Where we've come from - Where we're headed
As perhaps that most significant of all American Holidays quickly approaches us we are reminded here at the AFB of why this blog and the ideas it is here primarily to convey was ever conceived of to begin with.
I've mentioned before that our very own Monarchist is chiefly responsible for carrying forth to execution the idea of creating a blog. Something, however, that the readership in general may not be aware of is that though our beginnings were very very humble even by comparison, the spirit of big ideas, of big thinking, and that truly American quality of inventiveness, of creativity; of abject defiance in the face of all the odds infected our initial correspondences right to the core.
In fact, there are many times that I myself go back to those early discussions and re-read them, if not to remind myself of our humble beginnings, to recapture the very force of that indomitable spirit which marked those early correspondences. Where talent was found wanting, we made up for it perseveringly with a great deal of effort. Where education and knowledge and that best of all teachers -actual experiences- suffered, we called upon the knowledge and experiences of our predecessors. We spoke together, we learned together, we grew together; and so it is today. In a word, we were determined.
So you see, we have yet other things to celebrate on the momentous occasion of this nation's birth. And if I may be so bold as to proclaim -things not too remote, nor too markedly different from that of the first American generation to have celebrated the timely birth of this great nation.
I recall one aspect of those early discussions touching on the idea that a twenty first century version of the veritable 'committees of correspondence' might be pursued via the internet. The blogosphere had probably not occured to us then as a vehicle perfectly suited to that purpose, but the idea was gotten out there anyhow, and we always kept our minds open to ideas, methods and vehicles suitable to the cause. There was some experimental effort made in that vein which served, if nothing else, to familiarize ourselves with the workings of the internet vehicle. And so we moved forward; our vision kept intact, our spirits undaunted.
Efforts were also made to connect with other like-minded folks early on in our endeavors. Several contacts were indeed made, and a few of those early relationships which developed still survive to this very day. Nay, they have been strengthened through the bond of affection and friendship. And we're better for it. We're better for having made contact with those folks, we're better for having developed mutual friendships with them, and we're better for having kept in contact with them. We consider these folks as part of our inner-circle if you will. And I cannot tell you how helpful they've been in moving this project forward. And I could say much much more.
That said, I cannot imagine posting under this title without making some historical references to our founding documents and the ideas which inspired them. Indeed, it is these very ideas which connects us in such a personal way with our great and honorable forbears. If only we should come to know them better:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them,...
In studying the founding fathers one is struck by their continual references to the march of human history. In our Founding Document we read these words penned of Mr. Jefferson: "When in the course of human events," as if to say that in the progress of human events their generation had found its place. Most certainly they had. Elsewhere we find such phrases as Quincy Adams's "...is it not that in the chain of human events...," like so many unbroken and connected links theirs was closing up at that moment that the next was forging itself interlockingly into the chain of human history; and so the march continued.
The examples are literally endless. But the idea is undeniably there in many of their writings that the human race had forever been on a steady and a progressive march forward; that they themselves were instrumental in that forward march; that as they looked back to human history preceding them and forward to that which would succeed them they were called upon to take particular care not to forsake their noble brethren on either side of their immediate time in history, or that place in history's chain.
As liberty's torch is carried forward we must also be very diligent to be sure that our generation's mark on history's pages shall not be an ugly one or amount to a simple byline. With our venerable founders we must consult history's lessons while living our own chapter in the book of human story as we must assume that others shall follow taking care to honor their duty to generations past and future, yet mindful that their place is their place, their calling theirs to fufill; that their chapter is their chapter...to be written by themselves. As we shall write our own.
Jefferson's words inspire all the more studious reflection as he speaks in a Peoples' behalf which had found it 'necessary to dissolve the political bands connecting it with another...' I find no shortage of examples in our very time where the idea might justly and rightly be applied regarding this People's political capacity and the connections formed by others than ourselves.
While the celebration of our country's birth may seem something of an inappropriate time to raise the question, nonetheless the day is quickly approaching when we ourselves will be forced to assert that very idea which our forefathers so well expressed in our founding document. But I find in the celebration of our birth as a nation a markedly appropriate time for doing so. Indeed many of us have already done so, at least unofficially. But on a larger scale we have yet to commit to doing so, perhaps in a feigned or a real hope that somehow the existing political forces will turn their attentions back to those who matter most. But who can continue to deny the undeniable?
The bands connecting this people to political entities not of our own making are rather eroding very quickly. Let us be cautious yet decisive as our fathers were in the way that we reorganize ourselves into a newly reinvigorated political force. It is indeed our right, as well as our duty to assert our 'separate and equal station' by the very 'Laws of Nature and Nature's God' that they themselves recurred to.
And with the truth of those ideas comes a great deal of responsibility as finally expressed in the Preamble to the DoI:
...a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Do we not bear this same responsibility as did those who preceded us? Is it not our responsibility to 'declare the causes which impel us' to break the political bands connecting us with our Republican and Democrat brethren? We certainly owe them at least that much. But beyond that it is an historical record of fact that our tradition is indeed to honor this basic committment. And so we shall.
And in so doing let us conduct ourselves as becomes Americans. Let us announce that we shall ever be enemies to any force bent on the destruction of liberty herself. Let us never again foolishly cling to a party -in the face of mounting evidence against it- which claims to be acting in our interests and in the interest of liberty because it is the party of our parents; because that's the party of our fathers. And let us be mindful of, encouraged and animated by our heritage as a freedom-loving, freedom-establishing, freedom-defending People in the face of all enemies, foreign and domestic.
And so it is that this Independence Day, 2007 will be an especial one for me. As I watch and participate in the lighting of the fireworks Independence night, as I raise the flag that morning and decorate the house with red white and blue; as I fire up the grill in preparation for some celebratory gorging, and read to the children our Declaration recounting story of the Revolutionary War; as I recite to them stories of our own struggle in liberty's march. As I do all of these things and more, mindful of the sacrifices willingly made indirectly in my behalf, and of those which we must make ourselves, my heart will turn to you my friends. I shall think of where we've come from, I shall think of where we are; and I shall think of where it is we're headed, believing and knowing always that:
...with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
Happy Anniversary fellas and thank you. And thanks to DW for the use of his name.