BY Dave Kleppick
Over the past 50 years, America has been internally invaded, seductively consumed by an ego-centrism that has given our generation simpleminded justification to find fault with the principles that have guided our prosperity since July 4, 1776.
The authors of the Declaration of Independence defined our American genius with one sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In 1776, those 56 delegates representing 13 colonies signed the declaration at a time when America was violently oppressed by the greatest and most expansive empire known to man: Great Britain.
The beneficiaries of their bold endeavors aren’t as much the Americans of 1776 as they are for our public today. Their words promoted our society’s longevity as the ultimate goal with liberty as its driving force. Liberty in every sense of the word – a liberty of which we’ve so ungratefully taken advantage.
Our founders failed in their initial attempt at governing, something our generation often forgets, which resulted in their second attempt being so magnificent.
The Articles of Confederation, our initial system of government, met its demise after a few short years leading to the creation of America’s Constitution. This failure was ultimately beneficial not only for our government, but for our people.
In today’s world, our founders’ inspirational audacity is less notable to our generation than the cast of Jersey Shore. Observe how we’re captivated by our cell phones, iPods and Facebook feeds during any social interaction.
Socializing often revolves around some type of breaking news, no matter if it is intellectually relevant or socially fashionable. No longer does anyone feel American history applicable today, nor does anyone promote it because our generation feels that we can formulate a legitimate solution to problems in society with a search on Google.
Individuals who are inspired to publicly commemorate America’s founding are met with unguided, simpleminded opposition by those who cite flaws of individual founders, such as Thomas Jefferson’s sexual relations with his slaves.
Some of us disparage our founding documents, convinced that our Constitution is markedly outdated and that our initial independence was fundamentally illegitimate because of the existence of slavery.
There’s a reason why some of us, especially our generation, judge America’s founding either to
be politically outmoded or carelessly romanticized. Americans are focused on the right now. It’s not popular to share our parents’ or grandparents’ beliefs, so how can anyone expect us to appreciate the brilliance of our founders’ accomplishments 235 years ago?
We don’t understand that our founders created a society where We are the authors of what is proper and necessary.
Americans have established and, in turn, benefited from so many opportunities throughout or society’s existence, such as free education or Social Security. Instead of being grateful, we tend criticize the time period because we’re ignorant and it’s the “in” thing to be cynical about our country’s past.
And it’s perfectly acceptable to be critical in a democracy. It’s ingrained in our national psyche.
We’re blessed with the right to criticize our government because our founding fathers had the audacity to overcome insurmountable obstacles. The reason we can speak out is because our founders created the First Amendment.
Our founders worked together to create a foundation of documents that are still considered the law of the land and collectively risked their lives to accomplish what President Obama has called “an almost perfect union.”
America is an almost perfect union. We, its citizens, just have to believe in the dream and then work for it. Perfection is unachievable in any society, but our ambition makes that journey a little less impossible.
That’s why our founders chose the words, “pursuit of Happiness.” They trusted us to write our own individual destiny rather than considering our young, passionate public too illiterate or too impatient to successfully governthemselves.
Criticism brings the best out of anything. Criticism that’s constructive and not demonizing. Criticism that’s forward looking and not unreasonable.
Before we criticize our country, let’s step back, think, regroup and ask ourselves if we would have a more fulfilling life or if we would live as comfortable of a lifestyle anywhere on Earth besides the free and beautiful United States of America.
We’re a melting-pot of individuals focused on a pursuit; a drive towards making tomorrow better than today both individually and collectively.