The True American Experiment
244 years ago, the American experiment came to life, unparalleled to anything in history. With strong ambitions at the forefront of this social and political revolution, the founding fathers of the United States of America relentlessly fought to construct a nation that would strive to uphold the values of freedom, democracy, and individual rights.
These principles would be faithfully preserved, passing them on to the generations to come. Early revolutionary heroes successfully “forged a distinct national identity strong enough to acculturate the many ethnic groups that have immigrated, while preserving a strong sense of its unitary creed.” This pioneering vision can be summed up in a few words taken from the hit Broadway musical created as a tribute to one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton:
“You will come of age with our young nation
We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you
If we lay a strong enough foundation
We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you”
These words reflect just that: a dream, a vision, and a purpose worthy of passing on.
It came as almost a surprise when the Supreme Court in December 2020 rejected what many called an “audacious legal bid” to disenfranchise millions of voters in key battleground states in the presidential election. Part of more than sixty lawsuits (only one successful) orchestrated by the Trump campaign and the Republican Party, legal attacks against public officials and civil servants only served to feed a political frenzy never before seen in America. This pandemic crested on January 6, 2021, when hundreds of insurrectionists, inspired by Trump and scores of elected politicians, stormed the US Capitol, coming within seconds of physically assaulting the elected representatives and senators assembled to confirm a peaceful and orderly transition of presidential power.
On January 13, 2021, Trump was impeached a second time. The resulting trial only confirmed the rapid acceleration of the contagion that infected a body politic in 2020. A lack of accountability for brazen individual and institutional failures symbolized a venomous assault on fellow Americans under the guise of law. Without a shared understanding of how the scales of justice should tip, the year exposed an American legal tradition barely clinging to life.