Vail Daily letter: Two Americas
Ryan Summerlin December 8, 2012
Not since the Civil War have Americans been so divided, and this is recognized through an objective and empirical general consensus. Notwithstanding the views of those political opportunists among us who ascribe causation such as race, religion or ethnicity to this demographic, the reason lies in two different cultures that have developed from the prosperity and good fortune of the America that once was.
This Thanksgiving was reminiscent of the tribulations that the Pilgrims endured in the early 1600s. These refugees emigrated from an England of classes, subjection, constraints and of oppressive taxation.
The refuge they took was in a land of unlimited resources and unfettered opportunities. But to avail themselves of those attributes and to survive in the wilderness of early America, they had to put into place a rudimentary governmental system that would be conducive to those ends.
At Plymouth, there was first established a collectivistic and social system in which individual labors were combined to produce the staples that were supposedly necessary for survival in a harsh and unforgiving land.
True to form, this political method did not perform, and the colony was devastated by starvation and dissention.
After a couple of years of misery, poverty and denial, in 1623, Gov. William Bradford instituted a novel and realistic form of government that recognized the rights of an individual to directly benefit from the fruits of his labors, and to enjoy the prosperity that is derived from the ownership of private property. In other words, he ceded to each Pilgrim sufficient lands from which he could sustain himself, his family and perhaps trade or donate the excess to others for the benefit of the community, if he so chose. Thus was born the concepts of charity and good will.
I firmly believe that this was America’s first “constitution,” in that it recognized the laws of God and nature, the predispositions of men and the rights of the individual.
After its implementation, the residual colony flourished, prospered and became the foundation of a new nation, as later defined by the Declaration of Independence and as memorialized in the Constitution of the United States. The concepts of a free marketplace, of capitalism, of religious tolerance, of inalienable and individual rights emanated from these doctrines and were manifested in those indentures.
How little we learn from our heritage and history, as we have now come full circle to the social and collectivism that Bradford eschewed at Plymouth and Jamestown in order to survive as a people, a colony and eventually a nation.
From the likes of the Alien and Sedition acts, the New Deal, Social Security, Agenda 21, the Affordable Care Act, Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act, we have matriculated from the principles that first made us a nation with resultant and attendant prosperity to a nation divided into two distinct and separate cultures: those who either were ignorant of those precepts or rejected the same in favor of a new world order, and those who would adhere to the mandates of the Constitution and its patent meaning – those sovereign Americans the world once knew, respected and admired.
Is it any mystery or wonder that the culture of want, reliance and dependence has led this nation to more insecurity, less prosperity, diminished liberties and the spawn that socialism, fascism, corporatism and collectivism have wrought?
Where is the Gov. Bradford of today, who would reverse this course of dependency and return the country to productive communities of individuals, of sovereign and “united” states with common goals conducive to the prosperity and welfare of all, and a nation of righteous laws in the stead of arbitrary and imperial executive orders?
Unlike 1623, the elections of 2012 did not choose a Bradford, did not opt for individual liberty and did not honor American sovereignty. Instead, we now have a nation divided, a collective of dependents on the one hand and on the other, those historic Americans who would be free and gainfully toiling in the pursuit of happiness, but for a small majority of electoral votes.