American Reform

I like to poke a little fun at Americans even if I declare myself one. Partly because they were there, I was there, and it was an easy target. There are several ideas of America. Depending on how many times you ask the question determines how many ideas you will get. Nowhere is there to be found a single idea of America. Too many, America is what it should be, but never recognized for what it is. Americans often pretend to have much in common with a people that never existed long ago, who lived in an innocent and noble time that never was. This is all done in an attempt to bring, what they call, their Founding Fathers into a larger picture where, in fact, they don’t exist. So they fantasize about reforming, returning to a purer time in history—back to the independence of the past. They celebrate their tough, British fighting, Founding ancestors—pretending they have something in common with them. Lost to them is the certain reaction from any Founder, even the most tolerant one among the bunch, if such a fat, helpless excuse of a man, the kind that exist today, were to dare suggest they shared anything in common. The Founder, whether it be Jefferson, Washington, Adams, for it makes no difference who in this circumstance, all would be just as offended as the next and would demand his man choose the weapon of choice, and would kill such a pathetic character over the grievous insult to his sacred honor.

Very well then, every American has his own idea of America. However, that idea is seldom shared universally – outside of his particular enclave, which is his place of refuge. Its high walls and his fearsome neighbors protect him from thought; relieve him from the burdens of thinking alone. In America, every idea is repugnant to the one who did not think it first, and its form of grotesqueness changes according to the region the observer finds himself. If one enclave is socially, politically, and economically the polar opposite of the other, the more grotesque the idea is. In fact, if ten Americans, from different parts of the land, were corralled into the same room for a day and forced at gunpoint to agree on a common idea of America or die, the only thing they would have in common at the end of that day would be how they died. This would happen even if the fate of every man, woman, and child depended on just a majority agreement. Add 525 to the ten, make the room enormously larger, grandiosely more expensive, the men infinitely richer, shorten the day to a few hours of debate, and this is Congress.


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