To my Dear Great-grandchildren,
As I sit here in the year 2019 and think of you, I realize that unless I am granted a miracle of an exceptionally long life, longer than anyone can really hope for, I will never get to meet you in person. In fact, being a practical person, I realize with some discomfort, that the closest we will ever really come will be if you visit my grave site at some point in the distant future as you explore your family history.
It is in this vain that I write these words in this letter, as a way to connect with you. We are after all direct blood line family members; you are the children of my children’s children and because of that I confess I do feel connected to you even if you have not yet been conceived.
If you will excuse the mental meanderings of a man in his late 50’s as he realizes his time on this earth is not eternal, even if his spirit is, and his soul demands justification. I suppose my beloved great-grandchildren, that I am trying to avoid a difficult topic which I feel is incumbent on me to bring up; that being my apology for what my generation has allowed to happen to this great nation that you now find yourself struggling in under the yoke of a socialist existence.
It is clear that it is my generation that allowed the great American experiment to come to an end, thereby permitting the emergence of the world you must inhabit. This realization has led me to ask what I would say to you if we ever did meet face to face. Unfortunately opening that can of worms unleashes a barrage of feelings, not the least of which is guilt.
I am sure, as you go through your daily struggle for simple survival in a world of complete equity in the socialist utopia that developed in the absence of freedom, devoid of the pains of the capitalist system it replaced, that you must cast your thoughts back to me and my fellow travelers who presided over the fall of liberty and freedom and you must think poorly of us.
This is a truth that I, nor my brother and sister Americans holding power in the early part of the 21st century cannot escape and hence my Mea Culpa and the reason I write to you from the past.
As I pondered how I could explain the fall of such a great nation as was America and find some reasoning to explain the rise of the cruel system you now live under, I must call your attention to some basic realities of the human condition and the nature of man in my defense, though by no means do these facts exempt me from the responsibility that I held as the great American experiment began to slide into decline.
Mankind has a clear history that can be observed in any of the great books, be they actual historical records or those that otherwise portray historical events, but I apologize for my politically incorrect commentary thus far, I am clearly addressing mankind and womankind, I know words are very painful to those of your age and my insensitive opening of this paragraph using such an inane and patriarchal term as mankind as the singular descriptive word is a fault of my age.
My faux paus and inarticulate phraseology aside, my point is that man…. Human beings are prone to live their lives under the strict control of patterns. In this case, that pattern is to live under tyranny.
Our history is replete with examples of kings, czars, emperors, dictators and in the modern anti-septic parlance, chairman of the people’s party, where these strong men have risen to rule with absolute power. With this power they have provided very little benevolence to the people over whom they lord, and in fact they have created a situation for the average person that made life equal, but difficult to say the least as I’m sure you can attest to.
It is this pattern of human behavior that reveals a weakness in humanity that has assailed our existence since the beginning. It is difficult to find any example of a leader with complete power that has used that power to lead his people to prosperity. In fact, I can only think of one example where a leader with total power is a benefit to humanity, and that is the promised paradise offered to us by the lord our God, unfortunately, we as a people, have also ignored this opportunity to our peril.
The examples of life under the tyrannical type of system are also quite evident. We can see the suffering of people in the kingdoms of Europe over the centuries, and keeping a more modern perspective on things, the rise of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communist party and the blatant example of Venezuela as it imploded into flames and death taking many innocent lives with it.
It is this example of Venezuela that, as perplexing as it is, was an example of a potential Utopia that the destroyers of my age looked at with a blind eye and a hopeful heart as they drove the United States off the proverbial cliff.
I know I may be wandering, but I ask you to allow me to gather my thoughts; defining how we allowed the greatest land of freedom and liberty to wither and die is a daunting task. When you add to that task the burden of guilt we carry, it makes focus difficult. I will non the less continue on this road.
Since, as my supposition that human nature calls us to live under tyranny states, it was always a potential that the United States could fall into that trap and slide into a tyrannical form of government. What then, you may be asking yourself, was the set of factors that allowed for the birth of American and formation of such an anomaly of human existence in the first place and then what allowed it to thrive for several hundred years?
This is an answer I can provide in the form of one word: Patriot.
A patriot, and specifically an American Patriot was a breed of human being that had not been known until the creation of the country in the 1700’s. That is not to say that there had not been good and decent people living in countries all across the globe, of course there were.
An American Patriot set himself and herself apart from all who had come before them in the way they declared and fought for their freedom.
It is with a clear view of history that we see the simple declaration of free nation is not all that is required for liberty and justice to take hold. There were other attempts at such a proposition by other peoples, but they were crushed by the tyrant before they could grow.
The American Patriot, in a unique way, not only fought the initial battle for freedom and justice but continued to fight for that freedom every day over the course of the nation’s life in the face of every threat. The blood of American Patriots has been spilled by every generation in the cause of freedom without reservation.
This is what made the American people not only unique, but worthy of praise and the hope for all people. There are countries and peoples all across the face of the earth that live and breathe only because of the dedication and sacrifice of American resolve. The cemeteries of the world hold the remains of the greatest heroes to have ever lived, Americans, who gave their lives not only for the liberty of their own country and families but for the countries and families of strangers who yearned to live free as the Americans did. While all men and women are created equal and are children of a loving God, it is the American Patriot that set the new standard for what it means to be free and pursue the highest goals as that loving God had set.
Here my great-grandchildren was the secret to our freedom, it was our people. The blood in your veins is the blood of those same patriots.
So how then did we let this slip away from our grasp?
This is the crux of the question. It is here that I have to call upon another truth. It is rare that anything worth having simply stops being worth having, like freedom and liberty. Instead a people will lose their focus when liberty and freedom as so prevalent in their lives; it is really a slow drip that drains the pool of freedom.
Maintaining freedom is no easy task, it must be tended and nurtured and loved. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, a great American Patriot and forefather, you may know him not as I describe but rather as he became to be known: an old dead white guy who owned slaves, this is the incarnation of him that began to form as we drifted downward and has no doubt made it to you in whole. Jefferson once said- “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.
While this saying may seem like pure patriarchal rhetoric meant to suppress everyone but Jefferson and his like, it really expresses the reality of living in a land of freedom and liberty such as America was. It calls to the patriots, each and every American of every generation, to never forget the miracle of America and the gift she brings to the world and the reality that freedom and liberty must be defended at every turn in every age lest her people fall prey to the human pattern of living under tyranny.
These truths and lessons my dear great-grandchildren are where my generation failed you and where we allowed the end of the age of freedom to die. We did not insist on teaching these lessons to our children, instead we allowed our stories of sacrifice be replaced by stories of our failings. Instead of hailing our heroes for their great deeds and effort to free us from the yoke of oppression of a thousand years, we concentrated on flogging them into obscurity and punishing them for the rituals of their age, banishing from our psyche for the sins of the past and with them the ideals that brought about this greatest nation on earth.
Our prosperity lead to abundance and with abundance comes sloth, one of the great sins. A people so blessed with abundance is prone to wallow in it, which is the death trap of sloth. We became complacent, believing that the crystal-clear patterns of human behavior born of thousands of years of experience could be done away with without effort. We came to believe our freedom would be never ending, we believed the darker side of man’s, and woman’s nature had been relegated to same place as the old dead white men that so disdained their fellow man, never to be seen again. We became arrogant.
I don’t make excuses, we saw the coming wreckage, and we lamented about it. We made calls on social media, we complained to each other, we spoke in angry tones about the degradation of our way of life and we sat still as it devolved.
By the time we saw the tipping point, it was too late. Like the proverbial frog in the bucket on the stove, as the heat rose, we protested, but we did not act, we were boiled alive in the roiling waters of our own complacency.
My beloved great-grandchildren, my list of sins is too great to detail in this short letter. Suffice it to say me and everyone of our time loves you and we apologize for not carrying the mantle of freedom forward to you. We saw the signs, we knew the dangers, but as the tyrant rose in our age under the guise of socialism, equity, fairness and political correctness we did not say NO. We did not fight as our forefathers did, we did not make a stand. Instead like the frog we felt the overwhelming heat and succumbed.
I don’t think I can end this letter without one more thought, and you’ll forgive me I hope in my attempt to cover my wound, now laid so bare for your examination. Like many of my age, notwithstanding our failure, we too have the blood of the patriot pulse through our veins. We could hear the voices of those who have traveled the roads of American freedom, stood at the parapets as they whispered in our ears “fight back”, as we wished for a chance to redress the loss of freedom and the rise of the tyrant if only we could have found the strength.
Our last hope for redemption lives in you and the blood that flows through your veins. We cannot unmake the world we have given you, but we can be the call to arms for you; freedom and liberty are worth fighting for…
Living under the tyrant may seem impossible to change, but it is not. One of the many lessons I am sure you are not taught in your time is that the Patriot cannot be held down if his or her blood is raised. Listen for the truth in your heart, look for the truths of the past and believe in a God that allowed America to rise in the first place as a beacon of hope for all people.
Restore your faith, yearn for freedom and the blessings it will provide to you and the generations that will follow you. Don’t fear the sacrifice, it is the cost of freedom. The price can be high, but it is worth the expense.
Be well my beloved great-grandchildren, choose your path.
Your loving great-grandfather in the year 2019.