America’s Awakening

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another.

Excerpt From: Thomas Jefferson. “Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson.”

Although Jefferson is regarded as a leading spokesman for democracy and republicanism in the era of the Enlightenment, some modern scholarship has been critical of him, finding a contradiction between his ownership and trading of many slaves that worked his plantations, and his famous declaration that “all men are created equal.” Although the matter remains a subject of debate, most historians believe that Jefferson had a sexual relationship with his slave Sally Hemings, a mixed-race woman who was a half-sister to his late wife and that he fathered at least one of her children. Presidential scholars and historians generally praise Jefferson’s public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia.

The thing that has lately awakened in the United States of America is not the utility of face masks or social distancing but rather the utter misalignment of its politics and its philosophy – or what some prefer to label the disparity between the practical and the theoretical. Trump has championed an unfortunate regression of thought – what he prefers to label “Make America Great Again” which has proven to be nothing more than low-level code for what Hilary called the “deplorables“. Everything about Trump is obnoxious – oddly a characterization which matches the demeanour of his so-called “base“. The only thing redeeming Trump and his followers is their plaintive ignorance and shocking lack of intelligence.

Until now seldom if ever have I witnessed thinking members of society bemoaning the direction of their entire nation. Nor is the anxiety unfounded. Trump’s entertainment-style leadership is nothing short of comical – that is, were it not for the gravity of his office. I am still reeling from the paradox and incongruity of fawning members of his cabinet pretending to support Trump in the performance of his duties. It is the material of nightmares!

The fable about the King having no clothes is now commonly echoed in American politics. As witheringly scornful as the observation may be people have yet remarkably not applied the necessity of truth to its toadies. I am yet unconvinced that greed and profit – and the reckless indulgence of its commanders – will be disengaged from their historic manacles. But it is no longer a matter of suppressing complaint and restoring the former condition. There are too many vocal interests which are unwilling to tolerate continued abuse. The upcoming US presidential election promises to be an atmospheric alert to its candidates. Though the American population is still recovering from the incalculable perversion of Trump and his flunkies, the time has come to abandon the delicacy of civil behaviour.

The prescription for frozen debate is not to repeat the childish habits of Trump for name-calling and bullying. Rather it is a mandate to translate the global imperatives of tolerance, equality and cooperation. Americans are on the threshold of admission of the necessity of universal truths. And if this sounds purely wishful then you’re part of the problem! Rich, white Americans are literally watching their country burn – the outcome of both scientific and cultural denial. To ignore the poison which insinuates those manifestations is perilous.

At least we’ll be spared the embarrassment of a repeat of the show by Republican candidates for their presidential nominee. When I reflect upon the performance of Republicans in 2016 it is evidence that looking like a duck and sounding like one is legitimate. My expectation is that Americans will rise above inconsequential conduct and elect legislators and governors who have a sense of social responsibility. The capacity of Americans for leadership and example is no longer taken for granted. But my elemental economic acquaintance preserves a hope for capitalization and improvement.