Friday, February 8, 2013

Lives, Fortunes, Sacred Honor

"In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere
must and shall choose a path of social justice...
The path of faith, the path of hope,
and the path of love toward our fellow man. . . .
I never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people
and that I have been given their trust."
~~ FDR ~~

Photograph: Purdue University, 11 September 2012

A guest blog from my brother,
Bruce L. Carriker, political scientist:

Last week I was in Philadelphia. I stood in the room where a collection of radicals voted to declare independence from England. Though I've been there many times, it is always a moving experience to stand in that place.

Today, I visited the National Archives. I saw the finished product of their efforts, worn and faded, nearly illegible. Fortunately, there are multiple, fully legible reproductions nearby.

Thinking about those giants and what they did -- reading the words they chose to express the will of a new nation -- I was ashamed and embarrassed for what passes as a Congress today. Certainly there were disagreements -- strong disagreements -- over the issue of independence, and the form a new nation would take. They disagreed over a strong federal government, or sovereign states with little more than a figurehead national government. They disagreed over slavery. Some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence disagreed on independence. But, when it was all said and done, they pledged to one another their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

Can anyone, for one second, imagine Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor pledging to one another their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor?

Embarrassed and ashamed. That pretty much sums it up.

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