Once again, it's Independence Day in the US, and once again, I'll encourage everyone to watch the John Adams miniseries. John Adams often gets short shrift in history, but he was truly a dynamic figure, and he was completely dedicated to his cause. The Boston Massacre case could have destroyed his career, but he took it anyway because he believed in everyone's right to a fair trial under the law. For just a moment, ponder the gravity of that risk. Then ask yourselves who among us would be willing to take such a risk now. How many would set aside their personal gain for an idea?
These are the times that try men's souls, as Thomas Paine once said - over 200 years ago. That should give you a clue that our country has never been completely free of trying times. The times are always trying; it's only the issues that change, and even then, they don't really change all that much. In 2012 we still have concerns about the state of the economy and the reach of the government's control. Political campaigns were just as vitriolic then as now, even without the influence of social media.
Our country isn't perfect, because we aren't perfect. It can only be as good as we are, and as mere humans, we are inherently flawed. Our history isn't pretty, but it's made us who we are, for better and for worse. I can only speak for myself, but I'm happy to be here. And if you're not - well, stop flapping your jaws about how we're going to hell in a handbasket, and start doing something about it.
John Adams did.
Till next time ---