Twelve score and 10 years ago
On Independence Day 10 years from now, our ongoing democratic experiment known as the United States of America will commemorate its 250th birthday, reminding the world how on July 4, 1776, our founding fathers — a fateful collection of contemporaneous geniuses — committed treason by mutually pledging their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" to the idea that "all men are created equal."
Obviously, this sesqui-bicentennial promises to be a noteworthy national event. With that in mind, perhaps it's now worth recalling President Lincoln's eloquent Shakespearean prose at Gettysburg in 1863, "Four score and seven years ago...," whereby — understanding that one score (an old biblical word) equals 20 years — simple math reveals the ominous implication therein: as our nation becomes alarmingly polarized during this extremely consequential presidential election, we just might be headed for some serious domestic unrest as tensions mount on all fronts.
Clearly and sadly, especially since the World Trade Center fell, we've become an extremely edgy nation, divided ideologically, demographically, economically and regionally — a situation frightfully exacerbated by the lunacy of random global terrorism that forces us to solve an overwhelming bombardment of vexing problems everywhere we turn.
Our collective peace of mind, which is the foundation of our precious "pursuit of happiness," is being purposefully destroyed, driving us loco, and we still have 10 years yet before 2026 arrives, which — uh, oh — suddenly might get here too fast for comfort while our heads are reeling, desperately searching for solutions to those vexations. Each domestic issue we must face is dauntingly complex — a list far too long for this brief column — issues far beyond the grasp of average intellects. Put them all together in one heap, and it boggles the minds of our greatest thinkers. Throw Isis into the mix, and we're in very deep doo-doo.
So here we are, ready to choose a new president who must begin straightening it all out, tacitly understanding that such a Herculean task is far beyond the scope of one leader to handle — or, for that matter, even one nation acting unilaterally.
Moreover, electing any one of the three remaining candidates will surely get stuck in Isis' gizzard and ensure the escalation of its lethal militancy: no radicalized Muslim will accept either a woman or a Jew at the top; and the red bull has made it clear that he's ready to start nuking our foes, sooner than later, all of which is scary.
Meanwhile, the doo-doo gets deeper and closer than ever to hitting that old fan, which will be mucho nasty whenever it transpires. Quien sabe? Heck, I'm kind of sad to admit that I'm glad I'll be 70 this year because, as tense as the past half-century has been, our youth are inheriting one very paranoid planet that only seems to get more flipped every year, forcing us to watch our backs indefinitely — a very unpleasant way to live.
After all, compared to the nations of the eastern hemisphere, 250 is still relatively young for a nation. We are a parvenu superpower, an egocentric upstart, perceived as air-headed, amoral, plastic, Hollywood pornboppers by our radicalized foes who mostly live in unyielding poverty.
With no viable solutions readily at hand, if you endorse a deity, I advocate prayer, however you practice that. If not, cool, just think positive and, please, be nice.
Meanwhile, back at the hacienda, God bless North America, and keep it free from harm and danger forever. Finally, if anyone knows how to contact Klaatu, please do so, pronto, before the doo-doo hits the fan and our cities look like Damascus ... hokahey, amigos.
David Felcher lives in Medford.