Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

I have many friends who are very discouraged about the state of our nation. But I am not.

Discouraged, that is.  Maybe because I've been listening to HAMILTON non-stop for the last three months, eh?  I cannot help but marvel at how completely amazing it is that America even exists!!

 How does a ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower
Somehow defeat a global superpower?

How do we emerge victorious from the quagmire?
Leave the battlefield waving Betsy Ross’ flag higher?

Really -- it's a good question!! That America won the Revolutionary War was a miracle. Washington's Army was never funded, trained, or supplied...they had resorted to eating their horses (another Hamilton lyric)...

When the smoke cleared -- there was no model for the Founding Fathers to even pattern a government after.  Should they have a King?  A President?  Who decides?  How will that work?  The Constitution was a mess...the country was divided...nobody wanted to pay taxes to a central government...

Well -- you get my drift.  The fact that there even IS a United States of America is a miracle without precedent.

And if you think the Revolutionary War was a tough time for this country -- fast forward to the Civil War.  Can you imagine?  Brother fighting brother...North against South...Over 600,000 men were killed in that conflict.  How does a nation survive that??

But we did.  Survive, that is.

We've survived a lot.  Take the industrial revlolution, for example.

I'm reading the wonderful Doris Kearns Goodwin book about President Theodore Roosevelt --  "The Bully Pulpit".  He only became President because McKinley was assassinated.  At that time, the industrial revolution was in full swing -- and the large trusts and monopolies were running the country.  The way things were going, one man would have owned all the railroads (Vanderbilt), another guy would be our sole banker (Mellon), another man would have owned all the steel mills (Carnegie)...Rockefeller was busy driving all his oil competitors and refineries out of business because he got a secret rebate from Vanderbilt on his railroad fees...


Holy Cow...Every industry was moving towards rich men buying up or killing off their competition, making obscene profits at the expense of their starving, disposable workers.  In the mining industry -- children went into the mines when they were 4 years old....and the workers had to live in company houses, being paid in script.  The Beef Trust formed alliances that drove the small businesses out, then, with no competition, they raised prices and forced their workers to 14 hour days in filthy, unhealthy conditions.

Yet, shockingly...America survived.

Hey -- I lived through the 60's, people.  I remember the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy.  Our cities were burning...Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago...

But...once again....after a very dark time...we survived.

Last weekend, I watched a show about Richard Nixon and Watergate??  REMEMBER THAT WHOLE IMPEACHMENT THING??  Oh, yes...that was a very bad time for our country.  We had a President who thought he was above the law.  He actually hired people to perform illegal acts (hundreds of them, apparently) -- and paid millions of dollars out of a secret fund.  WHA??

Here's my point.  America is bigger than we are...and she's stronger than you think.  The very fact that we are free to disagree so completely with one another proves it.

I feel very, very lucky to live in this wonderful, flawed country of ours.  We don't always get it right...

But we do survive...


P.S.  Speaking of Betsy Ross -- I think it's just wrong to buy an American Flag that is "made in China."
The other day, I drove to Regalia, a business in Rock Island, Illinois   to buy a few new American flags.  They sell beautiful, quality flags (of all sizes) that are MADE IN AMERICA...and the quality is excellent.   


  1. Happy Independence Day! 228 days until we will be in the room where it happens!

  2. YOU WILL LOVE IT...and when I read this comment, Laura, I was inspired to add a COUNTDOWN CALENDAR to the blog. In just 182 days, my friends and I will be taking Lilly to be IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS.!