Making America Great Again: Jefferson’s Example
In 1800, an American President born and educated in America spoke eight languages fluently, played five musical instruments with orchestral ease and was a virtuoso violinist, published books on animal husbandry, botany, philosophy and farming practice, was an accomplished and gifted architect in the neoclassical Palladian style, was an amateur astronomer and physicist and was the author of the Declaration of Independence, a document hailed even today as the finest treatise on human liberty and governance ever produced.
He owned a personal library of over 12,000 volumes, all of which he read and reread assiduously throughout his life, commenting to fellow President and friend John Adams, “I cannot live without books.” At his death, noted historians, philosophers and scientists mourned his passing as the loss of, ‘the finest intellect of the age of enlightenment.’
In 2016, Presidential candidates for one political party are arguing over whose wife looks best naked, who is more guilty of gutter sniping ridicule and bad manners and who has (is) the largest penis. Democratic choices are of an habitual liar who was fired from her first legal job for fraud and ethics violations that would become the pattern of her life (and whose personal email server led directly to a security breach and the death of Americans in a hostile land) and a doddering challenger who struggles to comb his hair and could not feed himself without state welfare until age 40.
Making America great again does not start with the President. It starts with you…expecting enough of yourself to create a life that approaches your God-given potential and making yourself a useful instrument of service to those around you, rather than a helpless babe anxiously searching to be fed by the sweat of another’s brow. Don’t like the candidates who seek to lead you? Find a mirror. They are you. They are all of us and what we have allowed our nation to become. And as such, America will remain until every person counts their first duty to God and to themselves the reverent undertaking of a cultivated life of excellence.