Reading time – 1:33; Viewing time – 2:39 . . .
Actually, they tiptoed up to the Declaration of Independence. There wasn’t a mad rush to shove parchment in King George’s face and everyone was aware of the self-imposed threat to life and property, should they, ” . . . assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,” and , ” . . . declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Yet they did that, even with only tepid support of some of the states. We are left to deal with that separate and equal station, this collection of individual states – and deal with leaders who now seem destined to continuously knock heads against one another.
Our present lunacy is not without precedent, yet that is scarce comfort, as our politicians frantically race to the bottom of human disgust. Those debating independence during that blisteringly hot summer of 1776 in Philadelphia argued with passion, but they did not pour their energies into rank personal attack devoid of meaning, nor could they have contemplated our politics as snake oil salesmanship.
And here we are, 240 years later, a divided United States.
We all value loyalty, personal independence, toughness, honor, safety, collective pride, respect, fairness, caring, inclusion and more. The sociologists explain that our problem is that we individual humans place different emphasis on those things and that leads to very different behaviors. And each of us is certain that we got it right and cannot fathom how anyone would disagree with us and we are annoyed by and intolerant of the idiots who foolishly don’t see it our way.
Surprise: The Founders had to deal with those same human dynamics. Yet, somehow they managed to create a new and united country.
If they could do that, exactly what is our problem right now?
Go to your community parade tomorrow and, as the fire trucks, clowns and floats, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and the politicians vying for your vote pass by, recognize that we’re all feeling our way forward, just as they did in Philadelphia all those years ago. As Benjamin Franklin said to the signers, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
We have big challenges right now, so it’s time for us to hang together.
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.
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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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