In Jan. 3 IssueRussell County News
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve…"
That is what I type any time I'm trying out a new keyboard; no quick foxes or lazy dogs for me.
As a young person, I purchased a fake parchment copy of that document, the Declaration of Independence, as well as the Constitution & Bill of Rights.
I read them. I re-read them. They were interesting. It was not, and is not, just that the writing was masterful. Those who helped to draft these documents believed in the just nature of their cause. They believed in freedom as much as they believed in responsibilities.
A freedom from government abuse and a responsibility to build a government that would protect them from it and from each other.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…"
No one was better than anyone else was. True that one was a little more of an ideal than a reality when it came to some people, but we straightened that one out in the end. A great nation founded by people who believed in the ideals was able to fix many things.
When I read all of this Richard Millhouse Nixon was still living on Pennsylvania Avenue and the public had yet to hear of G. Gordon Liddy and the rest of his ilk.
I sat there and I watched Nixon give the "Rose Garden speech," and as I reflect on that period, it wasn't the breakins, or the cover-ups or any of the rest of it that truly destroyed the dream for me.
What really did in my opinion of the people who govern at our behest is the commentary that came out in defense of Nixon; "Everybody does it he just got caught."
Even typing those words now causes my stomach to churn.
We were a nation of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and all the others who thought first of the ideal they sought to perfect and then of themselves. We became a nation of Nixon, Cheney and Blagojevich.
We have fallen, as a nation, from the true faith. We no longer truly believe in the ideals that we still espouse.
I look back now at those men, those we call the founding fathers, and I wonder if we can reclaim that position. Can we re-take the moral high ground where it counts?
I'm not talking gun-lobby or anti-pro-life or any other political issue. I'm talking about the ideals
• That everyone is as worthy as everyone else
• A person's word is their bond
• No one has the right to benefit from the misery of others
• Everyone has the right to believe as they like, to say as they believe but no right to force others to believe as they do
• The common good, be it of family or nation, is more important than that of the individual, but the common good includes every individual.
We were a people who believed in majority rule with rights for the minority. There was and is so much more, but it all comes down to this, can we live the ideals we hold, or held, most dear.
It is another year. There are signs of change. The time we move into will be a time that casts the mold for our future as a nation and even as a planet.
With which group of men will those in the future lump us, the founders or the faltered?