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November 27, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Thank you, Founding Fathers

On Thanksgiving Day, we Americans are accustomed to counting our blessings and giving thanks to our Divine Creator for the bounteous life we are privileged to enjoy. Especially in (relatively) hard times like these, it is important to recognize how fortunate most of us are. It also helps to reflect on the fact that, in the end, material possessions just don't matter all that much. That spiritual dimension of the American people, which many foreigners simply do not comprehend, is what keeps us going when the going gets tough.

There is another under-appreciated but vital element that underlies our nation's resilient character, however: the "democratic-republican" system of government bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers, as enshrined in our Constitution. In the early years of the United States, the system was much more republican (small r) than democratic (small d), whereas nowadays the opposite emphasis prevails. The healthy tension between those dual principles remains, nonetheless, sometimes manifested in sharp disputes over policy, but more often ensuring that justice and domestic tranquility prevail. We all have an equal say in how the government should be run, and we are all guaranteed that the government will not run our private lives.

As leadership of our government is about to be transfered at a very anxious moment in our history, I consider myself very fortunate to be able to express my opinions freely and openly, without fear of intimidation or repression. That is why I think we should offer a gesture of deep gratitude to George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, and all the other Founding Fathers of our nation in their Heavenly resting place. Thank you!

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 27 Nov 2008, 12: 54 PM

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