A Yankee Doodle Fourth

  • Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 12:01 a.m.

“In the spirit of that America, which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting, and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America I ask you to rise and with me pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country.”

— Judge Billings Learned Hand

Historians tell us the life of great civilizations ordinarily is measured in but a few hundreds of years, and by that reckoning the United States of America, some 237 years after its founding, may already be living on borrowed time.

We tend to dispute that, but nevertheless we sense a profound uneasiness in the public at large over the path on which current leadership (or the lack thereof) has chosen for America to follow.

Surely few would deny that the “spirit of party” our first president, George Washington, warned about is dividing the country to a far greater extent than it has for many, many years.

The inability of the executive to lead, the Congress to pass legislation reasonably intelligent people can understand, and the courts to render just and definitive decisions has eroded public respect and confidence in all three branches of government.

The great moral issues of our time — runaway entitlement spending, soaring public debt, illegal immigration, late-term abortion, erosions of personal liberties, continuing debate on when, where and how America’s military might should be used — can serve as cancers on the body politic.

The failure of government to do other than “kick the can down the road” on these and other matters has contributed to the profound and dangerous distrust Americans have of the federal government today.

But we believe that when the chips are down (and they are down), Americans will rally round the flag as they always have done, right the ship of state and do whatever it takes to preserve the great gift given them by that small band of brothers in Philadelphia so long ago who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish the America that, for all its political turmoil and failure, remains the greatest nation on earth.

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