I have long been convinced that the founding of America was a sort of miracle. Not in the sense of magic or some manner of mystical intervention, but in the sense of what had to happen to allow and cause that founding.
Now that the Republic that was founded is likely coming to an end, it seems only proper to reflect on the why and the how of both the beginning and of the end.
For sure, the establishment of our Constitution seems a sort of miracle in itself and I revere the document and all it stands for. Yet, that Constitution is actually a result of the true miracle and not the miracle itself.
So, what then is this “true” miracle that I refer to? It is simply that fact that a particular group of people occurred at the same place, at the same time, and with a common goal that they were willing to risk everything for. I refer, of course, to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams, George Washington and a host of supporting players. Truly, what are the odds that such a group would coalesce just when and were they were needed? How seldom has such a thing happened in the known history of mankind (if ever)? And, please note that we-the-people did not chose our Founders. They simply occurred, hence the “miracle”.
We Americans are prone to say that we are “a nation of laws, not of men”. While I admire the sentiment intended by this, it is not now and was never actually true. The “laws” in question were the work of men (men meaning humans). They are obeyed (or not), are enforced (or not) by men. And, they have been slowly but surely destroyed by men – through a process of neglect combined with intent.
It is a testament to the Founders that they constructed a body of law so nearly perfect that it took lesser men over 200 years to destroy it. Yet, these very Founders knew at the time that their work would, indeed, be destroyed. They even told us how and why lesser men would cause that destruction. This is because they understood history and they understood the nature of men.
They also knew that what they did was the crowning result of a continuum of human progress toward individual liberty that began around the Mediterranean centuries ago.
We Americans have acted as though the Founders bequeathed to us a gift when, in fact, what they gave us was a challenge – a challenge we were ultimately not up to.
Let us revisit the list of notable Founders from above: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams, George Washington. All of them statesmen of the highest order… men whose combined efforts, along with those of others of like mind, helped create the greatest Republic in the history of mankind.
In contrast, let us list a few of those who try to pass themselves off as “leaders” in the present: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell. Hardly a list of statesmen is it? Indeed, it reads more like a list of un-indicted felons. Yet, however sorry this lot may be, never forget that they hold their positions at YOUR pleasure. YOU put them where they are and YOU return many of them, election after election.
If you still do not get my point, simply consider two famous statements — First, the absolute majesty of: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” then the absolute stupidity of: “We have to pass the bill so that we (you) can find out what is in it…”
To repeat a statement I have made elsewhere in this blog, our Republic did not fail us – we failed our Republic. 200 years of neglect have finally crippled the product of the miracle.
My only remaining question is whether such a miracle can happen again, and, if so, when and where? Clearly, if it occurs again, it will not be the outcome of a general election by the indifferent, the uninformed and the incapable.
Can I tell you the exact day and time that America will fail? Of course not. But, anyone who cares to look can see the sickness and sense the inevitability.
Several years ago, one of my dearest friends developed an aggressive form of lung cancer. Did any of us know in advance the exact moment when his body would succumb to the inevitable? Of course not. Yet, there was no doubt that it would. The same is true in the sad case of our Republic. BTW, my friend’s cancer was the almost inevitable result of the abuse of tobacco, just as the sickness killing our Republic is the almost inevitable result of the abuse of liberty.
Many of the American people have willingly voted away their liberty in exchange for the false promise of trinkets and trash. Yes, many others of us did not actually cast such a vote, preferring instead to leave that task to others. But we all know that neglecting to decide, neglecting to participate, is itself, both a decision and an action. Still others of us cast equally wrong votes hoping to reshape government into a cudgel that we could use to force others into acceptance of some belief system or other prejudice. While frightfully few of us tried to defend the Constitution that was the essence of our Republic.
The bill will soon come due.
Think about it.
Troy L Robinson
P.S. I realize that I come off like a prophet of doom. Far from it – I think humanity’s finest hours are still in the future. But the fact is that nation/states are like any other organism in that they come into existence (are born), they live a while, and then they die. As an analyst, my task is, to the best of my ability, to project the various processes at work within our own nation/state, at this place and time, and try to determine the most likely near-term outcome. I would be delighted to be totally wrong in my current assessment. Yet, I see what I think I see and I know what I think I know. TLR