micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Friday, December 13, 2002
Can we be honest for a second?
"Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals. And the founding ideals of our nation and, in fact, the founding ideals of the political party I represent was, and remains today, the equal dignity and equal rights of every American," President George W. Bush said yesterday in response to the Trent Lott controversy.
The desire by Americans to believe that there country was founded on perfect ideals that have at worst been not implemented seems ingrained in the culture. If Bush's comment is to be believed, it means that every slave owner and supporter of slavery who fought on the winning side of the Revolutionary War wasn't a supporter of the "founding ideals" of this nation. It means that the the Constitution of the United States didn't live up to "founding ideals" of the U.S. until the Thirteenth Amendment. And if that is the case, what exactly are the "founding ideals"? Where have they been written down? Are they anything but whatever Bush believes are good ideals at the moment?
Just to see how it feels I think Americans should say to themselves that the U.S. of A. has, at least in some ways, improved since the founding of the country and that these improvements were not destined to happen or simply the further realization of the "founding ideals" but rather took place because of changes in attitudes and beliefs and social struggles to make the country more just in ways that some, many or all of the founders of the U.S. did not conceive of and/or would not have supported.