Friday, July 06, 2012

Who has the Spirit?

We've just celebrated America's birthday for the 236th time (more fireworks this weekend). Besides all the sales, we have been treated to speeches about the bravery of the founding fathers who dared to defy a king and an empire, as well as the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend their country throughout its history.

Now America is trying to emerge from another threat, an economic threat. This is not the sort of threat that can be fought by soldiers advancing through gunfire; their noble spirit cannot help in this. But help can come, if another group could only find the spirit it takes to save the nation--if only that group were willing to sacrifice, not their lives, but a small piece of their fortunes. Are the wealthy (including the huge corporations who are, after all, "people" as we are told), who hold a vastly disproportionate share of the national wealth, willing to sacrifice, just a bit? Can they find in themselves the same Spirit that inspired so many to give everything?

"The Spirit of '76' painted by Archibald MacNeal Willard, ca. 1875.  

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