what WE THE PEOPLE make of our country is still our choice.
Category: News & PoliticsVia: 321steve • 3 weeks ago • 53 comments
On the first day of practice, the football coach uttered these memorable words to their new team:
“Remember, there’s no ‘I’ in team.”
Such an admonition has remained a mainstay of human activity, sports included, since the dawn of time. The realization that human progress depends upon “teamwork” instead of “the individual” has descended through the ages as a first principle of the success and prosperity of the “species” (men and women together).
Despite this essential truism, the spectrum of American history has been dominated by division, interspersed by rare occasions of authentic unity. This is true even today. The divisions between parties, genders, races, religions, languages, sections, and sects is summarized by the colors “red” and “blue.”
Ten years before the first shot of the revolution, there were scarcely more than a handful of colonists who wanted to break from England. Samuel Adams, his cousin John, James Otis, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, and several others led the origins of the rebellion. They formed the political squad “Sons of Liberty,” formed the “Committees of Correspondence,” and instigated the “Boston Massacre” largely on their own initiative. The Declaration of Independence was signed by only 52 co-conspirators, while the actual fighting itself was supported by less than one-third of the population. The remaining two-thirds were either neutral or “Loyalists,” who favored the British.
The American revolution was as much an internal war as against the Redcoats, where Loyalist and “Patriot” civilians waged a “civil” struggle more ferocious than the regular battles. .... A British Chaplin noted this hatred in his dairy:
“These Americans so soft, pacific and benevolent by nature, are here transformed into monsters, implacably bloody and ravenous; party rage has kindled the spirit of hatred within them, they attack and rob each other by turns, destroy dwelling houses, or establish themselves therein by driving out those who had before dispossessed others.”
Professor Bernard Bailyn has summarized the nature of both sides of the American “cause” from the beginning:
“Committed to the moral as well as the political integrity of the Anglo-American system as it existed, the Loyalists were insensitive to the moral basis of the protests that arose against it … They did not sense the constriction of the existing order, often because they lived so deeply within it … They could find only persistent irrationality in the arguments of the discontented and hence wrote off all of their efforts as politically pathological.”
The Civil War represents the epitome of division that precluded any form of unification that the original revolution pretended. Whereas it is true that all societies have, in one form or another, divided themselves in half, the extent of the divisions in the aftermath of Appomattox will find few equals on the political earth.
The divisions that separated the sides within the American Revolution left an indelible impression upon the political culture, one whose “aftershocks” can still be felt today. The divisions between parties, genders, races, religions, languages, sections, and sects is summarized by the colors “red” and “blue.”
On the first day of practice, the football coach uttered these memorable words to their new team: “Remember, there’s no ‘I’ in team.”
What WE THE PEOPLE make of our country is still our choice.
What do we choose ?
Our personal choice ! Each one of us !