One Country, With Liberty and Justice For All

7_7_11AmericanFlagMy great, great, great….grandfather served in the revolutionary war from Mill Hundred, Talbot County, Maryland. He was born in that county from “Freemen” parents who brought with them some of the blood of the Angles and Saxons of England. I do not know what trade any of them pursued, but judging by the address, they worked a mill of some sort along with some of ninety-nine other families, thus the street name.

Obviously, my distant great grandfather was privy to everything leading up to the Revolutionary War and part of the shaping of this country after the war for a time. His children carried on where he left off, seeing a country founded on Greek principals of democracy and the sculpting of a new country. They painstakingly bartered, wrote and re-wrote to shape first our Declaration of Independence and then the Constitution with its’ Bill of Rights.

The most repeated theme throughout all of the original wording and the many amendments is individual freedoms and equality among the citizens of the new country. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is most stressed among the documents in one form or another, and never once is written equality except for…liberty except for…never once in all those pages is anyone singled out of the pursuit of happiness or individual freedoms.

Summarily, not one political party is singled out for smooth sailing down some sort of path to domination. Not one church is designated to counsel our government and amazingly enough, in all my research on my family I have never run across much in the way of admonishment of anyone for being of opposite political ideas, religion or nationality. The ridiculous witch burning preformed by the original colonists was about over by then thankfully and generally, people had work to do just to survive. There was some mention of those pesky “Indians” because they were half starved and diseased from the coming of the Europeans, so they would beg at the doors in the townships.

Overall these folks worked together because they had common enemies as we do today; although we have not understood that yet so we fight the battles the enemies tell us to. They stuck together knowing that each had the backs of another regardless of their origins, or religion much like our military today where division will get you killed. Sure, they ran afoul of each other and slammed fists in disagreement, but they did not consider each other as divisive just for wanting to live in peace or look upon each other as subhuman because they thought differently. The radical current thinking that we need to follow one side or another, or worship one way or another is ludicrous, and they recognized that right off and wrote of it thus in framing documents. Many of them were running from religious tyranny and governments that were given to oppression in many forms. Some were simply seeking a new land and way of life, both of which are responsible for nearly every one of the immigrants this country has seen in its’ life.

The price for freedom: others covet it. Brown, white, yellow, red and black they are the same on the inside and want more out of life for themselves and their children. They leave their native lands because of religious fanatics like ISIS or simple power brokers like Putin or Hitler who push one way of life. Most are starving for religious freedom much like the Mormon’s who came to this country, and our Constitution and Bills of Rights guarantees their freedom just as it guarantees religion will not run our government. It amazes me after watching the strife in the Middle East, which is all about tribes and religion that any of us would choose any religion to run our country. It is a slippery slope in a downpour to go there; even folks of the same faith have vastly different ideas of how to practice that faith.

My family’s independence was won together with their neighbors. They did not single out who was watching their back, they all knew someone was there to cover them and they them. They fought together against oppression and they thought together with their neighbors to bring a mighty fine living for the benefit of most. It was not always easy or even cordial, but they knew early on that if one failed they all might fail and they made things work.

What I see going on today is everyone rallying around whatever is tossed into the wind that day. There is no one with the gumption to stand up for real problems, leaving the ridiculous jabber behind. There are few who will bother to research a given windblown topic to find out how ridiculous it all is. Fewer still care about any of it as long as their patch of grass is not disturbed.

We all live in one country and we are very, very lucky to have been born here or to have immigrated here. Protecting it should be foremost to all of us and the division we are creating threatens that daily, especially economically. We have wasted several years now on division. Orchestrated division to boot; it is time to learn how to play in the sandbox together again.

Leave a Reply