Misc Thoughts

National Motto for the US

Our national motto ought to be: Since 1620, anything possible, indeed likely."

– from Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

I read this book a while ago, but recent events made me go back and look up the quote which I vaguely remembered.  To me, it’s perfect.

I’ve always believed that what makes Americans great is our desire to almost blindly try new things and virtually ignore obstacles.  While the rest of the world often looks at this as ignorance or stupidity, and sometimes it truly is, it’s the mentality that built this country into the world’s latest and greatest empire.  Yeah, sometimes we do things that look really bad in retrospect, but we mostly learn from our mistakes and move forward – they are rarely a reason to sit on our laurels or to delay our progress.  And, for the most part, as a result of our driving and exploring culture, the vast majority of things the country does are good and right.

My fear is that this approach and attitude have been waning over the last decade.  I feel like Americans have become more fat, dumb and lazy than lean, aggressive and driven.  My hope is that this is because of the dearth of leadership that the people of the US have had over that period and not because of some fundamental societal change that has taken place.  But I really don’t know . . .

All empires eventually fall.  I’d like to believe that this one is still on the incline and that new leadership in this country can move us further and faster in a positive direction.  I just don’t know if a new president, alone, is sufficient.  A new president won’t be able to change how things are done in Washington directly.  All I can hope for is that the new president will be a strong enough leader to get 300 million some-odd people behind him to drive a larger scale change – at least enough to get everyone to believe that anything in this country is, indeed, possible if we make it happen.

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