Whether you have an interest in history or just pay attention when you hear things, you know enough to have the human ability to reason. Even in the face of evidence you do not want to see or believe. Some people will indeed fall for anything, and there conspiracy theories can thrive. Some people can wear blinders so tight they dismiss anything not comfortable to the narrative (side) they have chosen. The rest of us go on evidence, facts, knowledge and yes, intuition informed by history.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day” we have all heard it said. It took centuries and it grew to 20% of the entire world’s population. Wikipedia tells us “The Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history.” It was vast, powerful, inventive, and seemingly invincible; it influences us to this day. For 1500 years it reigned…only it fell, to corruption, inept leadership, division and conquerors.
Within world history, other nations have risen and fallen also. Some more driven, some more angry and vengeful, some led by exploration and movement and some by evil, power hungry mad men. History is replete with carnage, conquering and vanquishing. Our own nation was born no differently (and not nearly so long ago).
When America was born, there were so many wonderful ideals involved that it is really easy to close our eyes to the carnage, the evil and the wrong-headed leaders we have suffered. The systematic annihilation of the native tribes is not our finest ideals on display. Many native tribes and activists have tried to have conversations but a reckoning has yet to happen. Chattel slavery was not an American ideal realized at our birth either. It was hated, protested, vilified and condemned from the beginning; and many Americans fought it all of their lives. We bargained over it, we compromised over it, we lied about it, we embraced it, we were ashamed of it, and we eventually even came to such a divide that a Civil War happened and approximately 750,000 people died. Even when it was decided on the battle field and then in our Congress, the people who believed in it, found ways to keep free people in chains, despair, fear and subjugation. It is just not a pretty time to dwell on. For many of us, it is shameful. The reckoning has yet to happen. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tried and he tried eloquently, intelligently, with compassion and non-violence to bring that reckoning about, but he was silenced in the way many martyrs have been.
The examples of America’s rise and influence in a relatively short span of history are remarkable and we can thank the luck of providence that we attracted and then maintained so many good, progressive and intelligent leaders who wanted prosperity for American values and ideals as much as and often more than power and gain for themselves. While our leadership has blundered, it has also soared and we should, by now, be able to tell the difference between a statesman and a charlatan. The Founders counted on it. Dear God in Heaven how we have failed on that promise.
Did you know that Japan just “wanted to goad the United States into an agreement to lift the economic sanctions against them” and cripple our response to their ongoing expansion? Stupid, vainglorious leadership lead to so many deaths and the first use of nuclear weapons.
Did you know the German people manifested their bloodthirsty desire to kill Jews, Gypsies, and the disabled because Hitler promised it would make Germany great again? Evil, egomaniacal leadership caused such death and destruction.
Did you know Stalin sold the propagation of Communism to “end exploitation and conflict” in the world? Did you know Mussolini promised “to recreate the Roman Empire’s glory” by way of nationalistic, anti-socialist, and anti-liberal” invective in Italy? Power mad and persuasive, cruel leaders who cared more for their fame and power than the nations they “led.”
If you look at every bad thing that has ever been perpetrated by any nation, there is a theme: A bad, evil, power hungry, fanatical or corrupt leader AND people willing to follow them.
It is our national duty to believe in and uphold our Constitution. It is our Constitution, not any leader, not any Congress, not any party, that holds this nation together and tells us which way to go. How we interpret the laws, how those laws “form a more perfect Union, 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” is our decision. Do we, as citizens “ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” or do we let so-called leaders go against it and our values time and time again? Do we stand up to inequality, injustice, bigotry, racism, greed, corruption, malfeasance and even treason or do we look the other way because our party is in power and can ride roughshod over the “snowflakes” and “libtards” trying to point out that we have lost our way?
Do we stand with the courage and conviction of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and the reverence of George Washington for what we know is right and American? Or, do we stand with Donald Trump and haters shouting “Make America great again” by going against our values, ideals and goals? Do we stand in unity against hurting, defaming, lying, insulting ignorance, deliberate provoking and corruption or do we allow it because we got a tax break (as our debt soars)? Can you stand with a liberal if America is at stake? What kind of American are you?