Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Have you ever read the first two paragraphs of the declaration of independence? I would hope most Americans have. I would hope most have read the whole thing really, but the first two paragraphs are gold. If you have never read the document or haven't in awhile, you should give it a look.
Sometimes I wonder, because I'm a bit of a history nerd, what Jefferson thought as he wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Could he imagine the spark that these words and that document as a whole struck would set off the explosion of not only revolution and independence for those 13 small colonies but also the start of revolutions across all of Europe? Could he imagine that those self-governing 13 colonies would become a nation that would one day save the British and rest of Europe from fascism and make the very country it once sought to be separated from safe for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
In a time of ballooning national debt, a long and costly war, a shrinking middle class, and an immigration crisis which still is left without permanent solutions, I find a nice escape in thinking of 18th century America. I also can not help but compare today's leaders with the ones during this nation's infancy. Where are the Jeffersons, Washingtons, Madisons, Hamiltons, and Marshalls?
We are a nation that faces real problems without leaders with real answers. 2,500 brave men and women and thousands more innocent civilians have died in a war with no clear objective or end. Our national debt continues to grow and no one in Washington seems concerned. Thousands of illegal immigrants continue to flood across our border and Congress continues to move at a snails pace on the issue. Who is rising up to meet these challenges?
More then ever we need leaders who are forward thinking and it is our responsibility as "the governed" to hold our leaders accountable for their acceptance of the status quo. On this day of celebration of the United States' past, be mindful of the future. Think toward the fall elections and begin to examine the candidates. In this time as much as any in recent history we need leaders with vision.