America and Its Politics
Ben Wright | February 15, 2016

If I were not already a student of our American history -- I might be tempted to fear for my Country.   It seems many Americans are greatly disappointed with the many continuing controversies, looming challenges, and growing inequities in our Nation.

A government increasing guided and predominately influenced by a minute group of self-serving very rich and powerful institutions and individuals piling up huge proportional concentrations of our Nation's wealth -- at the expense, frustration, well-being, and despair of the working poor seeking a greater fairness of opportunity in securing their elusive part of the fabled American Dream.

It's scary hearing boisterous political candidates and their witty campaign rhetoric promising confusing radical breaks from past practices and customary acceptances of the governing elite to unchartered sound bite possibilities and uncertain futures supposedly intent on leveling the playing field and righting some of the more obvious wrongs of intense concern to so many.

And you wonder how all such bluster and distractions would be possible when so many can't even seem to agree on how to approach numerous potential remedies for various assorted urgent pressing national issues, such as gun rights, taxes, national indebtedness, health care, racial strife, crumbling infrastructure, abortion, immigration, climate control, escalating educational costs, and employment opportunities -- to mention only a few -- not counting equally serious foreign and domestic terrorist challenges.

There is little question that our forthcoming elections are going to be especially important, and could be one of the more momentous, significant, and influential in recent years.

Therefore, it becomes extremely important for the most concerned and patriotic to get themselves better informed about the candidates and subsequent issues, so as not to jeopardize their vote on whims and emotions.   Otherwise, such collective negligence could empower less qualified others -- putting them in ruling offices where we would have nobody to blame but ourselves.

We simply cannot afford a continuous cycle of increasing political propaganda helped by a biased media coverage promulgating lies, distortions, deceptions, and dishonesty peddled by public office seekers and career politicians out to deceive and confuse less informed citizens among us.

Whatever the outcome, will our beloved America be in further peril of even more bitter strife, discord, conflict, and dissension?   One might certainly think so with so much political grid lock and deeply divided partisan representatives all vying for elective offices to power.

Yet, even though it might be hard to believe -- so much else like this has already previously happened before. It's somewhat like Deja vu all over again.   The earlier history of this great Nation is filled with bitter dissensions and harsh acrimony among some of our greatest statesmen and notable others.

This is respectfully not meant in any way to diminish or demean what such remarkable persons were often able to accomplish in spite of extraordinary circumstances -- creating enduring legacies and effects of their distinguished exploits and accomplishments.

But perhaps by humanizing such noteworthy individuals, there's continued hope and encouragement for us all -- as many were sometimes similarly ordinary persons reacting with courage and determination beyond what is usual, regular, customary, or expected during the times in which they found themselves.

Yet, even though such forbearers became leaders, movers, doers, and shakers filled with ambitious personalities -- propelled with energetic visions joined with a motivating sense of purpose -- this is not to imply they always acted with saintly behavior.

Their plans, hopes, dreams, intentions, and activities was not always readily understood nor necessarily shared by pugnacious others at the time, whose detractors viciously criticized, skewered, and freely gossiped, sniped, and publicized each other’s vulnerabilities – as they frequently shifted positions to promote their own particular agendas and special interests – while discrediting others.   Some were just plain arrogant, narcissistic, and at times downright nasty.   Sound familiar??

Many proceedings and associations of these earlier times was often filled with rancorous discord and disagreements over everything from States rights, tariffs, territorial disputes and acquisitions, sectional differences, legal and political interpretations, monetary policies, taxes, immigration, foreign affairs, property rights, military ventures, free speech, religious freedom, native American settlements, along with other manifestations of the American character.

A great amount of similar familiarity that seems to exist even today.   Pretty much a lot of the “same old same old”.   Often seemingly procrastinating – attempting to momentarily fix or temporally patch whatever is more immediately required, and whenever something might become too controversial – leave it for another time or for others to deal with.

Obviously, one proposal, proposition, or suggestion will never fully satisfy all concerned, and thus leaves a legacy of unfilled promises and commitments of things to do, matters to be settled, and new understandings to be sought.

But the best practice is to keep on trying – never give up.   Keep moving forward – always building on the shoulders, strivings, and worth accomplishments of others until some reasonable consensus of compromise and cooperation becomes possible.

That is what the history of our American freedom is all about.   A “can do” attitude of speaking out and always seeking a better tomorrow.   It is our inherent right, and indeed our sacred obligation for us all to preserve, protect, and defend such a precious honored heritage.

So do not be particularly disappointed when sensitive issues and quarrelsome questions are never fully resolved to everyone’s satisfaction with any presumed finality.   On occasions we may not always move at the speed or pace encouraged or expected by others, since serious in-depth and informed dialogue among ourselves can sometimes seem slow and deliberate when compared to other more seemingly efficient autocratic forms of government.

However, we still thrive in the right and freedom of our dissensions and differences, where other sinister tyrants, dictators, and rulers no longer exist in the annals of history.

We were carefully founded after long and thorough intensive deliberations by extremely learned others with all sorts of legalistic checks and balances against tyranny, corruption, and abusive powers of others created throughout our newly formed unique representative republic—while simultaneously insuring the maximum rights and freedoms of the individual—“A government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Even so, after more than two centuries of our Country coming into being, we are still learning, and will continue to do so – sometimes maybe a little confused and perhaps a bit mixed-up at times – but always hopefully trying to move forward.

Consequently, arguments, disagreements, and disappointments are going to continue as a valued part of our American tradition of always trying to find new and better ways of doing things – as we regularly struggle to sort fact from fiction and outright fabrication in our periodic elections.

Ours is a history of arguments, discussions, and disputes. A constant collision of ideas and perspectives.   A collage of meaningful differences.

Such ongoing behavioral posturing has kept us young, vibrant, energetic, and alive with an intense enthusiasm for the better ways of life.   Suggesting that if two of the same people always agree with each other – one of them is not necessarily needed – if the other is ever going to learn anything new or different.

Perhaps to some – or maybe even many, our prolonged elections practices may seem an exorbitant exercise of excessive and fruitless futility having no permanent or otherwise enduring results that will continually be debated and argued over.

Forgetting we live in a world of constant change – since nothing endures but change, it is how we react to that constancy of change that will determine our future fate and destiny.

Earlier remedies, solutions, explanations, and forays that may have seemed adequate for a more distant past, may no longer fully apply in this:   a more modern different contemporary era of continuing exploding technology, techniques, methods, ideals; unknown in previous past periods of our history.

We must not forget, nations are made of people – and people make mistakes.   Show me anyone who says they have never made a mistake, and I will show you someone who has never done anything.   We hopefully learn from our mistakes and always seek better outcomes.   It is called “experience” – the “mother’s milk of learning”.   Akin to “sometimes falling down, but always getting back up again”.

We have thankfully thrived in a tumultuous world of chaos, agitation and change, as we have journeyed on to new beginnings through all of life’s many disturbances – always focused and pushing on to new pathways and insights of progress for better things yet to come.

Of course, this is not to imply nor suggest that among the many epics of our increasing growth and development to our present gargantuan size and enormity, we are not without fault: errors in judgment, wrongs, and regrets we wish had not happened.

We cannot live in the shadows of mourned losses and regrettable events we wish had not occurred.  We can only make amends where it is still possible, feasible, and practicable.   It is the only way we can liberate our conscience and acknowledge the redemptive spirit of our being to be more of what we have in us to be.

We must not disappoint those brave and heroic others who have endured unimaginable sufferings, sorrow, and hardships that has brought us this far. It is for us in the now present to carry on and further advance those horizons now before us.

Ours is an inspired faith that recognizes the reality of what is not yet seen, but will always continue to believe in the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of future possibilities that has made our America so profoundly unique and different from all others.


Back to Lew Wallace