to the Tea Baggers or their likes. This is why our Founding Fathers made sure that our country was founded as a Secular Nation!!! The Tea Baggers need to educate themselves to that fact but as the rest of us know, it would just negate a major part of their political platform.

  6. I’m feeling very optimistic today! So I think that maybe we are on the verge of another enlightenment – that gave us the founding fathers. The reactionaries are running out of steam.. The US is up against a wall as far as using violence and war as a means of foreign policy. I feel that we are approaching a curve in the track.. a spot that maybe we can see a far off light at the end of the tunnel.. will the light be daylight, or an onrushing train?

  7. I think it’s a safe bet that, hasd the Founding Fathers had even a tiny inkling of the oligarchy we would eventually come due to the ever-increasing power and corrupting influence of corporations over our government, they would have devised from the very beginning some manner of better defining their legal boundaries and limiting their ability to corrode such government.

  8. Hello Steve,
    I too think you maybe correct in the fact that we are on the verge of a rebirth of another “Age Of Enlightenment.” I don’t know for a fact but more of a feeling. I am seeing a new interest in the Masons. Maybe from Dan Brown’s books, Angles & Demons, Di Vinci Code, and his latest, The Lost Symbol.

    Right now here in Maryland, the current Master Masons who are sitting in the officer chairs within the Blue Lodge are practicing their work and being reviewed by the Grand Inspectors making sure everyone knows the ceremonies and the work (words spoken) because in Maryland the Masons are going to run TV ads showing Ben Franklin, Washington, and other Masons from history, etc.

    The Masons in New England area ran TV ads and membership increased by double within the year. We are making sure everyone will be taught correctly and memorize the work accurately.

    I just participated in ceremonies of initiating two young men of college age as Entered Apprentices at my local Blue Lodge and will be involved in passing them to Fellowcraft. I will move up in one of the more senior chairs when they are raised to Master Masons.

    I also traveled to participate to in two Fellowcraft members being raised to Master Masons at the George Washington Memorial National Masonic Lodge in Alexandria, Virginia. It was quite an honor for me. http://www.gwmemorial.org/

  9. Gentlemen- I am awed by your brilliant insight into the current problems plaguing this nation of ours and I am buoyed by the optimism that was shared.

    I hope to see more signs of that ‘turn’ of our current course; perhaps I’ve been too depressed by it all to have noticed and, now, I will pay closer attention.

    I hope your celebration of our nation’s birth was spirited. I am always uplifted by this date because hope springs eternal when one ponders what was accomplished by that singular document signed and dated on this day 234 years ago..

  10. Jack, I say the founders would never have accepted the option of armed revolt if they saw what their experiement would have become. The tories did accept eventual independence (i.e. Canada), but they did it through peaceful means eliminating the insane right arguments.

    They forgot the lessons of the English Civil war, which was very unfortunate, and the more democratic elements conquered the reasonable elements.

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