Looking back on our founding father’s woes, its not a shock to realize that we have been a nation divided almost from the start. In order to get all the colonies to agree on the Constitution, they had to let a few things go. The biggest thing was slavery. Pretty ironic, that in order to get a free nation, the founders had to agree to leave some enslaved. Of course, the natives of this land were not considered at all.
The division is there to this day. Getting rid of slavery did not get rid of the problem. The real problem was greed, people putting their business over human life. They might be more subtle about it, but they are still at it. Whether it’s conniving land from mustangs and wild life for cattle and mining, or cutting corners to stuff more animals for slaughter into a farm, they care more about money than their fellow beings..
That’s the real secret of American freedom. That freedom’s cost isn’t just sending people out to defend it. It’s about defending it from greed right here. It’s about saying no to something because it curtails freedoms. But it’s not so easy to identify it. There is so much demanding our time and attention, it’s easy to just focus on issues we believe affect us.
That’s what the sophisticated greedy think. If they throw enough one sided info at you, maybe you won’t notice they are not telling you everything. Maybe you won’t notice the lies.
For instance, I hear all sorts going on about jobs and the big pipelines. On the other side, I hear about environmental risk. Truth be told, I’ve yet to hear or see anything that told both sides at once. Now the truth is, they are both right. We need jobs, but that doesn’t mean we’d be willing to literally pay with our health or the destruction of our land. Some things, you can’t pay to fix. So the real question is, if these people want to be helpful and run their business and create jobs, why do they think the pennies they save are worth the cost of safety?
My point here is, when it comes right down to the wire, America has two spirits vying for control. One is that wonderful spirit of freedom, independence, help others and creativity that inspired it in the first place. The other is that stubborn pride in money that refused to sign the Constitution if slavery was banned.
That second spirit has new forms now. It hides in businesses that say ‘we are creating jobs’ while cutting corners for profit and dumping toxins that make people sick. The people with those jobs lose either way, because even if you earn money and have health insurance, you end up spending on health care, assuming even that will cure them! They also claim that while dumping huge amounts of money into their account they can’t pay the workers any more.
What’s terrifying is how these people respond to challenge. They take advantage of their funds to pay for lawyers to get them out of it. Worse, some government agencies are in cahoots. The way the Bureau of Land Management is run, you’d think that land all belonged to them personally, rather than the citizens of America.
I believe when the average person celebrates the Fourth, we are celebrating our freedom, the hope of that chance to not only have a job, but a fulfilling life. But do we? I hope so. But we have to keep battling that other spirit. Gunpowder can make for fabulous fireworks. Our country is full of magnificent creatures, wild and free. It’s up to us to do our best to see they are their for future generations. It’s up to us to save that gunpowder for the fireworks and not waste in blowing each other up. It’s up to us to keep our authority figures reminded that we elected them to serve us, not their own wallet. To remind the big corporations that without their workers and buyers, they have nothing. To remind the police that they are there to protect and serve, not bully the people who essentially are paying them.
So here’s to the Fourth of July and our continued fight for independence. May the right spirit win!