In these days of Covid-19 I have been observing, reading, and watching how we are responding to this virus. In some ways I have seen creativity on social media, a fury of doctors and nurses trying to battle this deadly disease and companies converting their assembly lines to provide life saving vents, PPE’s, and other vital supplies. This is the true spirit of America, a spirit of the pioneer, the rebel and the spirit of ingenuity that built this great nation, “the City on a hill.” However, I can’t help but see the deep issues that divide us and that terrifies me. I am not worried for myself but for the world that my kids and grandkids will live in.
When I look at our great history as a nation from Jamestown to the days after 9/11 I see a spirit of unity, cooperation and patriotism. When the King of England tried to bring down his tyranny on the Colonies the Boston Tea Party erupted and ushered in the events that lead to the American Revolution. When slavery raised it’s ugly head after 200 years brothers fought against brother and the Union was preserved and slavery abolished. During the days of WW II our nation was welded together as never before. Two million women went to work in factories and produced billions of bullets, hundreds of thousands of planes and tanks, and life giving supplies that would help our nation push back the Nazi’s and the Imperialism of Japan. Whatever needed to be done was done to preserve our great nation. The nation came first and the preservation of the whole was a higher ideal that the individual. Then, we conquered inequality in the early 1960’s when a black pastor, Martin Luther King Jr., called our nation to live up to the ideals written in our own Constitution, “that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator….” We bonded together and turned back the evils of “Jim Crow” and prejudice. By the end of that decade America would put a man on the moon. That event would usher in technology like, PC’s, cell phones, and microwaves to name a few. In the 1980’s Ronald Reagan gathered our nation together and with a dogged persistence brought down the wall that divided east and west. The Soviet Union would soon be dead and the evils of that oppression would soon be relegated to the “ash heap” of history. Finally, on 9/11, another day that will live in infamy, terrorist tried to blow up our Republic. Their deadly and hateful brand of religion was unmasked for the world to see. Something happened that day as those buildings fell. As those buildings fell into ash piles in the shadow of Lady Liberty, America rose up out of the ashes. Instead of blowing up our republic it welded us together, stronger, determined, and for a time, nicer.
So, as you can see, every time America has faced a challenge or threat, she has met it head on with grit and tenacity. Why? America is an ideal, the great experiment, and a bastion of freedom. It is an example of what “can be” when the shekels of tyranny are broken.
As I look to our current time I am quite shaken by our response as a nation. Our leaders going to their partisan corners and fighting like 2 year olds have embarrassed me. I have been shocked by many of our governors thinking their executive orders are law. What is more shocking; as our media primes the pump of fear, the masses blindly follow. We have forgotten that they (government) derive their power from the “consent of the governed. I am appalled by local judges acting like dictators. Watching people being locked away like common criminals for safely opening their business is the most “un-American” thing I have seen in my life. The Governor of New Jersey when asked how an executive order can trump civil liberty, responds, “That is above my pay grade.” Ladies and gentlemen that is the answer of a tyrant. Local mayors of our urban centers are telling people that they can only walk on wet sand at the beach. Do people have to hover to the ocean? We have leaders that are telling their constituents to report people going out of their homes. That sounds more like Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia than America. I am afraid we have a whole group of people that forgot or don’t care about our Constitution and the civil rights and liberties it provides. I, for one, will not surrender my civil liberties to overlords who care only about power and lining their pockets with filthy lucre. I cannot be silent any longer on these issues. Locally, in our own state, a judge ruled that school district employees could not stand, bow their heads and close their eyes at sanctioned district events. We cannot surrender our rights to judges who rule with political ideology or all of our rights and liberties will be erased. Every schoolteacher who names the name of Jesus should be writing their representatives. It is your time to shine teachers. We stand with you.
Finally, I am saying these things for my children, and grandchildren. I write these things for your kids. I want to remind all Americans to unite together under the umbrella of our past. Look to the examples of Jefferson, Adams, Tubman, and Reagan. A wise man once said, “If we forget the lessons of history we are doomed to repeat them.” I write these words for those who came before me to give me the right to write these words. We owe them a debt of gratitude, (from the early settlers, pioneers, revolutionaries and freedom riders of the 1960’s), which can never be repaid. I do not write these words as a conservative or liberal, I write them as an American. We have fought monarchs, tyrants and communist in our history, and won. We won because we bonded together over the one thing we have in common as Americans, Freedom.