We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The words of the Preamble may sound empty for many who have lived in the United States all their lives. It took nearly a lifetime for me to understand the wisdom of the US Constitution. Yes, I knew from the beginning that the men who wrote it were slave owners, occasional philanderers, all around sinners. Was there any better kind of men at that time in that place? No. Karl Marx, the good for nothing true philanderer who never held a job, and all his pontificating disciples were not there to provide the first Americans with their “great moral wisdom” … Unfortunately, we have to endure their rants in our age. The cacophony of the political left is getting a bit long in the tooth if you ask me.
A more perfect union was a realistic expectation. The early fathers of the country were not a perfect compact. The glue that united them was the certainty of being hanged if the British were to suffocate the Revolution. Nothing focuses the mind as the nearness of death. The Revolutionaries had to keep an eye on those living among them and the British expeditionary force sent by His Majesty to quell the rebellion. Their enemy was the first superpower ever to control the seas and nearly all the commercial lines of the incipient global trade. It was not the first time that Britannia’s rule was challenged. The Americans knew well the brutal repression that was coming their way.
The first Americans fought united and won, twice.
When the nation matured, a fratricidal war was fought. Somehow the nation remained one but the price paid in young lives and treasure was high. I have lived in the Northeastern and in the Southern United States for the best part of three decades. My eyes has seen the wound that still remains. In a small museum in Virginia I once saw two uniforms, one was the fading blue of a Union soldier’s jacket, the other a gray complete uniform of a Confederate cavalry officer. I was impressed by their size. Today those jackets would hardly fit the average 14 year old American male. Those who died wearing those colors were the sons of a society that was still living a harsh agrarian life. And yet those chests were generously offered to the brother’s fire until only one side stood victorious. Think of their sacrifice. It was not small.
Then came the wars in Europe and the long number of conflicts fought around the world to secure the world order that was born of the Pax Americana that has benefited so many ungrateful nations.
At one point, Americans who were 6% of the world population, produced more than 50% of the economic output of the world. The resulting prosperity has brought many dangers: abundance brings about the vices that come with an easy life. Sexual degeneracy, “recreational” drugs, avarice in all its forms, social violence, crime, oppression in so many ways.
Perhaps the worse product of that hard earned prosperity is the level of ungrateful stupidity that we can see today among so many citizens. Someone can afford a standard quality car that rides better than a 1960’s Rolls Royce but somehow thinks himself a loser for not having the most expensive Lamborghini. Some do not even give a passing thought to how incredibly lucky are those who are born in the USA. It is no surprise then that the same citizen cares very little to find the origin of his good fortune. He feels entitled to a good life and in his mind, he owes the country nothing, not even a prayer for the men that gave everything so he can have everything. It is easy for that affluent idiot-citizen to define George Washington as “a white guy who owned slaves” — the fact that Washington could have ended his days hanging from a tall Virginia oak never crosses those feeble little minds.
I am American by election (naturalized U.S. citizen) but this 4th of July I want to honor those men who were willing to face danger and death for human liberty, to free future generations from oppression of all kinds. If their natural descendants don’t appreciate their sacrifice, their flag, their ideas, and the precious blood they shed in a thousand battlefields, I want to be the one to thank them. I want to pray for, and trust their immortal souls to the care of Almighty God.
A happy fourth will congregate friends and families, laughter and love will visit many homes across the land. Please take a minute or two and give some thought and say a prayer for those who paid the full price for your own happiness.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
From Buenos Aires, a happy 4th of July to all my friends so far away.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!