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  • Writer's pictureGregory N. Austin

U.S. Salvation: Civics/Voting

Those 55 Founding Fathers were in affect the billionaire class of 1775—yet they were driven to do good, to give back—to appreciate their good fortune and blessings. They recognized the environment of the market place that made it possible for them to succeed. Now many of our wealthier Americans seem to deny that truth.

A democracy can be befuddling, chaotic and full of cross purposes. But it is still the very best choice for freedom lovers. Who wants to trade that concept in for a loss of freedom under a dictatorship? In a democracy, you can exercise your rights and duties to country, generally unfettered by government. Plato said; democracies pass into despotism. We should try to understand why a democracy would be abandoned. It is probably the people becoming sated, tired of the slowness of laws and ready to give up on convention. They become ripe for an autocrat with easy answers. One who arrives at answers quickly without the need for reflection, contemplation or laws. Many autocrats offer up conspiracy theories that seem to be accepted more often than not. Ex-President Donald Trump has made it clear, he has Vladimir Putin envy. Trump also suggests that the U.S. Constitution, our Founding Fathers and past patriotism to America can be abandoned without guilt. It is like Ayn Rand, Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingrich often suggest, you can forget guilt, forget having political restraint. You do not have to feel compelled to help the poor and underprivileged. They can be abandoned as any part of your civic duty; moral or religious obligations be damned!

In Communist China, 20% of their youth are unemployed. What happened to that communist premise that every citizen will be cared for? The unemployment rate in the United States is currently running 3.7%. Traditionally we have accepted 5% as a winning number. Democracies want virtue shown to one another and respect for rules. Democracies strive for children’s’ safety and a stable military. Democracies believe social safety nets should be embraced. Our Founding Fathers were pro-science and wanted religious freedom. They wanted government to be restrained. But autocrats wake up every morning with the theme: how can I acquire more power and more wealth? Vladimir Putin is probably the richest man in the world. He did not acquire his wealth by using Boy Scout tactics. Instead, he imprisoned or somehow got rid of the head of the oil industry, the banking industry, and most institutions. He became the sole controller of the country’s wealth. So how did he keep that situation alive for himself? He simply doled out millions and billions of dollars to loyal Oligarchs. Meanwhile, the people are all controlled by the state. Information is spun to enhance the autocrats’ position, via radio, television, and the internet; all government controlled.

Is the above what we want for the United States of America? Those 55 men in Philadelphia in 1787, while creating the U.S. Constitution, rejected a king, autocrat, or a dictator as the leader of the country. Instead, they put together a program of checks and balances, wherein the President, legislative and judicial branches, each watchdogged the other. Is this program still working after 240 years? Yes, but it is now politically more stressed and divided than ever, going back to 1860 (the Civil War). The people must come to the aid of their country and stop the disintegration of democratic principles. Never surrender to the con job that a democracy is a bad choice.

Abraham Lincoln is the most highly touted U.S. President by far. He saved the Union, as if by some inexplicable and inscrutable force. Just what was that force? Well, he was a student of the New Testament, Blackstone’s Commentary on common law, the U.S. Constitution, and Shakespeare. Lincoln was well known for embracing common sense. He loved his country. He wanted the courts, not mobs, to dominate an orderly marketplace. He saw at an early age that slavery was a demeaning political aspect of American society. Did he become a one-man band to show the way over how to rid the country of slavery while preserving the U.S. Constitution? He most certainly did! Meanwhile, he was reviled and ridiculed incessantly, but retained his duty to freedom causes and a sense of honor. His spirituality was a remarkable part of his demeanor. He never lacked for a lively sense of humor, used to maintain his sanity over his many political burdens.

Right now, we have a duty to support an honestly and properly elected President Joe Biden, who under difficult conditions, is doing an excellent job of governing domestically and internationally. We lead the entire world economically and militarily. Immigration is a problem as millions want citizenship in our great country. Meanwhile, many Russian citizens are in the midst of fleeing their country, politically voting, with their feet.

Inexplicably and ironically, one of the most popular Americans in Russia seen so frequently on Russian television is former Fox "News" pundit Tucker Carlson. Mr. Carlson long ago saw opportunities and wealth by selling his disinformation, misinformation, hatred and division. Lately Fox News is paying the price for embracing malice instead of truth. Losing lawsuits are arriving, one for almost 800 million dollars for libel and slander, one for defaming a manager of the company and now several more pending. Stay tuned because Fox does not seem to be using political restraint, even with such legal losses. (We abandoned the FCC Fairness Doctrine applied to radio and television in 1987. Should that concept be revisited?)

Do we need a rebirth of freedom in the United States? Yes, we do need a fresh look and reaffirmation of principle. We also need to examine and better embrace all religious faiths in the United States. St. Peter said in the New Testament; “honor your government, pay your taxes and pray for those in authority.” Christ said; “render unto Caesar’s, what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Our Founding Fathers respected and accepted all religious sects. But they put in the U.S. Constitution that there would be no religious tests to hold a position in our government. They had no desire to create a theocratic state. However, they chose to never interfere with anyone’s invisible means of spiritual support.

We must all now find our own way to help embrace a kinder, gentler American democracy. Hollywood movies have many positive stories that enhance a political stance. Five good choices:

1. Mister Smith Goes to Washington (Jimmy Stewart)

2. Fury 1936 (Spencer Tracy)

3. The Oxbow Incident 1943 (Henry Fonda)

4. Twelve Angry Men 1957 (Henry Fonda)

5. Oppenheimer (current)

Patriotism, love of God and country, is seldom a bad idea and every American must embrace his or her franchise to vote. Everyone should realize where we came from and study our Founding Fathers. Those 55 Founding Fathers were in affect the billionaire class of 1775—yet they were driven to do good, to give back—to appreciate their good fortune and blessings. They recognized the environment of the market place that made it possible for them to succeed. Now many of our wealthier Americans seem to deny that truth. They want less government regulation, less taxation, and no responsibility to their fellow man or woman. As for protecting our children and grandchildren from the ravages of Nature cast upon us by human-caused runaway CO2 in the atmosphere, many of our most successful citizens still will not accept the urgency of actions needed. It is as if power and money affected their ability to act discreetly and make real change. We all must open our eyes to the gravity of our situation. We need greed and indifference to be replaced by the great song of America which is, freedom and justice for all of our citizens.

Truth is on trial as never before in America. Sixty lawsuits were filed over alleged voting fraud. They were all rejected and the big lie remained before January 6, 2021. Facts and evidence should always support the rule of law. We must vote to uphold those facts and never embrace hearsay, spin, dis-information, conspiracy theories and flim-flam.

A rebirth of freedom is forced upon us and we must put principle over party. The United States is the great leader in the world that must protect democracy. We owe Ukraine our best prayers and military assistance to overcome an illegal invasion from Russia.

Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the Civil War offered a proclamation for Thanksgiving. A line in that document said, we: “……fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purpose as to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.” Now of course we have Thanksgiving as a national holiday. We must pray for the safety of our U.S. Constitution.

We have had much more than our share of blessings in the past 240 years, now we must reaffirm our future by imitating so many of our past successes.

Post Script: The above was written before the most recent August 3rd indictment of Donald J. Trump. The author remains certain that our country will come out of this chaos through the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and accountability for every citizen rich or poor.

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