Danger’s Arrival

There is a sour rash that crawls on our countrymen today, and by daily measure it grows ever deeper toward the marrow of our humanity.  We lack the vision to see its pestilential sores spring up on the flesh, and instead listen for its coming every morning and eve, like the inevitable crumbling of a levee against a storm.

This ignorance, born from centuries of disillusion and cruelty, chains and bondage, murder and prejudice, was smote from our society in full legal perpetuity  over 150 years ago.  We are a single people, a single nation, and a single race of Americans.  We must bear the chaos of disagreement, argument, and debate, knowing that it is serving the greater purpose of bettering our condition.

We have been medicated and indoctrinated into a stupor of secluded contempt for our neighbors and friends, seasoned with distrust from the ash-caked bones of “the party of Lincoln” and the crippled, decaying wight of 24 hour news coverage.

We have become indifferent and unimpressed with the near-monthly mass killings that would’ve spiraled previous generations into a frenzy of concern.  We no longer are in control of our destinies, merely content now to pass our cups ever upward to the powerless and infantile elected officials, who pass an empty vessel downward, insisting it has been refilled.

The organizations who mark themselves as uncompromising, heedlessly driven toward power and profits beyond the scope and imagination of the goodly and humble American citizen, wear masks to lure in the weak, the noisy, and foolhardy.  They nurse these trumpeting mules to the point of bursting, and send them out among us to pollute our social media and television coverage with acrid belches of lies, manipulations, and posturing.

We are unwilling members of a larger game that is designed to melt the pieces and discard the board, and we are doing it to ourselves, one to another.

I hope and, in whatever capacity I’m capable of, pray that in the long, butter-thick arc of time before I find myself being unceremoniously lowered into a common grave, we awake from this fever dream of celebrated stupidity, and remember ourselves again.

We find ourselves in the peaceful possession, of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate.  We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us.  We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. 

We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them – they are a legacy bequeathed us, by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors.  Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; ’tis ours only, to transmit these, the former, unprofaned by the foot of an invader; the latter, undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation, to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know.

This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.  How then shall we perform it?  At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?  I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us.  It cannot come from abroad. 

If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.

Abraham Lincoln, 1/27/1838

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