I have become an avid admirer of our “Founding Fathers”. The early history of our young country, the Revolution itself, and the people who gave their lives to its outcome, are a wellspring of unending inspiration to me.
It is within these parameters that I say, with no joy and an unfortunate sense of hopelessness, that there are no true patriots anymore. At least not in the classical American sense of the word.
Sure, there are heroes on a daily basis. Members of our military, especially. Men and women who do extraordinary things. We should be thankful for their sacrifice. But none, with particular emphasis in the realm of politics, which provoke a sense of awe and personal admiration for their levels of insight, or for their personal determination to use their given talents for the betterment of their fellow citizens and their country.
The time we are in sickens me. Our representatives possess no qualities redeemable or virtuous. Politicians of our time have deviated from the path of righteousness. A path which their early predecessors left as a legacy for them to follow. One passed down from those who held a personal sense of philosophical integrity, and a deep belief in civic duty. I speak of those which once gave their very lives in pursuit of liberty, who were consumed with notions of goodwill, tempered with boundless wisdom and enthusiasm for the formation of a government worthy of a free people, exempt from fear and oppression.
These visionaries are gone. They are memories from an important past long since vanished, found only within the writings of history books, biographies, or marble statues. They are emulated by no one. The stark realities reveal today’s politicians to be nothing more than deceitful, deviant creatures. Men and women in pursuit of corruptible power. In this quest of selfish purpose, they leave in their wake a path of hopeless ruination, using fear to promote a subversive agenda, spitting on the very cause for which greater men gave their all.
Yes, there are some very intelligent, insightful people in positions of political power. Most end up as uninspired policy wonks: Continually attempting to figure out how to beat the other at that which has become nothing more than a game of dull political wit and petty brinkmanship.
This is not to say that the men and women of our country’s founding had reputations beyond reproach. To the contrary, they were every bit as flawed with emotions and human frailty as are we, as is the nature of human existence. However, even their flaws, more often than not, would manifest themselves into actions which contributed to the good of their intentions, whether or not by design.
Gone are the likes of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Men who possessed uncanny education, vision and miraculous foresight. Whose belief in freedom from tyranny and oppression led them to set in motion a revolution of ideals unmatched in the history of the world. Men who, refusing to be burdened with the heavy yoke of oppression, fervently set themselves upon a path of choosing their own grand system of government, one to be led by the governed themselves. One which was to become the envy of the world. One for themselves, their children, and generations of countrymen and women they would never know. One for us.
The confluence of events which led to the involvement of these specific individuals at that precise moment in time, with each member possessing their own unique talents and genius, contributing to the whole, is an act which I am more convinced each day was set in motion from a divine providence. Men, many times with the unheralded strength of their wives at their backs, who, against unimaginable odds and a fragile populace, changed the world with the sheer will of their hearts and minds. Men, whose courage and conviction, made possible their political and philosophical creations, which have withstood the test of time and the attacks of much lesser men.
Though we are still blessed to be born in the greatest country ever to have graced the earth, it is sadly much diminished, diminished by fear and lies: Its possibility, promise, and distinction held back by people who are unworthy of its creators. People who think their ambitions are dearer than the whole, who value style over substance, who offer up “bread and circus” other than bold and caring creations from their god-given souls.
“Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.”
– John Adams
Let us pray his words ring prophetic, still.