Today I am grateful for the American Revolution. What? She’s gone dotty. . .again! No, not this time. We just finished watching the History channel, three-part mini-series, “Sons of Liberty”. Wow.
I’m not much of a war movie person, pretty much despising violence on the screen, but although this was difficult for me to watch at certain points, it was also excellent. Simply excellent.
I wish I could say that I paid attention in history class, but I guess I didn’t. Either that or I forgot it all a few times since then. We must have paused the TV and hauled out the computer a half a dozen times trying to get our heads around the actual timeline of the American Revolution and the events leading up to it. I can’t remember how many times I said, “I had no idea” about one event or another.
Look, I’ve been to Constitution Hall dozens of times and learn something each time I do. Mostly I remember it was hot. Very, very hot! And these men were meeting in secret because each was considered a traitor to King George III. The windows were kept shut. There were black flies everywhere. It stank from sweat and fear. Anger and uncertainty sat front and center. I don’t remember all of the dates, but I remember that.
I’ve listened to schpiels at the Liberty Bell and in the Philadelphia Visitor Center. I’ve walked among the life-sized likenesses of our founding fathers read every plaque on every wall. I’ve listened raptly to the one-man show at the theater in the round. None of it was enough for me to really get what happened until “Sons of Liberty”.
How did they do this? How did they rebel against a long-long established government and build a whole new country? Where does that kind of bravery come from and what has happened to it? If we don’t learn from history, then what is the point of starting a new government in the first place?
Did our ineffectual congress and other government officials watch this series? If not, why not? They should be MADE to! Every elected official should be reminded who they are working for and what our founding fathers went through so that they could have the opportunity to do so. I’m no politician, but I know that if you’re going to be one, you better be the best damned one imaginable. You better put away thoughts of what’s good for just you, or just your region, or just the people who fill your pockets with cash and incentives.
You better get over the fact that YOU are an important big shot and realize that the guy who polishes your shoes is just as important as you are. You better know that the five buck tip you give your hairdresser means something to her even if it’s chump change to you. You better know that those of us who are honored enough to be able to vote will do so every time and we’ll do our homework before we do. If you exhibit dishonesty and lack integrity, then you’re out! O-U-T. . .OUT!
If a handful of men, in a sweltering, stank room, can even consider carving out an entire nation, then we owe it to them to continue making it better. We need to find our passion, our reason to move forward, whatever it may be, in order to bring America back up to where it should be in the world order, because like it or not, it sure isn’t there, now!
And we need to begin with ourselves. We need to be brave. Our founding fathers expected nothing less and neither should we. I am grateful they had the intelligence, common sense, righteous indignation and plain old hutzpah to fight for a new nation and start the American Revolution. The rest is up to us.