What ever became of the American Dream?
It was a long time ago. It was an act of defiance, and it was an act of treason. It was based on a belief that men could govern themselves, and with appropriate checks and balances, corruption and manipulation could be kept in check.
The revolution was driven by men who were pushed to the limit, who could stand no more, who were so deeply and unjustly constrained that they came to the place where, as was stated in that little church in Richmond, by Patrick Henry “…give me liberty or give me death …” It was an act of desperation.
If they failed, they would be placed onto a ship and returned to jolly old England, tried, found guilty, taken to the yard and drawn and quartered. The death that Mr. Henry referred to was not a pleasant passing.
Our laws find their roots in the Code of Hammurabi, defined by the many revisions insisted on by the working class types, such as the Magna Carta, and then “modern” english law. We plagiarized and bastardized these elements until it met the needs of our little band of tyrants. For, you see we were, indeed, tyrants, terrorists, if you will.
And, thus was formed these United States of America well not quite that simply, but, you get the gist.
So, what happened? We have become a machine bound with rust and gum that hums and makes horrible noise, going nowhere, producing little. Where is our republic? Where are the great debates, the great statesmen, the great consensus?
They have gone where all such things go when a plan is left, structurally similar, to churn on year after year, decade after decade, century after century. The polarization of our two party system even our two party system itself, would be unthinkable to our founding fathers.
The overbearing monster that is our federal government would certainly bring Patrick Henry back from the grave to take up arms and level, again the battle cry “…Give me liberty or give me death.” We have left behind the liberty that these men risked everything to gain against insurmountable odds. We walked away from it for the promise of “safety”, “security” and conformity and complacency.
What man in 1950 could have conceived that Americans would board a plane with our baggage opened by strangers from the government, going through our undies in search of the evil from which they so freely promise to protect us? Who would have ever thought that schools would sport metal detectors and policemen? What World War II hero would have sat with his hands folded on his lap as a man held a flight attendant hostage with a box cutter?
Yet, that is what we have become a bunch of fat, lazy, fools, squandering riches beyond description for another donut or a piece of candy. We have lost our fire, we have lost our selves. A government that is spinning out of control seeks to control more and more until, at last, the only element to be managed is its constituency.
The Republicans dislike and distrust the Democrats. The Democrats dislike and distrust the Republicans. Either would rather lose than to see the other win. The government gets bigger and bigger and demands more and more of the wealth of the populous.
With more money comes more government, more control, the further subrogation of our freedom. We stand on and watch and every day the media feeds the fires of fear and we cower and hope and pray that the “evil” will not get us in our wellappointed living rooms.
Where is the American dream? It is inside of your head. You harbor it. You are the vessel that holds this precious thing. The elements of that dream are responsibility for one’s personal actions and the willingness to allow all to exercise their freedoms in any way that they wish, as long as they do not hurt others. If every one of us awoke tomorrow and thought those simple thoughts, laws and regulations could be pared down to a precious few. Men would, again, act as men were meant to act to protect those weaker than themselves. We would find, again, the tolerance that was the foundation of our nation.
The Federal Government was meant to oversee the few elements that are universal through all of the states it was never meant to tax and distribute with strings attached.
There are so many things that must be fixed for us to return to our position of prominence in the world. The grandest is this selfdefeating assumption that our government is there to guard us. Our government is there to serve us, to provide transportation between our states, to provide a coordinated military for the defense of our nation.
Most importantly, our government is to keep out of the lives of its people and allow them to enjoy our freedom. If we gain anything at the cost of the loss of our freedom, then all is lost and, for myself, I, too, say:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Well said, old man, well said.