I am often in a thoughtful mood about my nation and it’s role in world politics. Our founder, George Washington warned us about getting involved in European affairs and it, after all these years, holds true for ‘global affairs’.
We often find ourselves in battles and remote wars for people’s we don’t know or for their governments that don’t align with our nations values and ideals. This often happens because we violated Washington’s warning to stay out of those affairs.
I was a soldier, as were several of friends, current family and ancestors. They’ve served many countries and I can say it safely that all believed in defensive war. They would prefer to not attack unless provoked and all have preferred peace and business to warfare. All, I would assume, would support Washington and his premise of a neutral beacon of hope. A gigantic Switzerland who would be the model for the world. And that is what we were for many years: a model to emulate. It was why many a constitution was written after our own ideals of freedom, peace, and enterprise. But you dont see it much now. Not unless we are the ones that toppled the regime. The world’s people’s do not look to America as a free collective of independent states. We are a place to generate dollars, like a casino. People’s rarely wish for our culture anymore.
So that is what I am reminded of this 4th of July. We, in the not so distant past, were a nation of ideals and something greater then our parts. We were our own manifest destiny, our dream made reality because we had common ground and the willingness to let our differences slide for the sake of tranquility.
We can still be that beacon. We don’t have to be at each other’s necks simply because of political affiliation, race, age, sex, etc. We could relearn what took generations to figure out: that sometimes keeping our freedom and happiness means not forcimg our beliefs on others. It means Federalism, decentralization, and the willingness to say that the government that governs least, governs best.
Happy 4th of July to you all.