Old Glory

“The American flag, Old Glory, standing tall and flying free over American soil for 228 years is the symbol of our beloved country. It is recognized from near and afar, and many lives have been lost defending it.”Jeff Miller

Today is June 14th, Flag Day, so I can’t think of a more apropos time to talk about Old Glory.  I’ve been thinking about her for a while now… in my humble opinion, the Red, White, and Blue of our national flag tells a story that we must hear again in our day.  My fellow Americans, the Red, White, and Blue of our national ensign are not just some colors our forefathers decided looked good.  They encapsulate the Vision of our nation, they symbolize the One Body that our founders understood, and they tell the story of how our political system is meant to work, to function, to endure.  The Red, White, and Blue – they are meant to represent our lifeblood.

“The American flag is the symbol of our freedom, national pride and history.”Mike Fitzpatrick

But our flag is more than that, it is our road map… did “We the People” forget Old Glory’s message?  And did we forget why it is called the “White” house?  Today, this Flag Day, I will share with you a perspective on Old Glory that you most likely haven’t heard before.  My sincere hope is that this will inspire you to open your mind to a different political perspective, to allow a third color to not only re-enter the political field, but to dominate our discourse, and cause us to think outside of the “red and blue” box of our political parties – for I believe neither party contains our proper course forward.  My fellow Americans, when our founders created this country, when they penned our Constitution, when they formed our system of checks and balances, they entrusted Us, We the People, with a critical role – the crucial role.  And if we are to fix this broken and bankrupt nation, we must remember our purpose, recognize our role, and then act upon it.  We cannot continue to rely upon the Red or Blue, the Republicans or Democrats, to fix our great nation.  We cannot continue to wear the wrong jersey and expect to win the game.

“There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag.”Jesse Ventura

So my fellow Americans, for any of you who have believed the Great Lie that you must be Red or Blue, for any of you who have resigned yourself to the “fact” that we only have two political parties and two possible solutions, lend me your ear to make a case for Old Glory.  You see, there is a third color, our color, one which matches the Red stripe for stripe, one which dominates the Blue with 50 bright stars, one which symbolizes the goodness in Us, and one which displays to you and I the role “We the People” are meant to play.  We used to play our role.  We used to force the Red or Blue into submission, selecting not a political party, but a Vision.

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”George Washington

The three colors of Old Glory are not by happenstance.  The Red and Blue are our arteries and veins, the lifeblood of the Body of Us.  And the White is the goodness, the purity, the health of our nation – it is why a body has “white” blood cells to fight off diseases.  You see, you and I, We the People, we’re not supposed to be Blue or Red, we’re supposed to be playing for the White team.  We are supposed to be the thinkers of our political system, the ones who remove the contaminants from our Red and Blue parties, the ones who select the good and proper course for our nation.  It is why we named the Executive Office the White House… for it is supposed to be our home.

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”John F. Kennedy

My fellow Americans, our nation is diseased, our Body is rapidly decomposing, and I honestly believe that it will not survive without intervention from us.  Our government has accumulated nearly 16 thousand thousand million dollars of debt – do We even understand how much that is?  This expansive burden, if We are to live, is to be borne by some 70 million working Americans – a generation consisting of 2 grandparents, 2 parents, and 2 children owes over $300,000 worth of government debt today.  This in addition to the mountains of individual credit card, student loan, and mortgage debt we’ve accumulated.  Are We simply waiting to die, to declare bankruptcy and start over?  At times I believe we are, and most of the time I can see no other future for Us.  But then I see Old Glory, I remember that America has been historically strong and resilient, I envision the hardships that our forefathers faced… and overcame.  And it helps me to remember our goodness and tenacity, it makes me think we can pull out a win, and it brings me a glimmer of hope… hope for Us.

“If you want a symbolic gesture, don’t burn the flag; wash it.”Norman Thomas

In Masonry, a man is taught to achieve balance by dividing his life into threes – a third of his life spent in his work, a third spent supporting his community, and a third spent in rest and rejuvenation.  It was under this same philosophy of Three, this vision of a triad, a three legged stool, that masons created our great nation.  Government, Economy, and Religion… Political policy, Social interaction, Individual freedom… the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost… the three branches of government, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial… and the Red, White, and Blue of Old Glory – they are how we achieve balance in this world.

“Our flag is not just one of many political points of view. Rather, the flag is a symbol of our national unity.”Adrian Cronauer

My fellow Americans, if we forget our role, if we continue to fill the “White” House with captains from the Red and Blue teams, if we choose to play the game without the White referees that you and I are supposed to be – We will fail.  We, you and I, and more particularly our children and grandchildren, We the People will lose the game.  For our Body will not survive without White blood cells.  It is why 2/3 is the number of the beast, the symbol of destruction – for it represents the absence of goodness, the elimination of the white, the holy, and the good from our Body.  It represents the takeover of our Body by our politicians and special interest, the absence of you and I in the process.

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.”Thomas Jefferson

I suspect we are getting close to that tipping point.  We have 1 Independent Senator and 0 Independent Congressman.  Most candidates for public office must agree to a Red or Blue political platform before even appearing on a ballot, and special interest money and influence nearly all but determines our government officials.  This is not how our balance is meant to be maintained, I assure you.  We the People were given the power for a reason.

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

So please, as you look to Old Glory this Flag day, remember who We are, what team We are playing for, and what our role is meant to be.  Consider voting for a solution this year instead of a political party.  Entertain the notion of an Independent candidate, a representative with the vision for the White Team, the good team, our team captain… or, as I like to call him or her, a Vision President.  Not since George Washington did our country elect an Independent to the White house, but I submit we are in dire need of it again in our day.  Consider the White stars and stripes of Old Glory and, instead of voting against whichever broken political platform you fear the most, vote for a course that will make America strong, pure, and vibrant again.

“Sometimes I wake at night in the White House and rub my eyes and wonder if it is not all a dream.”Grover Cleveland

Yours in Faith for a better America and a better World.

History of the Us

It is not living that matters, but living rightly.” – Socrates

The purpose of our existence in this world is to try to answer the question of the ages: “What is the best Way for us to live?”  This great riddle applies not only to us as individuals, but to Us as a group of individuals as well.  Determining exactly how that is best done is not as simple as it may sound.

“A President’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”Lyndon B. Johnson

As an individual, my body will decay unto death, but as a group, our Body is meant to live.  We are One Body, growing, evolving, trying to determine how best to form and function – trying to determine how We can “live rightly.”  And so We must ask our Self:  If We, knowing everything we have discovered up to this point, if We were to attempt to form a society today… if We were to, once again and in our day, embark on a holy mission to create the “Great Society”… if We were to clear the board so to speak, and implement today’s best answers to age-old societal questions…  What would We do?  How would We best attempt to build a more perfect union today?

Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Would we create a government over us?  And if so, what functions would it perform?  How would it pay for itself?  How would We, the Body of Us, in our day and in our time, strive for a better Life?  How would We encourage our productive cells, shepherd our struggling, care for our disabled and elderly… all the while ensuring, first and foremost, that our Body is healthy?  Because, for our Body to continue to live, for “Us” to have a future, we must ensure that our efforts to preserve old cells doesn’t prevent new ones from growing, that our efforts to aid failing cells doesn’t prevent productive ones from excelling, and that our efforts to reward productive cells doesn’t prevent our struggling from being able to blossom.   And above all, if we prefer living to dying, we must ensure that our individual desires to live well today don’t trump our Body’s desire to live well tomorrow.

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”Thomas Paine

So how best can we do that?  It is a timeless question whose answers change and evolve in time and space.  Philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Marx, and Rand have pondered them.

“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.”Marcus Tullius Cicero

Pharaohs, Kings, Caesars, Tsars, Prime Ministers, and Presidents have tried to implement answers.  And Great men, whose names are too many to count, have given their very lives to allow us to continue our pursuit for the answers.

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

Through it all, from cave drawings to internet blogs, from chariots to spaceships, and from spears to nuclear missiles, one thing has changed very little – the nature of Man.  This is why, as we ask our Self the same questions in our day, we must look to history for guidance.  By looking at our past, by examining what succeeded, what failed, and why, by understanding what decisions were made by our predecessors, why they made them, and then examining the results of those decisions, we can better determine our course forward today.

“History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.”Thomas Jefferson

By translating the lessons of yesterday into today’s flat world of genetic engineering, multinational corporations, internet commerce, and virtual workplaces, we can discern some better answers for our day, perhaps even avert the bankruptcy looming on our horizon, and implement the necessary changes required for our Body’s continued health.  So my friends, with the understanding that it is our noble mission, under the humble disposition that we owe our ancestors and our grandchildren more than a bankrupt and broken nation, the following is my reading and interpretation of our history.  If you are a historian, philosopher, politician, or learned citizen with a different reading of history, please help an ignorant man, yours truly, and give me your feedback.  The goal is for us to get this right.

“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”Thomas Jefferson

We’ve started societies since the beginning of time, and we are starting society again this very day.. so here we go.

“Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”Winston Churchill