America evolved out of the natural expression of European, mostly English, explorers, pirates and adventurers who sailed along the Atlantic coast of America in the 1500's. It was there and then that Sir Walter Raleigh claimed and named Virginia and picked expansive Chesapeake Bay to house, as it now does a great naval armada with it's capital city nearby, naval officers training nearby at Annapolis, Washington, D.C. and the core of America truly began here.
By the early 1700's, the young lad Benjamin Franklin ran away from his strict Puritan childhood of beatings in Boston. He arrived in Philadelphia, the growing city of Brotherly Love, which much more suited his temperament; and here he thrived, creating much influence for himself. Gradually a growing sense of an independent United States of America evolved from those initial 13 colonies clinging, adapting, and learning to thrive up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
All this was foreseen by Sir Walter Raleigh when he noted that cotton could be grown up to the Virginia coast, and this new continent could be a great English speaking nation, and it's naval armada would fit within this great bay and protect the capitol that could be created nearby. Such astonishing vision is rather in short supply these days with politicians who strip the treasury for pork projects in their districts and who have badly discredited and damaged the reputation and ability of America to meet the basic needs of it's less advantaged citizens.
Today in America are between 40-70 million people who are under or non insured citizens. Meanwhile, America now spends half of all military spending on earth, confirming President Dwight Eisenhower's warning half a century ago that a military industrial complex was building such complex networks in American industry that resolve and strength would be needed to ensure the people held a firm rein on this. And this visionary thinking was from the great military leader who was Allied Commander in Europe during World War Two.
President Eisenhower, a born leader, created rather than a vast military complex, the freeway system that brought America into a new level of prosperity and efficiency. He had observed the autobahns of defeated Germany, yet immediately saw the power in deployment of troops and tanks rapidly around America in event of a Soviet attack, much as the later military sanctioned Arpanet evolved into todays Internet. It is time again for visionary rebuilding of America at home, and less adventures in places that have not attacked us.
Less hysteria about a mortal enemy under every rock, and more integrated planning with allies are long overdue, in this increasingly complicated world with new powers pushing at the edge of security and stability as we have known. In times of stress, leaders from FDR to JFK asked of us that you ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country. This essential attitude of communal effort has not come down from the present administration, who have now plunged America from President Clinton's ongoing government budget surpluses and a strong economy.
We all need to wake up and be aware that sacrifices are happening anyway, but in all the worst ways. Time for renewal, and more back to the American antiques inspired leadership that has always appeared when America most needed it. More of the same seems to be a formula for a very weakened America with its debts being held by China and Japan and the oil states.
Change is in the air. Opportunity knocks: the world asks if America still has the vision and capacity to meet its obvious challenges, and become less the boat rocker in a very rocky world at sea, seemingly adrift. The need in our fevered world is becoming more urgent daily.