The Dying of America

Always things of a human nature, like the tides, the moon, and the sun, ebb and flow.

Always the past alludes us mortals, who turn our heads skyward for some grain of evidence – yet the sky is unyielding to our questions. So we stumble through the days of uncertainty until fate dictates the curtain close, and all is black again.

Each of us who have been born on the soil of the great land that is the United States of America has shared the honor of participating in one of the greatest human experiments of all time.

Finding its origins in the Code of Hammurabi five thousand years ago, and filtered through time, the basis of personal responsibility and, indeed, personal freedom manifested itself through oration after oration. The compilation of written laws, the concept of personal responsibility, the daring equity of many documents such as the Magna Carta, old English Law, and the culmination of the chance, in the defiant, desperate deed of unruly settlers, sparking, in Patrick Henry the ultimate declaration:

“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!”

Time and complacency weather the finest steel, and so too has our union been etched and lost her gilded shroud. We, given the opportunity of finding Utopia, instead, have dwelt in the shadows of the machinery of our great republic. We have found ways to fool her and to manipulate her, and to bend the great collective experiment to serve our agenda. Always, the whole must be the primary consideration, but it finds itself indentured to the few.

The Civil War tested our resolve to stay the course, prompting Lincoln to ask:

“…… a new nation  conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proclamation that all men are created equal  ………..testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”


Our nation was tested many times by war and by complacency, by manipulation and by money. At times we looked like we might collapse, but time after time, the principals of liberty drove men to act as men should act to uphold this great experiment. A current was building, though, even as we grew and with all of the prosperity of our nation, some, still, were left outside of the comfort of Mother America.

“Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.”

Now, you and me, look at our great state! What have we allowed to pass. What have we done to the greatness, the honor, the tenure of integrity? Was it but a beautiful diversion, or did it really exist?

Were we not a nation so great that we reached out to all men and said to them; “You will not suffer torture, nor death, nor genocide. You will not suffer hunger. You will not suffer fear of aggression of neighboring states, for we are the great state of the United States of America and, we will protect you.” 

Could it be that we, the great republic, are torturing our prisoners? Could it be that children go hungry in our streets? Could it be that we are afraid of a small band of fools, who, through some convoluted interpretation of religion, want death for America.  Have all of the veterans of World War II died, and left nothing of honor, or valor, or bravery? Is it, as wounded and damaged as it has become, even worthy of the kind of drive that Patrick Henry laid out in his speech in Richmond, Virginia, so long ago?

I pray that this is not the end of the great experiment. I pray that, Like Rome, some future people do not tour the remains of our capital and wonder what great legions once built such a monument, and to what end?

Scott Cahill

The last days of Democracy

Some eastern religions believe that the world is a balance of dark and light, yin and Yang, good and evil. I suppose that each of our “souls” – constitution, whatever you wish to call it, are, indeed, a conflicted balance.

Recently I have come to a great realization. That epiphany is this;

The balance is Honor on one side and Fear on the other. I know it may seem that fear is not the opposite of honor but, with real and deep consideration, one finds that all of the other elements, hate, greed, envy, revenge, all of them, are resultant of fear.

Certainly, Fear and Honor are always on opposite sides of the equation. They are exclusive of one another. Weakness begets aggression. Strength begets kindness.

The United States of America was, since its inception, the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. We were the strong. We were kind.

Recently we have been taught to cower, to fear the “terrorists”, to fear the “bad people” who will come in the night. We have become weak and we have become aggressors, torturing our prisoners, declaring war at the drop of a hat, even attacking the “wrong” country without apology.

It was not always so. The World War Two veterans are nearly gone, now. My father was one. He left school to enter the Navy to prove his honor, his patriotism, and his willingness to fight for our great nation. He learned to hate the Japanese government for torturing our boys who became their prisoners. He learned to hate the German government because it spied on it’s own people.

No fool could have taken over an airplane with a box cutter in 1950. He would have landed with a black eye, a headache, and the box cutter would have been in the pocket of one of the many men who would have flooded the aisles to be the one who took it.

No man in 1950 would have allowed a woman to be taken captive without a confrontation. They would have thought it unthinkable. Now we are taught to shut up, stay seated, and wait for the police to come and save us.

The lines are blurred between men and women. The lines are blurred between government and criminals. The lines are blurred between the honest and the dishonest.

The police, once brave allies, are now seen as “guards”. They wear guns and sticks to “protect us” but, all too often, we become the enemy. They cloister themselves as a separate class. They live by a different set of rules, at times disobeying the very law that they uphold.

The heroes of our children are not soldiers who have died for our freedom, nor great leaders of history, but rappers who wear their pants baggy to hide guns. The bastardization of our language is in vogue. The hatred of our institutions is cool. Ignorance is promoted from our schools to our streets. Thugs are respected, business leaders are hated. Success through planning and hard work is rejected for the lottery winner or the basketball star. They serve as our children’s idols until the inevitable fall.

Our children can no longer read the Bill of Rights nor the Constitution. They no longer are taught how we rose from a tyrannous repression to become the nation that we are today. They know less of history than the transformation of Bruce Jenner to Kaitlin.

Boys are taught to be soft, girls are taught to be hard. No one is responsible for child nurturing. It is a secondary job to be addressed after work. Women who choose to act as mothers are degraded and made to feel inadequate. Men must apologize for hard work and commitment to their job. They are called bad fathers who lead poorly balanced lives.

A man is blamed, threatened, and prosecuted if he raises his fists to protect one more fragile.

The government even involves itself in our children’s dating, explaining that regretting decisions made, is rape. That the boy is evil and suspect and must have evidence or be found guilty of being human. All of it is contrary to nature, all of it is contrary to freedom, all of it is contrary to honor.

Our law enforcement no longer enforces laws. Divergence from the law of the land is bought and sold in political contributions and is passed in paper bags in the night. Men are prosecuted for crimes that they did not commit to bolster a campaign. Laws are distorted to provide loopholes for contributors. The law, itself is applied inequitably to serve “friends” and to punish “enemies”.

All of it is the friend of fear. All of it is the enemy of honor.

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The question is this;

 Shall we abandon, in time the failed actions of the recent past and embrace the basis that made a nation so great that it once acted as the light of the world … that we here highly resolve ….. – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

(A. Lincoln, Gettysburg Ad., Bancroft copy)

 Are we even worthy, as a people, of the gift of freedom that was so lovingly handed to us by our fathers? Or, have we so deeply failed in our greatest charge that freedom, itself, will be lost to future generations?

Scott Cahill