Too often, since Lincoln's Gettysburg address extended our Declaration of Independence, healing a nation with the unity of emancipation, and conservative arrogance denied progressive scientific invention to save President James Garfield -- greatness and Exceptionalism are roads not taken by Republican leadership -- and, arguably, Teddy Roosevelt's protecting the environment, while his Square Deal busted the vampires of corporate Trusts, was the last time Republicans put American progress first.
America's greatness is inconsistent victories, mingled with defeats. Throughout our national journey we've been spirited by the guidance of nasty women, bad hombres and sometimes being just plain lucky.
So, in 2016, shall we gather at the trough of bigots, braggarts and bullies and vote to profit the unseen puppeteers of the under-informed, choosing rupture while claiming rapture?
Will we succumb to the rigged performance of a GOP ego-inflated puppet, into a house-divided middle class? Deny the Food Desert less fortunate, nutrition? Trade in our souls after reneging on our stewardship of earth and all life upon it? Or simply group our way forward to prove we've still got it?
People who ignore flashing red school-bus lights, cheat on their taxes, use K Street bagmen to rent politicians or dupe the gullible with phony higher-education institutions -- generally enable a society none of us deserve.
Honestly, hasn't America's better half been forced repeatedly to endure a corporate ladder replete with the mind-set of a mythical locker-room?
Aren't Native Americans and many people of color still expected to bear the brunt of rigid conservatism propagated on both Wall and Main Streets -- with Fracking, voter-ID laws and inadequate schools perpetuating an inequitable future?
Perhaps on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, most of us will find the crumbs left behind for our return to civility and unity -- for as a people, most Americans remain Good Samaritans.
But what about the residents at The Villages who, in 2012, cheered Paul Ryan-- with his mother a prop at his side -- when he assured them their Social Security and Medicare would be spared, at the expense of future generations. Presumably, filled with the Me First survival instincts of a J. Bruce Ismay, The Villages' residents overlooked -- the next generations are their children and grandchildren.
After 2000 infighting between U.S. and Florida Supreme Courts, wouldn't it be imprudent in an age of: Citizens United financial stimulus, Senate refusal to confirm Merrick Garland, successful Russian hacks aided and abetted by Assange's WikiLeaks and perhaps a naive loose lips sink ships Edward Snowden -- with devices of every screen size paused over huge swaths of the United States, and pleas from a presidential nominee for international intervention in our electoral process -- to further delay admitting the real possibility of a trumped rig, bankrupting democratic thought, in our American republic?
Arguably, our greatest obstacle to greatness in 2016, is our failure to accept that Donald Trump didn't come out of thin air. He's simply the unvarnished malignancy that has been systemic of conservative state and federal leadership since Richard Nixon, trickle-down economics, the Tea Party and Dick Cheney's "so."
We live in an age of gigantic mergers, diminishing glaciers, shifting weather extremes and increasingly powerful computer technology that can snatch paperless ballots out of the heavens and toss them into the hell of low voter turnout, hyped media bias and the stuff of Koch heads misinformation snuff.
So, if we are to maintain the best that is in us, we may need to re-evaluate the fear, anger, hate and yes, ignorance that has tampered with and tempered our tempo -- though not yet terminating it, with violence, malice-aforethought and the lies we tell ourselves.
(Article changed on October 24, 2016 at 14:20)