More On “What Happened?”

What happened to America?  What happened to our parents’ and grandparents’ America?  What happened our Founding Father’s America? 

Today burgeoning numbers of notions and actions, unimagined as little as a generation back, fly in the face of fundamental precepts of a country committed to “establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

A laundry list:  

  • Following a five-decade decline, in 2020 America’ nineteen-thousand firearm deaths eclipsed every year in history.  Ten-thousand gun-related deaths in the first eight months of 2021 exceeds 2020 by 24% and 2019 by 49%!
  • Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacists openly challenge America’s commitment to the equality of all persons regardless of religion, ethnic, national origin, gender, and sexual orientation
  • Until a quarter-century back, few Americans did not have shelter, however humble.  Today the tents, tarps, and packing crates of homeless Americans crowd sidewalks and hunker beside freeways.
  • Global Warming is tragically and scientifically obvious.  Assuring us the Earth, “will cool off” President Trump pulled America out of a Global Initiative to limit greenhouse gases.
  • Swallow QAnon’s and other wacko groups’ groundless, wholly unsubstantiated claims, perhaps a third of our citizens believe that some “Deep State” conspires to control America and the World.  By this logic, or lack thereof, I might argue that Donald Trump kisses up to Vladimir Putin because Vlad has video of Don ruffling the sheets with Soviet Sweeties.  Lacking evidence: witnesses, hookers’ depositions, the video, this is merely one man’s unsubstantiated hypothesis.
  • After two centuries of vaccination eliminating or controlling scores of diseases, tens-of-thousands refuse safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in favor of horse medicine! 
  • As Jowl Street sets records and Corporations and Billionaires pay no taxes, an overstressed Middle Class picks up the tab.
  • January 6, 2021, President Donald J. Trump orchestrated and ordered a seditious attack on our Capitol, Congress, and Constitution.

In 1587 Sir Walter Raleigh founded the first English outpost at Roanoke Island on the eastern shore of what became North Carolina.  After three years, a supply vessel discovered the Roanoke Colony mysteriously, swallowed up by the Wilderness.  Three decades later, on today’s Cape Cod Bay, Puritan Separatists’ established the first permanent European foothold in the Western Hemisphere.  From the onset it was obvious that to survive in this New World individual’s needs and preferences must serve the “common good.” 

Over two-and-a-half centuries of conquering, exploiting, and colonizing, America’s survival depended on understanding that, while individuals and factions would disagree and even clash, we must pull together.  We each must be prepared to sacrifice, suffer, or die in service to the Common Good!

Maybe it’s nostalgia.  Maybe I’m just a crotchety old man, but my sense is, since around the turn of the century this vital precept of codependence has seriously eroded.  Previous generations passed to us a wonderous, prosperous country.  Today, more and more Americans feel no commitment for the  common good.  It’s “everyone for him- or herself.”  Some American take American’s privileges as an entitlement, a birthright, with no thought or obligation to contribute, even sacrifice and die for the Common Good. 

Thankfully the majority of Americans, right and left, are in there slugging it out, raising families, paying taxes, doing right for themselves and each other.  

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