Yogi Bear (on the Ranger`s phone): Hello? Hello? Is this the White House?
Ranger Smith: Yogi!!!
Yogi Bear: Hey, the President knows my name!
The Creators of American cartoon figures quite often use them to mirror social conditions to make people reflect about ethics and heritage. Yogi Bear is no exception. As everybody likes his “wisdoms” they have become common knowledge in contemporary America. From the gutter all the way up to academic discussions Yogi Bear is cited whenever somebody wants to put weight behind his argument. When Yogi has said it, it must be true. I would like to bandwagon on this phenomenon by citing the last statement of Yogi`s quote and change it a little. – “Hey, the President knows us!” – The capital letter P in president indicates which president I am referring to. George Washington. In the following article, I would like to tell you why “the President knows us (the American people)” and reflect about what we could learn from what “George Washington says…”.
Note from the author: As a format I will use a fictitious letter to the editor which was published by a fictitious major American newspaper a few days ago.
My dear countrymen,
The Founding Fathers and I do have grave concern about the state of the Union today. What we see is what have foreseen then and warned about. Let me remind you. My friend John Adams once wrote:
Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.
On behalf of my colleagues I assure you that we repent nothing. We would betray our virtues if we did. Not recognizing that America is in a big mess and not speaking up now would indeed mean betrayal. We, the founding fathers, believe that the cause for our nation´s problems is not who is elected president but lies in the people themselves. They left the path of virtues. Without virtues the flag, hymns, pledges, monuments, and parades, become symbols without meaning. I warned my countrymen when I stepped down:
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
The reason why we fought our revolution was to free ourselves from tyranny. We got rid of the king to see today´s America subdued to a new tyranny which is maybe worse than that of kings and emperors. My wise friend Alexander Hamilton knew of this tyrant a long time ago. Wealth. In a speech to the New York Ratifying Convention in 1788 he said:
As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor I can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others.
America´s debts amount to 16,1 Trillion $. A lifetime is not long enough to pay back such a sum. Our children and their children will have to carry this burden on top of the problems they have to face in their lifetimes. The responsible in government could have known if they had studied lives and works of the founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789:
But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
What were the reasons for contracting these astronomic debts? – They are all known. Wars, spending on the military, tax cuts for the wealthy, and covering for a financial crisis caused by irresponsible banks. If the responsible people had read Thomas Jefferson a lot of money could have been saved. In 1802 he wrote:
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency … they will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
America is waging an endless war around the globe which wastes a lot of money but even more many innocent lives. I commanded the first American army in a bitter and brutal fought war against a relentless foe. Notwithstanding of what happened on September 11, 2001 I still whole heartedly agree with my colleague Benjamin Franklin who wrote:
All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. Do good to your friends to keep them and to your enemies to win them. Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
We are deeply convinced that America´s wars today are un-American. In a letter to my friend Alexander Hamilton I made my abhorrence at war very clear:
The nation which indulges towards another in habitual hatred, or in habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is enough to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.
The final cause for America´s debts I see in the tax cuts for the wealthy. It points to the real threat to our country´s survival, which is the tyranny we have inside ourselves. I would describe it with `more is not enough´. 20% of Americans own almost 90% of the country´s wealth while 80% own only 10% and the spread is increasing. Mere wealth creates wealth without any labor behind it. A CEO earns 312 times more than the average worker. The Boss of McDonald’s makes in one hour the same money as one of his average workers in one year (i.e. $ 7400) The rich get richer without working and the poor get poorer despite their hard working. We were aware of that that when we started this great country of ours. My friend Benjamin Franklin said it:
Money has never made man happy, nor will it; there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.
If wealth does not make people happy why do Americans allow this unjust and inhumane distribution of wealth to happen? The answer lies in the dark side of human nature. Greed has become the new tyrant. If you really believe in God as you claim day by day in the pledge of allegiance, then it is your duty to follow Benjamin Franklin´s simple demand.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
The rebellion you must take up is different from ours and much harder. It is not fought by militias but in the minds and hearts of each and everyone. The key is education. Samuel Adams wrote it over 200 years ago:
It has been observed, that education has a greater influence on manners, than human laws can have. Human laws excite fears and apprehensions, least crimes committed may be detected and punished. But a virtuous education is calculated to reach and influence the heart, and to prevent crimes.
Virtuous education is not about studying to get a job to make a lot of money. Rather it means reading about and reflecting our origins i.e. studying history, philosophy and religion. Right here we could pick up our fight against the tyranny of wealth. Education must not be a matter of money. Nobody could have expressed it better than John Adams:
Laws for the liberal education of the youth, especially of the lower class of the people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.
America´s true strength lies in her virtues and not in its economical, technical or military superiority. If our countrymen bethink themselves of this historical truth Alexander Hamilton´s words he said in a speech to the New York Ratifying Convention express the true power of our nation.
Here Sir, the people govern.
1ST President of the United States of Amerika
Note: All quotes (italics) are taken from https://www.brainyquote.com/