"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams, on October 11, 1798
I was still incredibly optomistic Tuesday, that McCain could pull out a win in Florida, and that surely Ohio and Pennsylvania wouldn't go for the man who promised to "bankrupt the coal industry." However, I am sad to see how wrong I was.
First the first time in my life I am seriously disappointed with my countrymen. I have always believed that this great country is great because we believe that though we may not all begin at the same place, we all have the oppertunities in life to go anywhere we want. In early America this was termed rugged individualism. The idea was that government is there to ensure equality before the law, and as long as government stayed out of our way we could do anything, we could become anything with enough hard work. The secondary principle, which I believed was still alive as of Tuesday, that was important to our founding fathers was that of the Republican Ideal or Virtuous Republicanism. This is the concept that we are not only willing to serve something greater than ourselves, but that we desire to put the good of our country and fellow man ahead of our own good.
I count our Constitution as the document that is second only to the Bible, in an example to us how to live and work together. It's a noble piece that lays out in the best of cases, among the best of peoples how to make a better world. It holds a very high position in my mind indeed. However, I feel that this document isn't viewed as highly by others as I do. Certainly the history that led to it isn't valued because we have turned so far away from it in this election.
I see two possiblities when looking down through history for our country now. We either over the next four years, realize our mistake and the Republican Party regroups as a truely conservative party both fiscally and morally. Or the Republican Party decides that they aren't centrist enough, and leaves behind all vestiages of conservativism. The last time the first happened, we had Regan elected after Carter. The last time the second happened after FDR took the presidency we didn't see a true Republican (I'm not counting Eisenhower) for 36 years.
I suppose the question becomes have we as a people laid aside Christianity, have we left morals and virtue in the past, do we merely want those who mirror ourselves or are we seeking good and Godly men who will put God's laws and the good of the country before self?
"It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, [unless] first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves." - Governor Samuel Johnston, July 30, 1788 at the North Carolina Ratifying Convention for the Constitution