America the Beautiful, a great patriotic song with wonderful, inspiring lyrics. The lyricist and the composer saw a potential for greatness as this nation evolved. In truth, that prophetic vision of America has never materialized; and it's a vision that is rapidly fading. The America in which we currently live is strikingly different from the one as depicted by those words. Beautiful words become meaningless when the will to make them a reality does not exist.
Brotherhood can be described as a body of people bonding together in a common cause, a kinship of fellow human beings. That song could be thought of as portraying a greatness that develops as the bonding of the people becomes stronger over time. It spoke of brotherhood, unselfishness, and success through nobleness as the formula for creating a society in which people were able to overcome their differences and prejudices and learned how to work together in harmony.
Both the second and last verses of the song use the theme of crowning good with brotherhood so that's also the theme that will used in this article. I firmly believe that one of the biggest underlying reasons for the many critical problems that exist in America faces today is the fact that, instead of a brotherhood in which we are all pulling together to make this nation stronger, various nefarious elements of this society are in the process of making our divisions ever deeper.
So let's examine and discuss a few of these verses to see how they relate to what is happening in the America society of today:
*And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. Does this form of brotherhood exist in this nation in which the disparity of wealth and income is the highest among the 32 industrialized nations of the world? A nation in which 45 million Americans live below the poverty line and a like number try to survive on food stamps? Does anyone see any evidence that the so-called 1% of Americans who control about 35% of the total wealth of this country have any concern whatsoever for the serious problems that so many of their fellow Americans face?
While I'm a supporter of the Occupy Movement I don't agree with its mantra that pits the 1% of wealthiest Americans against the 99%; I would venture to say that a better estimate of the two opposite sides is more like 20% versus 80%. Within that 20% are millions of Americans who have very good paying jobs with excellent benefits, who lack for nothing. And from my contacts with a wide array of individuals, I find that many of them are strong supporters of the GOP agenda that is intent on dismantling this nation's most important social programs that benefit millions of Americans. So, people of this mindset are not the least bit supportive of the Occupy Movement and its objectives.
*Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine. Where, pray tell, can we see where this vision of success based on nobleness is to be found in America today? Can we find it in the banking industry that bends and manipulates the laws of the land to trick people through the creation of a myriad of financial ploys and schemes? Is that what is called nobleness? Can we find success through nobleness in the weapons industry that profits from our endless wars that cause so much death and destruction in the world?