Nearly one-hundred years ago, after his first visit to the United States, the English philosopher and writer G.K. Chesterton observed, “The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.” As a Christian, and specifically, a convert to Catholicism, Chesterton believed firmly in the power of optimism and hope.
Fast-forward to 2021, and it is understandable that many people are finding it challenging to maintain hope or optimism in the current state of politics in our America. But I urge you, now is not the time to give up or disengage. The bedrock of our founding, The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, “the golden apple inside a silver picture frame” as Lincoln called them, along with thousands of years of the development of Western Civilization, provide enduring principles that can withstand the fits and fancies of modern culture.
Remember, our “leaders” are instructed to only act with the consent of the governed. Now is the time to engage by acting locally – join your local school board, town council and selectman, run for office or volunteer in church and civic organizations, write letters, talk to your neighbors. Bring the values that America-loving citizens cherish to our governing bodies and our communities, and we can right the ship-of-state.
Chesterton also wisely observed that the true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. Those of us who love America’s history and founding must now look ahead to assure her long-lasting survival and prosperity.