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Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?

The Founding Fathers sit at a table. It’s an old table. It creaks under the weight of their heavy-handed signatures and echoes throughout the historic room. The table does not know of the importance its support holds. The Founding Fathers inscribe their names in ink. It’s a thick, black ink. It glides across the paper smoothly, leaving behind traces of delicate history. The ink does not know of the role it would play in years to come. The Founding Fathers, proud of their work, finally stand to their feet. They are clothed in colonial shoes and pristine buckles. They shuffle from floorboard to floorboard, looking for somewhere else to carry their men. The feet do not know of the steps they would take in order to create a new nation. But, if they knew, what would they do?

More than two hundred years pass. The tables, the ink, the feet- they are all quite different now. The tables, less stable. The ink, less permanent. The footsteps, less sure. And through the clouds of modernity, the sun peaks through, shining on those who have inherited the America the Founders created those many years ago. An activist marches through the streets, fighting for his rights. A fireman fights a Californian fire, saving the lives of many. A widow mourns the loss of her husband, cursing the virus that has plagued the world for the past eight months. The Founding Fathers could not have known about the current state of the country they poured their hearts, minds, and souls into those many years ago. But, if they knew, what would they do?

Would they recoil at the sight of American stores being burned and looted across the country in the name of racial justice? Would they be filled with disgust at the American government’s lack of control in their own nation? Would they shudder at American citizens’ complete disregard for political and civil unity? One could only imagine their reactions to such a nation, a nation they might not even recognize, a nation they wholly did not ever envision. Their – Our country has become a paradox. We were meant to be a beacon for others, a guiding light of liberty and freedom. But, now, we are a beacon fueled by raging flames of hatred and division. We were meant to be united, a family of citizens connected by a shared love for this country and for each other. But, now, we are united only by our shared disdain for those we disagree with, for those we reject. We were meant to be a nation of dreams brought to life through hard work and tenacity. But, now, we are a nation of dreams brought to life by the monsters that hide under our beds and haunt our history. We were meant to be a nation of light, of unity, of dreams. We were meant to be our Founding Fathers’ America. The America the Founders wanted. The America the Founders fought so hard for. The America the Founders envisioned. And, yet, everyday we drift further from the concepts we were built upon. Everyday the tables become less stable, as they are crafted from wasted potential. Everyday the ink becomes less permanent, as it is used with ill-intent. Everyday the footsteps become less sure, as they are lead astray. And, everyday, we become less and less of what our Founding Fathers envisioned.

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