Thomas Jefferson dies.
That is what happens if either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are elected the 45th President of the United States of America. But Jefferson died on July 4th, 1776 you say.
Yes. And no. John Adams, who passed away just hours after his fellow Founder, on that very date, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (that Jefferson wrote), used the last two words of his own interesting and magnificent life to proclaim, “Jefferson lives!”
At the time, Adams was aware that Jefferson was failing, though he was unaware of Jefferson’s death. Regardless, I think he meant that despite his and Jefferson’s passing, the country that Jefferson birthed with his Declaration was very much alive, and, thanks in part to their efforts, would likely be so for a long, long time. “As long as the citizens can keep it,” to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin.
The United States is unique among nations, not because of its borders, language and culture per se’, though these are critically important to any country, the U.S. included. No, the U.S. is unique among all nations in history because it is the sum of certain specific, unprecedented ideas.
The nation was founded on- and enshrined and codified- the idea that all men are created equal and are granted by their creator certain unalienable rights, and that among those are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Natural Law. To best secure these rights, a limited government of by and for the people was established. The Federal government’s role was specifically enumerated, all other powers reserved to the states- and to the people. Republicanism.
Checks and balances, the rule of law and free trade and markets came along with this single notion. That is why the U.S. is unique- and uniquely successful. The government hasn’t told its citizens what they can do, the citizens have told the government what it can do.
Until recently. A bloated federal government now takes and spends ever more money and bribes, threatens and bludgeons states into compliance with staggering amounts of federal mandates. A power-besotted and bitter President openly, willfully, tauntingly ignores the Constitution. We, the people, are losing our First (!) Amendment rights to the banality and intolerant mendaciousness of political-correctness. Our Second Amendment rights are being attacked and eroded with each passing day. If we won’t even preserve these two, the rest of the Bill of Rights (and any pursuant Amendments) could be stripped away with pathetic ease.
More and more laws, rules and regulations are being written and imposed on the American people every day, more and more of them by judicial fiat or other unelected “officials,” in addition to those the Congress saddles us with. And they exempt themselves from all the laws they pass! I won’t even get started on taxation, with or without representation. Suffice it to say the Founders would be stunned and saddened. Eminent domain. Asset forfeiture. Systemic lying to the public.
And this is only the tip of the titanic, freedom-destroying iceberg upon which the Republic and its subjects now founder.
The most depressing thing I deal with on a daily basis is the ignorance (not stupidity, there is a big difference) and apathy of many Americans. The ignorance is evidenced by the sheer number of people who voted for Barack Obama, especially those who did so in 2012, and who will vote for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016. The apathy is clearly seen in those who are bored silly by history, current events and politics, but are driven to a frenzy by an NFL game or a glimpse of a Kardashian backside. Sadly, it is better for the Republic if the apathetic don’t exercise their right to vote, because they are nearly always ignorant as well and easily duped. That is why Democrats stop at nothing to get them registered and carted off to the voting booths.
It is not hyperbole, but understatement, to say that this country is at a crossroads. It is more divided than at any time since the Civil War. It is very painful for me to state that I believe it highly unlikely that the U.S. will survive the vast demographic, ethical, economic and technological changes that are now underway. (The same could be said of the West in general. Hey, the whole world’s on edge right now). If we are to do so, we must rediscover our moral courage and founding values. We as a people have already seen and experienced the “fundamental transformation” of this country. If we decide that we permanently want big government (“the bigger the better if I get free stuff!”) and don’t really care about that Natural Law thing or our Constitutional rights, the rule of law, republicanism or free markets, the United States of America necessarily ceases to exist. By definition. Period. It stupefies me that many can’t- or won’t- recognize this fact.
Oh, there will of course still be a country of sorts here, with something akin to borders, many, many different languages and a remnant of our culture. It won’t be exceptional or unique, however.
If we again elect a big-government, nanny-state loving pseudo-person (who is a known serial prevaricator and almost certainly a criminal in this case) or an actual admitted socialist, there will be no more Shining City on a Hill. America would be but a memory.
And Jefferson would be dead.