Is it silly that I feel so sad over S&P’s downgrade of the US credit rating? Like a lifelong friend who has fallen on hard times, I feel profoundly sad for my country. I literally almost want to cry. I don’t even have the heart to place the blame tonight, but I’m sure it will be back tomorrow. :) My husband and I have discussed what we will do in a “worst case scenario” of rising interest rates and a falling economy, and I firmly believe that the two of us will be just fine.
But it isn’t just about us, it’s about not only this nations prosperity, but it’s promise. It’s about being a beacon of freedom and opportunity for the whole world over the last two hundred years. What if that beacon were to go out? What if we can no longer afford to “keep the world safe for Democracy?” Who will take our place – China? Russia? An Islamic Caliphate in tandem with them? Can you even imagine what such a world would look like? Do you even want to?
A credit downgrading isn’t the end of the world, but I’ll tell you what is: a day I hope to never see, a day when the majority of Americans lose faith in themselves and each other. There are some in our country who place all faith in government, who will give all to protect and defend it. Not the Constitution, not the American spirit, but the inevitably corrupt group of lawmakers and leaders who simply cannot be the men and women we wish them to be. Who simply are imperfect, corruptible, human beings. Robert Burns puts is best, but I’ve “Americanized” it for you:
I’ll not say men are villains all:
The real, hardened, wicked
Which have no check but human law,
Are to a few restricted;
But oh! Mankind are very weak
And little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It’s rarely right adjusted!
Or as James Madison put it:
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”
Those who would put all faith in government, not only fundamentally misunderstand the American system of government and more importantly, the rational behind it, they fundamentally misunderstand or are ignorant of, human history, and even human nature.
So where can we put our faith? In ourselves, in each other, and most importantly in our creator. Remember – the one endowed us with certain inalienable rights? In case some out there might be tempted to believe such a concept “so 200 years ago” or (heaven forbid!) a Republic concept, John Kennedy said it this way: “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God”
Now I know there are those who will think this is all hilarious, over-wrought, and ridiculously sentimental, but I just don’t care, I love this country and I am proud to do so. I’m honored to be an American. For all her faults I believe she has done more good for more people than any nation in history. I believe her spirit is one of goodness and true hope.
Unfortunately, we have tough times ahead, but we’ve been through tough times before. Always remember, that while the “leaders” have influence, it is the people who make this nation great. It wasn’t the leaders who settled the west, created the inventions that propelled the country ahead, stormed the beaches at Normandy, or taught a new generation to love their country. It has always been the American people, unfettered by the chains that bound those in other nations, who have driven every step forward, and every success. And it will be again. If we believe. So I am praying tonight for every soul in this nation to find the true spirit of America within them, and for God to once again “bound thy good with brotherhood.”