A More Perfect Union

I’ll get back to Flash Fiction Tips soon — over the weekend or early next week.  But I’ve also posted about history on this site; with Thieftaker, my first historical fantasy, coming out later this year, it seems appropriate that I do so.

I spent today with my older daughter in Washington, D.C.  We’re here so that she can look at a couple of colleges, and that’s how we’ll spend tomorrow.  But today we walked around this spectacular city, explored a couple of museums, and visited some landmarks.  We wound our way through the National Archives, seeing not only the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, but also the Emancipation Proclamation, a couple of Congressional documents from the earliest days of the Republic, and some very cool footage of past Presidents.

We saw the White House, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court.  This evening we walked down to the Lincoln Memorial  Yes, my daughter had seen images of all these places on TV and in movies, in the pages of books and magazines.  But seeing them for real is so very different.  This city exudes history.  Even the most jaded among us (and I’m often pretty jaded) cannot come to Washington without discovering a renewed appreciation for the founding principles of our nation.  Do we always live up to those ideals?  Of course not.  Did our founders cross the line into hypocrisy as often as not?  Absolutely.

Still this remains just about the best idea for a governing system that anyone has ever had.  I truly believe that.  I have lots of friends who are quite conservative politically.  I disagree with them on almost everything.  But at least we can join together in celebration of a system that allows all of us to shout our beliefs from the rooftops, to argue about politics openly, publicly, without fear of sanction or arrest.  Remarkably, that remains rare in our world, even today.  And it has been the bedrock of our political and social structures for over two centuries.

That’s pretty cool.

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