(…and our abandonment of the ideals they tried to set for us)

Old George and Honest Abe must be rolling in their graves about what we have become as a society and nation today, having apparently abandoned the ideals they tried to set for us.

George, who was known to have a fiery temper when aroused, is surely fuming right now with how we have come to ignore his strong admonishments in his farewell speech, about avoiding like the plague all forms of partisan discord and division, lest these erode our unity of purpose over time. Sadly, those warnings were barely out of his mouth when the Adams-Jefferson political wrangles (no less vicious than our own today) erupted hard on the heels of his presidency…and we’ve been at it hammer and tong…ever since.

As for Honest Abe, he too must surely feel poorly and much abused for how we have come to ignore the ideals he so eloquently expressed for us both with his Gettysburg Address, and in his appeals for …malice toward none…and renewal of unity of purpose as a nation…in his second inaugural speech.

Even so, like all other nations in this world, we also haven’t avoided trying to mythologize the supposed immaculate conception of our society and nation, or the erstwhile purity of our history deriving from it. All the while glossing over the fact that, even before we were a national entity, ours was a society of aggression and violence not just among ourselves, but against others as well.

To be blunt about it, as a people we have as much of an overburden of dark and bloody-minded motivations for greed and power as any others, with the only saving grace of having a few golden nuggets now and then of abiding by the ideals our Founders bequeathed to us. In short, our pot is almost as black as anyone else’s kettle, so we shouldn’t continue to delude ourselves that it isn’t. That just shows us to be the worst kind of hypocrites.

Well, perhaps the best way to redeem ourselves, and to be “born again” as the vaunted democracy we claim to be, is for us to now adopt that old hymn – Amazing Grace – as our new national anthem and use its lyrics as our renewed guidance to actually become…that democracy we want us to be.