Feeling cynical tonight. Dissatisfied. And maybe culpable in that dissatisfaction by virtue of my ignorance on the subjects of history, politics and government.
Surely a literate person in this generation is ignorant only by choice.
So borrowed some books.
And learned several interesting tidbits in the process: Jefferson was the "founding father" if you will, of the Democratic party, and Abraham Lincoln of the Republican party.
Yes, I honestly didn't know that.
Those two facts might feel more significant after I figure out exactly what those respective parties consist of–both what they purport to be, and what they actually are.
The other thing, which seems more significant on some level I can't identify yet, I found on the inside cover of a textbook first published in 1951.
There's a depiction of the four cornerstones of democracy: freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.
I think as a nation we've pretty much honored the first two. But I'm curious to know–you who live in America, and any other nation who purports to be democratic. Are you free from fear? Are you free from want? Is our government still sitting solidly on four corners, or have a few of them started to crumble? I don't know.
Certainly, we all worry about finances and the weather and maybe even the stock market. But Want. Fear. How do you define those, exactly? Do they exist in our country today? I have been so blessed, so much of my life, that I have never known either true deprivation or terror.
I am inclined to suspect that while Congress may grant freedom of religion and expression, freedom from want and fear might be rooted in the individual–choosing faith over fear, and gratitude over want.
I have this niggling feeling that there are people out there who don't have that choice, even here in America.
What think you, fellow citizens?