Happy Birthday America and congratulations to us....the American nation born 242 years ago, July 4, 1776. That date marks the birth of our nation, though not of our republic. That had to wait until March 1, 1781 and final ratification of the Articles of Confederation establishing the First American Republic.
But the nation, America, established in the hearts and minds of the people on the 4th of July 1776 has endured as the real American dream for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness so artfully declared by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate the birth of that nation and the journey the American people began that day to realize the 'republic' our nation's founders envisioned.
I am proud to be a citizen of the American nation and proud of the history of our people's struggle to establish and evolve a more perfect union. We've come such a long way and should be proud of 242 years of mostly progress towards those lofty goals espoused in the Declaration of Independence.
Yet today, I find my pride diminished by some things we as a nation have done. And there are times, as in very recent days, when I am ashamed and embarrassed by many things we have allowed ourselves to do. And I am ashamed and embarrassed at how little I have personally done to prevent or limit some of these things.
Some of the things which have occurred in my lifetime which I believe were grievous mistakes made by our country are the death and destruction wreaked in an unnecessary and ill-advised war in Vietnam, failure to provide basic human and civil rights to too many Americans, failure to accord women full equality with men, hundreds of thousands of deaths and maimings in ill-advised and unjustified wars in the Middle East, failure to provide basic services such as adequate healthcare to thousands of Americans and failure to provide full justice and equal protection to all under the law as provided in our Constitution.
And recently, I am ashamed of and embarrassed by the 'do-little' Congress we continue to elect. More than than, I am astonished, ashamed and embarrassed by the morally corrupt, self aggrandizing and power drunk President we have elected, and at how little I have done to help prevent this from happening.
I have begun a journey to try to change some of these failings of our democratic republic. This journey begins with doing all I can to help organize and assist ordinary citizens like you and me to change and reform Congress, constrain and then un-elect our current President and to work for really needed reforms in our systems of governance which can improve our collective performance in living up to the dreams espoused in our Declaration of Independence.
So, I pledge allegiance to America and to the republic it is and that which it can evolve to: i.e., one united, indivisible nation which truly provides liberty and justice for all.
I invite you to join me, and let's reform our democratic republic together from the bottom up.