An open letter engaging with the future of our nation and its sovereignty
“We are engaged in a battle for our nation’s very soul, and I pray that America wins.”
If that line sounds familiar, it might be because you have, like me, spent much of the time in quarantine listening to Hamilton.
After being “off in Paris for so long,” Jefferson returns home to find the new President Washington and his cabinet arguing over everything from foreign affairs to how strong the national government should be. When he asks what he missed, Madison responds with these words that ring true today, “we are engaged in a battle for our nation’s very soul.”
Of course, we are not fighting Alexander Hamilton’s financial plans, but we are nonetheless in a fight for America’s soul, and America is currently on the losing side.
Since 1776 America has stood for the individual, freedoms, a society of rights and a common respect of the republic. Equality and justice for all. Self-evident truths that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. We share a history, albeit controversial, a culture and an idea.
We also share a Constitution. This document that protects aforementioned rights of freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and many others is being trampled on daily.
While in past decades these truths have been held to be inarguable, these rights are under attack.
Here are a few key examples:
As classes around the nation are beginning, college students everywhere are reading their many syllabi and learning the new expectations of their professors. While most have not been noteworthy, a certain English professor at the University of Iowa, Chloe Clark, included some worrying language in her English 250 class syllabus. It read:
GIANT WARNING: any instances of othering that you participate in intentionally (racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, sorophobia, transphobia, classism, mocking of mental health issues, body shaming, etc.) in class are grounds for dismissal from the classroom. The same goes for any papers/projects: you cannot choose any topic that takes at its base that one side doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as you do (ie: no arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter, etc). I take this seriously.
The last sentence explains it all. By claiming one side denies basic human rights, while denying that same side the basic right to speak, this professor is explicitly contradicting herself.
This is despicable. The one job that a university has is to teach individuals how to think for themselves, not just to teach them what to think. To paint an entire swath of the country as having opinions that are “incorrect” is both an insult and indoctrinating. As someone who is staunchly pro-life, it pains me to my core to know that my beliefs could be silenced.
If the college classroom is not the place to flesh out and challenge my beliefs, then where can I?
This is only one example of how the world has been turned upside down. This is a breach of our constitutional first amendment right.
Meanwhile in St. Louis, a couple is being charged with a felony weapons count after exercising their second amendment right to protect their property from rioters who broke into their community. This is a breach of our second amendment right.
All the while across the nation there is a push to remove the statues of our founding fathers. Now, by no means were these individuals perfect, but are we all of a sudden the standard of perfection? Will we not be judged just as harshly in 200 years as we are judging others now? Have we no sense to take a break from the partisan bickering and realize what we are doing to this nation? This is an erasure of our shared history.
To continue to upheaval, we have representatives such as Ayanna Pressley(D-MA) who aren’t stopping the unrest of our nation so long as there is unrest in our lives. We are living in a time where the Democratic party is too afraid to say no to this outburst of crime running through our cities, rendering both the cities and their residents to burn. This is the destruction of our right to peaceably assemble and safety in favor of progressivism. This is a destruction of the culture.
If that was not enough to make everyone stressed about the future, well there is also a debate breaking out about how safe it is to vote during a pandemic. While Dr. Fauci says it is safe to vote in person, as long as it is also safe to go to Walmart, the Democrats say we must have universal mail-in voting, and that if we don’t provide the means by which that can happen, then the president must be stealing the election.
Everyone is setting up the play for what happened if they are not satisfied by the election results. This is the destruction of our shared political sphere, with open debate and an assumption that everyone is acting in good faith.
Of course, to top everything off, there is an election this year. After Joe Biden picked a right hand man, or woman, Kamala Harris, he pushed forward the future of the Democrat party. After being declared the most liberal senator in 2019, even with Senator Sanders in the running, Harris is sure to push the party closer to that of one in support of abortion, medicare for all, higher taxes, higher minimum wage, free college and defunding the police.
This is the demolition of the freest most successful society in history.
So then what can we make of all this? With a news cycle that is non-stop and a future that is predicted as grim, what are we to do to stop this hurricane we continuously find ourselves in?
Michelle Obama said on the first night of the DNC in 2020, “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change.”
This is the bottom line. We are painting a world in which one party is suggesting that if a certain individual remains in office nothing is going to get better. Is this the future you want? Well of course not, but that is a false dichotomy.
If you believe that someone else being in office could change the United States of America writ large, then it might be time to consider who the problem truly is. If just putting Biden in office could change the entire nature of the conversation, what do we have to say for our individual accountability? Maybe the problem is the amount of power we have given our leaders, and the amount of faith we have put into liberal deemed “broken institutions.”
We are creating a nation where only one party is right, and the other is not only wrong, but must be silenced and demonized. The world is wide enough for all of us to have our opinions and live together. Stop blaming Donald Trump for why the nation isn’t the way you want, or any leader for that matter.
Stop focusing on what the government is doing, make better decisions for your personal life and watch the government start to matter less.
John Adams famously said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
When we make our government our God we have lost this essential piece of the puzzle.
If this election cycle has taught us anything it is that we care way too much about who the president is and what he or she says. This is not what the founders intended. The executive was intended to be a limited and small branch, as can be inferred by the fact that the founders were afraid of another monarchy.
Benjamin Franklin told us that the founders made a republic, but only if we can keep it. That question rings throughout the halls of government today. Can we? Only if we remember what we share.
Our flag is the one waived in Hong Kong for freedom from tyranny. Our Statue of Liberty is the one that welcomes immigrants. Our success is an inspiration around the world. These belong to all of us.
In his farewell address, Washington warns against partisan fighting. Unless we can rediscover our mutual cares, labors, dangers and how good the “benign influence of a good law under a free government” can be, as Washington so eloquently put it, our nation might be in trouble.
Will we be the nation that votes for the party of progression? That promotes “shouting your abortion?” That wishes to silence voices in favor of a monolithic form of thought? That seeks to tear out the country system by system and start over as though they are the first to have ever come across these challenges?
Or will we elect the party that is the last thing standing between America and the socialism of Venezuela and Cuba? The party of pro-life and pro-Constitution? The party that hopes to keep debate and freedom of thought alive and well in this republic?
One day, you will tell the story of election night and who you voted for when the future of the nation and its sovereignty were on the line. Vote like America’s life depends on it. That would be enough.
P.S. if you didn’t catch it the first time, I hope you go back over this piece one last time and see if you catch anything you missed.
Your Obedient Servant,