Striving for a More Perfect USA

The idea of forming “a more perfect Union” dates back to the formative years of the United States of America. The words can be found in the preamble to the US Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This introduction to the US Constitution sets the bar high. Sometimes we get it right. More often than not, we fall short.

The tragic events of last week tempt us to throw up our hands and give up on working toward “a more perfect Union,” but that’s not who we are. I believe most Americans will continue to strive for a more perfect nation.

In light of the hate crimes and acts of terrorism and political violence last week in the United States of America, I offer the following quote from The Soul of America:  The Battle for our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham:

A More Perfect USA
Quote from The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham

 

I also share the following famous words of Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade
Quote from Martin Niemoller

 

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading A Spark of Light, by Jodi Picoult.

If you’re a writer, I hope you have quality writing time.

Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog. I appreciate it! I welcome your comments.

Let’s continue the conversation.

What is it going to take to stop the hate crimes and political violence in the United States of America? What can we do as individuals wherever we live to make the world a kinder place?

Perhaps we could start by living the 39th verse of the 22nd chapter of The Gospel of Matthew as it is translated in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible:

The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”

Many of the people who read my blog are not Christians — and that is one of the unexpected joys this blog has given me — but I hope we can all strive to adopt the above words of Jesus in our everyday lives and work for peace in our families, neighborhoods, cities, and nations.

And we can’t wait until they come for us, because by then there will be no one left to speak up.

Janet

9 thoughts on “Striving for a More Perfect USA

  1. You raise some very important issues Janet, and they don’t have an easy fix. The simple answer is this: The US is in desperate need of change (though most citizens probably don’t see it that way), and the longer those changes take to begin the more painful it’s going to be when it happens. Gradual change would be best (starting now with the issues your blog raises would be good), as the alternative is a more dangerous upheaval some time in the future. Change is clearly in the winds with the election of Trump – the people of the US fighting against the self-interests of establishment. Unfortunately Trump’s not the change that’s needed – just the opposite. The US needs a champion who will do what’s in the best interests of its citizens (not just Corporate America). Let’s hope someone with genuine integrity (rather than self-interest) rises to the occasion at the next election.

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  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Chris. I agree with everything you said except I do think most Americans know that we’re in desperate need of change. Trump won the election by electoral votes, while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The mid-term election on November 6 will surely be indicative of the disgust a majority of American hold for the ways things are going today. Hopefully, the Democrats will regain a majority of seats in the US House of Representatives. I just hope we can survive 26 more months of the divisiveness and hate-filled rhetoric of Trump. His Tweets and non-scripted remarks only serve to embolden others to follow his lead. I’m 65 years old and I never thought I’d see Americans so divided over politics and so unable to agreeably disagree. I don’t know who will rise to the occasion and run against Trump in 2020. There is no truth in the man and he will do and say anything to get his way. Politics has always been dirty, but never before in my lifetime have we had a sitting US President who daily attacks the freedom of the press, tells lies, and calls those who disagree with him names like children are prone to do. I worry about the children and teens who are growing up in this environment and are being led to believe this is normal.

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  3. All true, I couldn’t agree more. What I’ll add is that everything you said isn’t the problem. The problem is the system – the rich/powerful people and/or organisations who exert influence in their own self interests. A very small number of players control US politics (and that goes for most countries I’ll add, including Australia), and it will take a very special person to rise above and work against that. It’s why the US has a history of political assassinations – the protection of vested interests. The issue however is reaching burning point the US – it’s getting out of hand. It’s the same reason Ancient Rome fell. The parallels are scary.

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  4. It’s why Trump gained so much steam during the election – he appeared to come from outside the system and to be challenging it (exactly what people wanted). The truth however, is that instead of coming from outside the system, he is one of the players who controls the system (which makes him even more dangerous). It’s often how dictators and despots come to power. History’s full of such people.

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  5. Yes, Chris. He fooled millions of people into voting for him because he claimed to be a businessman and not a politician. As a political science major, I knew that’s not what we needed. The government isn’t in the business of manufacturing a product. He has no knowledge of or interest in the things the government is supposed to be about. We aren’t all “winners” or “losers” as people apparently are in the commercial real estate development business. He played all those people who voted for him and most of them refuse to see it. If they do, they’ll never admit they were fooled. I’m still in denial that he was elected. It’s just too awful to accept. His tactics remind me so much of dictators throughout history. It is scary how gullible people are. It’s sad what he’s doing to America, but it is even more frightening and disheartening to know how many people have fallen for him and they will continue to try to put people like him in office long after Trump has returned to Trump Tower and his former life. It will take decades to undo the damage he and his ilk have done in a relatively short amount of time.

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  6. You are so correct, Chris. The few hold all the power. It’s what we rebelled against Great Britain over in the 18th century, and now we’ve allowed the same thing to happen here. Founded on religious freedom, the far right conservatives now want to force everyone to adopt Christianity. I’m a Christian, but I’m also all about religious freedom. The attacks on journalists and calling journalists “the enemy of the people,” attempts at voter suppression, the labeling of anyone who isn’t Anglo-Saxon 100% white as people to be hated and feared…. I don’t know when Americans became afraid. As you said, the parallels between Ancient Rome and present-day USA are indeed scary. I never thought I’d see it here. I thought we would have learned something from what happened in Germany in the 1930s, but it appears all those things that my parents’ generation learned have been forgotten.

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