Today’s MOZEN: America, A Flawed Idea.
I had originally planned on writing a post about the simple pleasures in life that I grow more found of with each passing year — and, how fortunate I am to be having those years.
I’m sure that I’ll be returning to that theme at some point.
However, upon further introspection, I felt that the significance of this day and date, Independence Day — July 4th, was too great to not reflect upon, especially with what is happening to America today.
The United States, at its core, was supposed to be so much more than a place. It was meant to be an idea made real. Despite the fact that the framers of our independence from Great Britain borrowed much from other great minds, it was a truly revolutionary document — even with its many flaws. And, it still is — or is supposed to be.
Dedicated to the principal that all men are created equal . . .
I believe that statement from the Declaration of Independence tells us a lot about the true American persona. It is both bold AND flawed.
The principal of equality is the bold part. At that time in history, a statement like that could mean a death sentence. We still strive for a society that is fair and equitable and yet fail far to often to achieve that goal. But, we certainly keep trying — or, at least many of us still do. That can do mentality has always been associated with the American persona. And, at key times, we have risen to the challenge of defending freedom, here and around the world. Yet, the challenge of equity among our own population still remains daunting, hence the great flaw.
The all men part has once again reared its ugly head with the latest ruling from the US Supreme Court effectively removing Constitutional protection for a woman’s right to choose an abortion. How can we use the word equal when we deny half of our population the so called unalienable right to make decisions for their own bodies?
And, this is only one of many divisive issues that have brought America virtually to its breaking point — add guns, race, sex, etc.
I believe that this happening because we’ve forgotten about who we ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.
When I think of that, I recall an incident that I had with a Portuguese reporter during the 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland. I was scheduled to be her camera person for a live shot to be broadcast from the convention hall to Portugal. We had a few minutes to kill and, speaking perfect English, she stuck up a conversation. She expressed her concern with the fact that a person like Donald Trump might be elected President of the US and the direction he might take the Country. At one point she became almost emotional when she said this:
What is Portugal on the world stage? Nothing. Sure, we have great beaches, history, food and wine. But, world influence?
Realistically, we are not “players”. We COUNT on the United States to be that shining City on a Hill — a bastion of freedom and liberty. You guys may laugh at that and cry “bull shit”. But we don’t. We believe it and NEED you to live up to that promise.”
It struck me then and still does. It is an enormous responsib
ility. But it is a worthy one to accept. It was in 1776 and still is today — perhaps even more so.
It is apparent to me that Democracy is not for the faint of heart, lazy, or cruel. To make it work, to be THE SHINING CITY ON A HILL, we must recommit ourselves to the ideals that created America in the first place: FREEDOM, JUSTICE, EQUALITY, COMPASSION.