Now I know the real reason Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus shut down. Turns out it had nothing to do with mistreatment of elephants and the demands of the SPCA after all. They just couldn’t stand the competition from Congress, which is a much bigger circus and operates at the expense of the American people.

I come to you this week from center ring. I have taken my traveling road show to Washington, D.C., and there are more clowns and jugglers here than any place on earth and the president of the United States is working without a net.

The American people deserve better representation than we are getting. Let me tell you that flat out.

If you’ve never been to Washington, you owe it to yourself to come at least once in your lifetime. When you do, take time to walk around the memorials and monuments and reflect on the men and women who have built this country and have shaped it, so far, into what it has become. Warts, guts, feathers and all, it is the greatest nation in the history of the world. That’s why we are having so much internal disagreement over how many people can come here and from where.

I was in Russia last month. People aren’t marching in caravans across Europe to try and immigrate to there.

Here is an interesting fact. It’s the history teacher in me. I can’t help it.

Our nation’s capital was placed on the banks of the Potomac River to appease the Southern states and to entice them to go along with Alexander Hamilton’s plan to have the federal government assume all debts of the 13 states. The Southern states didn’t have much debt and Southern congressmen balked at taxing their citizens to pay off that of Northern states. Folks back then believed in keeping a close eye on their public officials, and Southerners thought having the capital close at hand would allow them to keep pressure on Congress.

The Northern representatives agreed to move the capital south and the South went along with Hamilton’s assumption plan. Now we are still stuck with everyone’s debt, and Hamilton is a Broadway musical. That’s progress. But the events that led to the creation of Washington, D.C., were fueled by compromise — a word that most politicians have forgotten. Compromise has become the art form that disappeared when we began to lose our statesmen in favor of political hacks who place their own fortunes and interests ahead of those of the people they serve.

But as you tour this city and see the Washington Monument and Lincoln and Jefferson and FDR and MLK memorials, and those created to honor veterans from World War II and the Vietnam and Korean wars — as well as the magnificent Capitol building — you get a sense of pride and a little awe, at those that handed us the magnificent gift that is the American Republic.

And then you turn a corner and are bogged down in traffic because snowflakes who believe every special interest research project result ever produced are marching against climate change, in the middle of the street. They are wearing hundred-dollar sneakers made of petroleum products by children in the Republic of China, the biggest polluter on the planet. This causes you to wonder if Sam Adams and John Hancock and Paul Revere really did it this-a-way.

And you drive by the magnificent domed building that has survived so much and realize that almost half the people inside are far more interested in obstructing and fabricating than building and progressing. Everybody gets to decide which side believes in which because, so far, we haven’t abdicated all our freedoms in the name of security. So far.

And you visit the museums and marvel at what we have accomplished as a people and have hope for what we can still accomplish if we will all try to at least sing out of the same hymnal, even if we can’t all be on the same page.

And you wonder if it has always been like this and if this nation will survive for our grandchildren to visit — or if they will know or care who all those monuments represent. And that’s if they haven’t all been torn down or renamed because some of them once owned slaves.

And then you decide that it will continue to exist because it must. It is the last best chance for the world, barring Divine intervention.

God bless our nation, warts, guts, feathers and all.

Darrell Huckaby is an author in Rockdale County. Email him at dhuck008@gmail.com.

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