Home of the Brave?

I think not…and I mean, I know thinking is arduous in a nation where education isn’t exactly a priority, but let’s give it a try…

“The true source of our sufferings, has been our timidity.”

WE have been afraid to think. We have felt a reluctance to examining into the grounds of our privileges, and the extent in which we have an indisputable right to demand them against all the power and authority, on earth. And many who have not scrupled to examine for themselves, have yet for certain prudent reasons been cautious, and diffident of declaring the result of their enquiries.”

~ John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, October 1765 (emphasis added by me)

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WE are cowards.  Oh, certainly, we are all too willing to fight all day and every day over a long list of meaningless little quibbles.  Silly, stupid, partisan talking points that are repeated endlessly amongst the populace and in the media that at the end of the day really don’t amount to much.  And we certainly fight our share of wars, for better and for worse.  But when was the last time we hauled ourselves away from our computers and televisions and desks to hunker down for the long fight over the important things?  To research and read and actually think about the rights and the freedoms we have been given by our forbearers, objectively, without filtering it through our own bias?  When was the last time we did something more than share something on Facebook or forward an email when we believed our rights were being trampled?  When was the last time, WE THE PEOPLE, actually got up, demonstrated and demanded that our representatives actually represent us or our leaders actually lead?  We all know it’s what they are supposed to be doing.  Every single person of voting age that I know shakes their head and sighs over Congress and how they can’t seem to get anything done.  Or how when they do finally do something, it ends up being completely bastardized by the process, and therefore utterly useless.  And yet, WE put up with it.  We allow it to continue.  WE, the ultimate resting place of political power in this great country, permit the status quo to continue because WE DO NOTHING.

John Adams penned the above quote in 1765.  1765….thats right, you read that right, thats a whole decade before the Declaration of Independence was penned.  The Revolutionary War didn’t even seem like it was on the horizon at that point because for the most part, the people, though unsatisfied and deeply against their government’s actions, were unwilling to do anything about it.  Actually thinking about what was going on, getting involved, doing something, all seemed too much or too hard to do.  At that time, Adams was one of the few who was talking about it.  He was trying to get people to see that if they kept ignoring the problem and doing nothing, then not only would nothing ever change, but it would undoubtedly get worse.  And it did.  It got a whole mess of a lot worse before it got better; before we got to the point of winning a bloody war and establishing our own nation.  The rest of those precious few willing to think and do and at least TRY are well known to you, Dear Reader.  Like Adams, they would eventually become the Founding Fathers.  The Founders were men who knew that something needed to be done even before things got bad.  Maybe if anyone had listened early enough, there was a small chance that change could have still been accomplished more peaceably.  But no one was willing to think, and no one was willing to do anything.    What made the Founders different and special was that they were men willing to stand up, willing to think and speak and do.  They didn’t back down because it took too much time or was too hard or they had other things to accomplish.  Because real courage and conviction takes more than staring at a computer screen.

 

Res Publica

Documentation Without Representation:

John Adams’ A Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, No. 3 & 4

Electronic Version Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society

http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde/portia.php?id=PJA01d068

http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde/portia.php?id=PJA01d069

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