Gerard reminds us of all we’ve lost.
We told our children that any child could grow up to be President. And then we made it come true.
We had car shows, boat shows, beauty shows and dog shows.
We ran robots on the surface of Mars by remote control.
Our women came from all over the world in all shapes and sizes and hues and scents.
We actually believed that all men are created equal and tried to make it come true.
We did Levis.
We saved Europe twice and liberated it once.
We invented Jazz.
We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg address.
We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.
We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.
We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.
We electrified the guitar.
We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.
We ran our farms so well we fed the globe.
We made the automobile and the airplane.
We let you get rich. Really, really rich.
We had poor people who, even at their most wretched, were richer than any other poor people on the face of the planet.
We were the noblest nation the world had ever known.
We had so much freedom that many of us voted to just throw it all away.
Even towards the end, as we dissolved into the petty bickering and idle entertainments that come with having far too much leisure and money, many among us were still striving to make it higher, finer, brighter, better, and more beautiful.
Even towards the end, the best of us declined to give up and pressed on. “Where to? What next?”
I left out several of ’em, just to give you a reason to click on over for the rest. Gerard links to what you might think of as a followup to this one, too. Taken together, the two posts make for some mighty depressing reading.