Quote of the Day: “And don’t forget what we’re celebrating….that a bunch of rich white guys didn’t want to pay their taxes.” — approximate quote actually. I’m too tired to look up the actual, but a no-name teacher said this in “Dazed and Confused”
Late night reflecting on the 4th, always a favorite holiday of mine because it comes at the height of summer, the best time of the year even if it is unbearably hot. A bit bittersweet too, as it means the mid-point of summer and the unavoidable fact that the new school year is drawing near. Sure I’m 37 and not a teacher, but I really didn’t like school and I guess the trauma remains.
I’m thinking of the great men who founded this country and considering their motives, pure and personal. I’m sure there were both, though we rarely hear about the financial interests of the icons of 1776. I’m also thinking about how both Dems and Cons like to claim direct descendancy from these men, though the claims of both are untenable. Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Washington, et al were radicals. Radicals with money and the ability to inspire enough Jimmy’s and Joe’s to pick up a musket and go huntin German Redcoats in exchange for worthless paper currency. I’d like to see some radical thinking on certain issues of the present day, though I wish we didn’t have worthless (well, diminished value) paper currency and I’d just as soon not have the populace toting guns–oh wait a minute–nevermind.
I also wonder how many Americans know we won that war because England wasn’t interested in fighting it? That’s right, they were in a war for commercial dominance of the seas and the European seaports with France, our noble ally. That’s where all the good English soldiers and sailers were busy and that’s why we drew a bunch of uninterested Hessians to fight in those Red Coats.
Still, cynic that I am, I admire those men. The famous forefathers and the forgotten farmers. I admire the ideals they wrote about and I believe they meant them. I can’t help but be troubled that these same men could allow slavery to continue and couldn’t even put in to place a plan to rid ourselves of it so the issue wouldn’t eventually lead to crisis. It was a colossal error, and one we continue to pay for today. Fortunately, they did so much right that we at least have the mechanisms to one day get past that and to even address current and future issues that could result in crisis anew.
But are there any courageous radicals these days who can lead and is the citizenry prepared to support them if they emerge?