Presidents' Day Special
Americans have abdicated their thrones. Where to now James?
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Patrick Murphy, (a
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Liz, who works the counter, told me the names of the commonly accepted first five presidents in order and told me she could name all 50 states from west to east. Cool! At 8 a.m. and with my memory, I could not keep up. It was a perfect beginning for my Presidents' Day special.
In George Washington's day, many folks wanted him to be our king. Legend has it that he turned it down because he felt the United States should be different. Instead, "we the people" would be king. As time passed, most Americans gave up their sovereignty anyway. It required too much discipline, honesty and responsibility and would take time away from television. We say the "Pledge of Allegiance" as though it were a part of the Constitution, the document which literally took away all our property and freedom in one fell swoop. Today, people that believe that this was not the case, show their so-called patriotism by buying flag shirts and pasting stickers on the windows of their cars. Meanwhile, Jefferson and Washington's disappointment surely churns the soil beneath their graves!Washington was not the first President.
When we don't vote and don't know the names of our City Council folks and ask our government to insure everything so that we can become "fat cat" lazy, we shame the men who risked so much for their posterity.
It is true that we didn't earn and don't deserve our freedom - not even if we enlisted in the military. Merely fighting for America is not enough if we don't even have a clue what America is and what it is not. Washington wasn't the first president, but few would understand where such a claim might come from. However, our constitution was the world's first constitution. Almost every President ignored it from time to time and almost every generation allowed him to do so. Pretty soon, I might have to say "him" or "her." Unless you prefer to look up the chimney each Christmas to make sure it is clean and wide, you might look up the name John Hanson. That's a name you may have never heard of or learned about in high school. He justifies the celebration of Presidents' Day versus Washington and Lincoln's birthday.
The Most Awesome Job on Earth?
Being the President has to be an awesome job. Most Americans will complain about most Presidents and all Congresses. Meanwhile, given the job, I think most Americans would turn it down, not even worth the pay. Yet every four years, a small band of Americans step up to the plate for the interviews. The parties they hail from are no more American than the Pledge of Allegiance. Never the less, eventually the vote is herded into one direction or another and someone ends up in front, more or less.
Some folks dutifully vote for what they consider the lesser evil, no longer expecting miracles. Afterwards, they all go home, perhaps read the newspapers and listen to the news, feeling as though they've done their part as good Americans. Their responsibility is done. Now it becomes the President's.
Debt, war and crime are still there despite the fact that we have the best President money can buy. Most of us are technically broke and in debt up to our eyeballs. We should wonder where the money came from that purchased the man.
Where to James?
If you believe as I do, that Americans abdicated their throne, remember this, "No man or government can stand if the people don't want it to." We can take the throne again. To do so will require three traits–honesty, discipline and responsibility. These traits belong to individuals, the whole of which can become our society. Only then, can America become a nation, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Our actions will speak louder than our words.
Washington once reminded us that political parties will be the bane of our new country. We must listen to the warnings of those men who served in that most awesome job. From time to time they gave us a peek at the truth. Picking the right mere mortal for that awesome job will require us to rise to the occasion and above political parties. Until then, we will be accepting the lesser evil and still ending up with evil. The world waits with baited breath, for they cannot choose our leaders that control so much of their destinies.
So today, take responsibility. Focus on your empire's "homeland." Take care of business here lest we force less than our best upon others. Learn something new about the world's most powerful men, the future presidents of these still United States. Listen hard to history, then take back your throne and lead wisely. Then, and only then, might other great men in far away places choose to follow.
Michael Patrick Murphy is the author of two books. The Greens ISBN 13: 9780595133055 and The Government, ISBN 0-595-30863-5. Both are available online or from your favorite bookstores by special order. Mike also ran for the California State Assembly in 2006.
Mike can be reached at email@example.com