By Arthur Piccolo
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 2, 2019: Early in Wednesday night’s Democratic debate …
One of the candidates asked rhetorically “who are we?” meaning Americans generally. Who it was is not important; it could have been anyone, but the question is important: WHO ARE WE?
Because what America is and who Americans are is the key to everything. Do we even have a national identity? Did we ever? They seem like obvious simple questions but of course they are not. They are all important …. whether you are running for President in 2020 or not!
Way back in the 1770s we were not a nation but many of the then 13 colonies shared an identity as distinct from England although they were mostly English but feeling FREE from England and that of course led to a revolution and a new nation with a complex fractured identity but that held together most of all because of just two individuals George Washington and Alexander Hamilton meaning eliminate them from the equation and there would be NO United States today because our identity was so fragile.
The fact that Washington and Hamilton were largely inseparable “partners” from the Revolution until their deaths emphasizes the point. Washington was the father figure the ultimate leader that almost all Americas revered who personified a united nation. Hamilton was the “brains” who understood the figure of Washington the hero of the American revolution was not enough.
We all saw that without a doubt with the collapse of the first American government the American Confederation. The United States of America was then better structured to be a successful nation except it too would have been the final collapse except for Hamilton who was the American architect of nation building that proved to be successful beyond imagination.
Hamilton’s plans and leadership produced a spectacular economy unlike any the Earth had ever seen that kept on going and growing long after Hamilton’s murder – an economy that kept Americans united and proud of their nation. Hamilton’s success was even the pivotal element that overcame the horrible ultimate threat to our national identity and survival slavery.
It was the success of Hamilton’s economy that others did their best to destroy but could not in the decades following Hamilton’s death which beyond debate is the reason the North prevailed in the Civil War far more than even Lincoln’s leadership it was that the South was devastated by the strength of the North’s economic engine built upon Hamilton’s vision while the South did all it could beginning with Jefferson to destroy that vision so that when War came the South simply was no match for the North.
As an aside to the clueless, who still question the strength of Hamilton’s anti-slavery values WAKE UP no one did more to end slavery. See above!
Keep reading please the present and the future is built upon the past! If we do not learn and know the lessons of history, we will LOSE!
Following the Civil War an even greater burst of American capitalism built upon Hamilton’s vison but with many excesses Hamilton could not have foreseen and was not here to correct worst exemplified by the Robber Barons who would have turned America into their personal fiefdoms.
America survived them because our national identity built on a foundation of financial and economic strength resulted in a nation in which many millions of Americas and immigrants were able to insist on a national government that served the many and not the few just enough to keep us free and able to create some leaders who came mostly from the working classes and the poor who overcame the greed merchants who tried to steal it all for themselves.
This is an episode of Trump’s America not a book so I am leaving out reams of detail none of it contradicting my thesis but that gives even more substance to it if I included it so I will skip over the Great Depression the so called Great Wars, the Civil Rights struggles and so much more to …
Get back to this week’s debates and that all important question “WHO ARE WE?” today and who we can and must be tomorrow and once again prove that Alexander Hamilton is very much alive still here in the 21st century and Hamilton’s brand of nation building can save us again!
What these debates have proven is that most these candidates if not absolutely ALL of them are Clueless beyond imagination. They think that simply by dealing with the symptoms: health care, immigration, student debt even the environment will produce the America they claim they will deliver.
Even more emphatically just getting rid of Trump will not do it.
We need a national IDENTITY for the 21st century for ourselves as Americans that tackles the root causes of our LACK of a national identity that allows a demagogue like Donald Trump to become President. In the absence of a POSITIVE national identity NEGATIVITY fills the void.
Hamilton understood and we must understand that a national identity must be built on a powerful positive message of prosperity for the many. Yes, a society in which wealth can and must thrive but NOT at the expense of the many. That is what we have in America and around the world today and it is DESTROYING us and it results in a so called health care system that serves only the rich well, jobs market that serves only the rich well, an education system that serves only the rich well, a tax system that serves the rich well beyond belief, an environment that the stupid rich think serves them well.
What is all this and so much more about it is about out of control INEQUALITY. It is impossible to have a widespread and positive national identity built on an economy and government controlled by the few, for the benefit of the few built on FEAR and at the disastrous expense of the many.
There should not even be a debate among the Democrats that we need a NEW health care system that is FAIR to all Americans. There should be no debate that we must get rid of the SCAM known as the current U.S tax code or that we must get rid of environment destroying old technologies.
But even those are still symptoms be they all important core symptoms. Without a widely embraced national American IDENTITY for the 21st century we will NEVER get the real changes our nation and we all need to prosper and make a far better America for the 21st century.
Let me bring in Alexander Hamilton again because he is as relevant today and tomorrow as in 1789. All you have to do is examine Hamilton’s core logic and the quality and range of his writings and most of all his economic plans for our then new nation to appreciate Hamilton alive today would have been the most articulate, the most effective proponent for a VISION of America in the 21st century based on two bedrock components the absolute need to address EVERY issue as a matter of equality or the lack of equality.
Combined “equally” with a VISION for the future in which equality is all important that will produce the kind of leadership in America and for the world that PROVES there is so much better possible and that we can have harmony and a clean environment and reach for the stars in which most if not in fact all of us are fully participating in the SUCCESS of America.
And Hamilton as prolific and brilliant as he was if he was here today would also be warning us in no uncertain terms if we remain on the path we are on to ever more inequality and unfairness, the America Hamilton fought and died for will sooner or later more likely sooner be DESTROYED forever.
One final point for this episode if Hamilton was alive today have no doubt, he would see in Donald Trump what he saw in Thomas Jefferson in his own time – in Trump a demagogue and a hypocrite for the 21st century. In his time in the end Hamilton was forced to make a choice between Jefferson and an even more dangerous choice for President in 1800, Aaron Burr. For which Hamilton paid with his life being murdered by Aaron Burr in 1804.
Let us all learn from Alexander Hamilton’s experience and not be forced to choose simply between the lesser of two “evils” having to elect a Democrat whose only real value is that they are not Donald Trump and just get ourselves another Obama/Biden Presidency that protects the Status Quo.
The incredibly popular musical “Hamilton” at most vaguely hints at what I have written here but at the same time “Hamilton” in a less specific way does what I am doing casting Hamilton as the Founder for the 21st century.
(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)