Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Washington "Fault Line"

Have you seen this FaceBook post yet?        

The Weather Channel says today's east coast earthquake was caused by an unknown fault line running under D.C. and through Virginia. It is now being called Obama's Fault, though Obama will say it's really Bush's Fault. Other theories are that it was the founding fathers rolling over in their graves or that what we all believe to be an earthquake was actually the effects of a 14.6 trillion dollar check bouncing in Washington.

            Although I normally do not believe that there are anything but scientific causes in natural phenomena such as earthquakes, I find myself contemplating this post with some anxiety. You see, I am concerned that the founding fathers really are rolling over in their graves. Perhaps they’re even spinning by now. Our federal government is power hungry and out of control, our free-market-based economy is in danger, we have young Americans dying on foreign soil, and we have mortgaged our land to the Chinese. I think it is quite plausible to assume that the earthquake in Virginia was caused by the combined distress of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin.
“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.”
John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

 The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally stacked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."
George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 1789

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

So I'm left wondering:
  • Do we still support John Adams’ ideas about liberty? 
  • Will we rebel against a power-hungry government that threatens to take away the freedoms we have taken for granted?
  • Is this the final chapter in Washington’s republic experiment or will we wake up and realize that what we have is worth fighting for, even if we must fight our own government to take it back?
  •  Are we content to exchange liberty for safety? Do we really want the government to take care of us so that we don’t have to worry about our health care, our old age, or our children’s education?
             The earthquake yesterday damaged the Washington Monument, an important symbol of our heritage. I believe that we have the responsibility not only to fix our national monument, but also to fix what’s wrong with the representative republic that it symbolizes. I suspect our founding fathers will continue to rest uneasily in their graves until we do.