Editorials

Let freedom ring? What if it tweeted, vibrated or dinged?

“Declaration of Independence” in the U.S. Capitol rotunda by John Trumbull.
“Declaration of Independence” in the U.S. Capitol rotunda by John Trumbull. Provided

While it’s hard to imagine the 1970s having today’s technology, think how much different technology might have made the 1770s. The midnight ride of Paul Revere could have been done via text: OMG TBAC! (The British are coming).

Most things happen very fast in today’s world, and that’s not always a good thing. The American Revolution was sort of a slow boil. It took the seeds of rebellion years to grow into a real revolution and many more years for the revolution to be won and for the republic to develop. Has our republic peaked? If so, now what?

Let’s take a quick look back at the long path to democracy: Our founding fathers got royally upset with the crown. The Stamp Act of 1765 ruffled a few feathers causing quite a stir. The Boston Tea Party of 1773 took discontent to a new level. The first Continental Congress in 1774 finally sent a petition to King George III, to let him know how upset they were. He didn’t care. That did it: It was time for action, to fight for freedom.

Even then, the battle for independence was not an overnight success. Starting in 1775 and ending in 1781, the American Revolution is worthy of more than a few paragraphs.

The 1,458 words of the Declaration of Independence took 17 days to write. There were meetings and debates, and eventual ratification. Today, Thomas Jefferson would have been limited to 140 characters and each signer would have retweeted, liked or shared the message of freedom. LOL.

So far the American experiment has lasted 241 years; nothing to sneeze at, but it’s no Roman Empire. Considering today’s speed of change, and considering all the changes that have been made in the past 241 years, how will the United States adapt and adjust? It all seems a little chaotic today. It feels like wherever two or more are gathered, there are two or more opinions on what’s right, what’s wrong, or what’s left. How do we move forward instead of just rehashing?

One thing not up for debate: this country has serious challenges today. Our current economic system is a hybrid. It’s no longer capitalism building an American dream, and it’s not quite socialism with rationed bread and vodka. This systematic identity crisis is the largest driver of political, social and class division. Can we navigate these rocky divides, or have we run our course?

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Thomas Paine

  Comments