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The Challenge of Remaining American


In response to “We Could be Canadians,” the seeds of our Revolution were sown in England. New England was populated by those who fled the injustices and barriers to survival and free worship (Ireland, Highland clearings, theocracy, and religious wars). Societies always have a contingent fighting for the common good as well as scalawags and scoundrels of every ilk.

Ours is the first government clearly founded upon the principles of government by and for the people, with a Constitution and Bill of Rights to give effect to that rule. The concept long ago escaped our borders and is a threat to autocrats and dictators everywhere. As an ideal it is always understood as aspirational, and in a changing universe any aspiration is a moving target.

It is notable that the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged “Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,” to the struggle for independence. They each made great personal sacrifices toward that end.

Americans have thus far united under the goal of increasingly achieving those ideals expressed by the Declaration. Those aspirations were globalized and further defined by the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the more recent forks in the road to survival we seem to have missed. Now we are faced with existential challenges beyond the political; the very air we breathe may be at peril.

As individuals we are capable of self-defeat and suicide. As a species? Maintaining a vision of our higher aspirations is essential to achieving them.

Revisionist history is fun, but not at the expense of our resolve. A government based on the common good, and the equality of every person as a citizen in a system of self government, is worth the effort to achieve and maintain.

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