How do we rekindle the flame of liberty in the heart of all American citizens?
I have been thinking about that question. It continues to disturb me that high turnout in an election approaches 50% participation. That is evidence of the disengagement that indicates a passive (or absent) desire for freedom unlike the active desires of Americans at the founding of our nation. I have said before that I would be happy with the outcome of any election where turnout topped 70%.
As this has been churning through my mind trying to come to some approach to the question, I started doing some searching through the things I have written before. Most powerfully I found my Independence Day post from last year quoting American by Choice that “true American citizens are made and not born” and that “Americans, both natural and naturalized, must be trained–they must be made.”
I went on to talk about how to transmit this “made” American culture through the way we celebrate our national holidays. Naturally my focus then was on the 4th of July. The more I think about it though, we should be celebrating our American culture by participation in the rituals that made America what it is – that would be exercising our rights to vote and participate in the various levels of government.
A week later I revisited the topic after I had found a list of what could be considered the founding documents of our nation. To that list I would add the Federalist Papers which I found among my searching today. That gives me 103 documents to study and react to as I continue my search for how we make Americans so that we may experience an end to our Uncivil War and find – as Lincoln sought during our Civil War:
“. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Gettysburg Address)