Reflections on the Fourth

Author: Gary Hart

Our Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II are notable exceptions.  Otherwise, history will show the nation’s birthday celebration in 2020 to be one of the most fraught in our history.

We are beset by a pandemic that seems to have a life of its own, thanks mostly to the almost demented insistence on too many people taking their own lives and those of others into their own hands in a growing death spiral.

Our economy is characterized by almost Great Depression levels of unemployment, business failures, increasing poverty, homelessness, and hunger, and family tales of tragedy.

Then, we are hurtling toward a national election possibly unique in U.S. history with an incumbent alleging fraud four months before a vote is cast and arming himself with hitherto secret powers that represent a blueprint for dictatorship.

The American people are treated to a daily Svengali-like performance of denial and magical thinking.  The virus will disappear overnight.  The economy will totally recover by tomorrow.  Never fear.  “I alone can fix it.”

Underneath the reality t.v. hocus-pocus is the divisive drumbeat meant to distract the “base” into lashing out at minorities, liberals, Democrats, globalists, leftwing extremists, the traitor next door, gun snatchers, big city elites, and on and on.

This is the test.  Which America are we?  Trump’s America or Abraham Lincoln’s America?

On this Fourth of July, I am betting there are five or ten more Lincoln Americans than there are Trump Americans.  You cannot be both.  One or the other.

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.  The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.  As our case is new, so must we think anew and act anew.  We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

And then, of course: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle; and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

These are the words of a true national leader.  A large figure, not a small figure.  A great humanitarian, not a pitiful nationalist.

May America once again earn God’s blessing.

Keep the Republic.

5 Responses to “Reflections on the Fourth”

  1. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Senator Hart and friends,

    Wishing you all a very Happy Independence Day!

    Been watching some of the festivities and they always get me, right here in the heart.

    Despite everything, this is a fascinating time to be alive in America! So much potential, so much hope.

    Change is comin’. Can you feel it!

  2. LORENZO CHERIN Says:

    Dear Senator Hart, this is a great posting , amongst many very fine.

    You are a writer as well as a leader. Your concerns , ours, are expressed brilliantly, with eloquent indignation and warmth too.

    My wife and I, she from NY, and NJ, us there only weeks before this pandemic, have thought about what you refer to here, today.

    I have been reading Frederick Douglass. I have been thinking of him, and Lincoln.How marvellous to find this here tonight, two am in the UK.

    I wrote a song, in the work I am developing for future production, and I have written the book, music and lyrics for, “TOM’S CABIN – The Man Of Humanity!”, called “We are not enemies, but friends”, it takes its inspiration from Lincoln, the words are my own,in all the songs but this one.

    This does include some special quotes, adapted , of that great president.It is suitable to share with friends… here…

    “We are not enemies but friends

    Understand

    Stand firm

    For who knows where this ends

    We’ll withstand

    Divided we fall

    United we stand

    And so with malice towards none

    Cornerstone

    To every living heart each one

    And hearthstone

    There is no brick wall

    And no heart of stone

    Oh no, not enemies my friend!

    Make a stand!

    Stand tall

    As standing stones don’t bend

    Here we stand.

    If only we’d all

    Learn to understand…

  3. Michael Says:

    Nothing I can add. We will find out what kind of country this is on November 3rd.

  4. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Truer words were never spoken or written on a blog …

  5. Stephen D. Pillow Says:

    ” We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

    I, personally, have been “disenthralled” for quite some time. Of course, I have been mainly a pessimist much of my adult life. I’m not quite sure from whence that comes, but it is a reality that I face daily. That being said the paragraph following the above quoted sentence is what we should do so that we can move on and improve upon this dynamic experiment, for we are still an ever-ongoing experiment started 242 years ago. This has got to be the worst period in that experiment with the possible exception of the “notable exceptions” that you identified at the beginning of your commentary. My concern is that, if we only go about returning our country to the right path by the righteous means stated in the aforementioned paragraph, we will leave an insidious cancer growing ever more virulent in the body of our nation, one that has been fed by the current members of the repubican party both in an out of government to perilous proportions. We must perform drastic surgery to remove that cancer, put a complete stop to its life, and eradicate it completely before we will be able to progress in making our nation whole again. No band-aid applied over this malignant cancer will stop what the current repubican party has created in our midst.

    If you have your foot firmly placed upon the neck of this poisonous viper, you must cut its head off, err it will bite you when it is free.

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