Emerson's immortal words, "the shot heard round the world" leap from the page of his 1837 Concord Hymn echoing the sound and meaning of early conflicts at Lexington and Concord in 1775 when the idea of America was not yet fully formed. The events of that day are as important as the idea of America as it exists today.
Why did Emerson not write "the shot heard across the field," "across the Colony" or "across the ocean all the way to Britain and into King George's court?" Why, "Round the World?"
Because, America is not a place; it is an idea, and a very recent one at that.
As measured on the arc of time of which so-called civilization is generally represented, it is not only very new, but also very unique. This underpins the real meaning of "American Exceptionalism," not our economic success; our much lauded pop culture, standard of living or our charitable nature. The aforementioned are byproducts of American exceptionalism. The American idea is directly responsible for every aspect of your American life as you live it today.
The desire for freedom at Lexington and Concord burned as hot as the gunpowder that ignited the historic shot. It was a clarion call heard over the globe and across ages summoning all to reject old world ideology for the promise of a future grounded in self-governance, self-reliance, and self-determination.
I candidly revere the brilliance of our founding, but not because of heartfelt notions of patriotism or romantic visions of our brave forefathers. Though I allow myself to embrace these sentimental luxuries, I'm not a "thrill up my leg guy." I've learned, as many Americans have, to put my trust in principles not people.
It's the articulation of America's founding doctrines that make my heart pump and my mind soar, not the person expressing those ideals. What truly impresses me about the radically different proposal that the American idea symbolizes is that for thousands of years the world's deal was very one sided. Whether as represented in tribal structure, or sovereign to peasant paradigms, the individual often suffered.
Our founders did something that is as simple as it is brilliant. For the first time in history; they eliminated the middleman. An individual's rights were no longer granted or stolen by others claiming to be representatives of god or actual gods. Individuals would now enjoy a direct relationship with the guarantor of their rights through divine and organic provenance.
"This is how unique America really is."
However, our uniqueness, inalienable Rights and Constitution have not gone unchallenged. The Progressive movement and progressive intrusion into our Constitutional journey has been profound. America's Constitution has only enjoyed a type of half-life. We, as a country and a people have not yet realized our Constitution's full potential.
Progressivism's self-declared mission is one of distancing America from the nature of its founding. The century plus incremental creep of American Progressivism has untethered our ship of state from its original moorings leaving us with a captainless, rudderless ship, sails shredded heading for politically disastrous rocky shores. Progressivism is clearly represented in the form of unhinged political correctness, racial division, the Affordable Care Act, a tepid economy, dismal foreign policy and a government that falls appallingly short of what Americans deserve or can trust. These consequences of Progressivism are the loose cannons careening across the deck of our American ship threatening all who sail on it.
Unfortunately this arrogance and ignorance is celebrated as progress as its detractors are labeled as backward and out of touch with modernity. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is Progressivism that represents the ancient ideas of governance and political philosophy. It is in reality regressive, or as I refer to it, "Regressivism."
I refuse to allow Liberals, Democrats or Socialists to represent their regressive chronically failing philosophy or policies as "progress." Never has one word managed to yield so much marketing mileage for a defective, destructive product.
"America is the new idea, not regressivism."
America's current situation is gloomy indeed, but concerned American's should understand that America has been through even darker periods. We did recover. I believe we will again by using the American Constitution as the roadmap to restoration.
However, it would be an absurd denial to not acknowledge the current success and imminent danger of Regressivism. These times may not necessarily be dimmer than others we have faced, but they certainly are different. In my opinion this is in part due to three major factors:
First is the education, indoctrination and exposure of students of all ages to liberal regressive creeds over the last 110 years or more.
Second is the influx of an immigrant population that is very familiar with the Siren song of Socialism promoted in the countries they've fled. America to them is merely "socialism light"; they might not see the threat of Regressivism as an American born citizen may.
Lastly, the government blatantly encourages the political segregation of these immigrant groups to create populist voting blocs required to keep Regressives in position of power, which unfortunately tends to marginalize the complete assimilation of these new Americans.
It's clear that Regressivism offers only a silencing of "the shot heard round the world" and the rejection of Natural Law. On the long road civilization has traveled America's founding has, relatively speaking, occurred just a matter of seconds ago. In a world and news cycle blaring useless chatter you may want to make time to really listen.
Take a moment to find a silent place with minimal distraction and listen very carefully, not for the distant echo of "the shot heard round the world," but instead for history's deafening Big Bang that signaled the birth of America's political universe, American exceptionalism and the promise of the freedoms you enjoy daily.
It's there. To hear it, you only have to listen.
Patrick J. Fornari
Author of "Commoner Sense"
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Patrick J. Fornari was born and raised in Indiana, and spent the first half of his three plus decade construction career working in the Midwest and Western United States, including Illinois, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, California and Arizona. For the second half of his career, he worked construction on several Caribbean islands, giving him a unique perspective on his home country. Fornari currently lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
By Patrick J. Fornari