I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you so much for your service to our great country and let you know how much I am enjoying your mini series…..again. I’ve seen it a quite a few times now and it always gives me pause to contemplate something new (and old). Without all of those long separations from Abigail and your children, and the very detailed letters you penned to each other, we would never have known so much about our humble beginnings. You gave us a clear window into your thoughts, and most importantly a front row seat to the birth of our Nation. I mourn the heartache you must have felt to leave your family for so many years at a time, but I am ever grateful that the loss you sustained had such an epic purpose. I can’t imagine the courage it must have taken to sacrifice your personal life and place it squarely upon the alter of freedom like you and so many of your contemporaries did.
We need you now, in our 21st century world, to weigh in with the wisdom of your thoughts and experiences. Knowing what you sacrificed to create an independent America, I wonder what you would think of this country of ours with its partisanship, political agendas, protesters, haters, flag burners, and the extraction of God from within our borders. You understood the lust for power and what would inevitably ensue as it flourished. Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few. Your esteemed colleague Benjamin Franklin’s presaged comment echos eerily in the 21st century When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Unfortunately, you were both right.
I wish you could witness the desires to change the Constitutional document that great minds (like yours) labored over to get it just right…almost perfect when you consider the timeless application of these words. In fact, that is what strikes me most blatantly as I watch your story. Many men from different ideologies, different religious beliefs, and different walks of life debated and argued and compromised on the delicate crafting of your words and their potential applications. Your goals were much loftier than yourselves or your own personal agendas, as you sought to unify and put forth what was best for the country. Though vastly different men, you were united in your desire to create a better America. With that purpose in mind, look what you were able to achieve with your collaborative endeavor! How did we get from there to here?
Our lines are firmly drawn in the sand and our ideologies are tearing us apart….from the inside out. There appears to be no common goals or common ground on which to stand and civilly and intellectually debate a course of action. There is a pervasive unwillingness from our partisan groups AND our citizens to seek to hear or understand or debate issues that would lead to thoughtful compromises with the end goal of betterment for all. Instead, our technology allows us to hurl our verbal assaults out into the media nether world with no attempts at real discourse. Each side stays firmly entrenched in their own informational camp. Our perceived and ingrained stereotypes of the others close our ears and our hearts. We have truly lost the art of communication that was so very evident in your time period where iron sharpened iron with a plethora of ideas coming together. It was this meeting of the minds, different minds, that birthed the brilliance of your legacy.
Please lend us your wisdom. Please encourage us to regain the art of discourse through your example. Please help us to heed your words and warnings.
A Concerned American
Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. ~ John Adams