Love

…a heart that beats for this nation must also beat for its people…

“He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man’s haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country.”

~ Samuel Adams, Essay Published in The Advertiser, 1748

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It’s not good enough.  Just saying you love America is meaningless.  Love of country, love of anything means nothing without action.  And not just any action, actions that visibly demonstrate commitment to this country and its people.  Our politicians love to say they love America, and that they bleed red, white, and blue.  But do they really?  Is that what they show us when they can’t even manage to perform their most basic job functions?  When they can’t even manage to show up and make our government work?  That’s like saying you love someone and would do anything for them, and then completely ignoring them and every need they have.  Because, really our political leaders are narcissistic Romeos.  They claim to love us and to want to make our dreams come true.  In reality, they think only of themselves and what will allow them to continue to get what they want (usually staying in power).  Real love is selfless.  True love for country means a willingness to sacrifice your own goals and ambitions for the greater good of the nation.  It means compromise and communication.  Sometimes that means doing the unpopular thing, going against the will of the crowd because you see the bigger picture and know they’ll be happier later with the deals and choices you made even if you don’t get re-elected.  Because those with real love of country can make the sacrifice.

The Founding Fathers were big on selfless love of country.  The Revolution itself was really an exercise in commitment to the cause of America.  And the politicians then didn’t just talk, they put their own necks on the line.  George Washington was an actual general.  He went into battle, with all the risks that entailed.  Alexander Hamilton joined the Continental Army.  John Adams and Benjamin Franklin spent extended periods of time (we’re talking multiple years) overseas trying to secure financing and allies for the war effort.  And every legislator who continued working in the Continental Congress was eligible for a noose if caught by the British.  The thing they recognized is: it’s easy to say that you love your country, and that you’re wiling to do anything for it.  It’s an entirely different thing to actually have to do that.  A flag pin doesn’t mean you love your country.  Saying so isn’t enough either.  True love of country is showing up and getting your job done.  Sometimes that’s not glamorous.  Sometimes that even means you might not get thanked or re-elected.  But true love lies in the actual accomplishment of making government work for the governed.

Res Publica

Documentation without Representation:

Samuel Adams, Essay Published in The Advertiser, 1748

Electronic Text

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