FICTION

Washington’s Lament

The Collapse of the Grand Ideal

The rising mist off the waters dissipated by a cold northerly breeze. Spontaneously, innumerable witnesses gathered at the Potomac River’s Virginia shore. The throng stared in shock as the smoke and flames billowed over DC.

Someone yelled from the crowd, “Has our Capitol fallen and how did this happen?”

A gentleman of renown spoke, “Did we not give them the best we had to offer? Through avarice and an unquenchable hunger for power, the political establishment has squandered our gift. The elected have scammed the electors.”

Father turned to the crowd and noted how quickly it had grown. Multitudes lined at the shore, then back to overflowing the streets. Lamentations rose to the heavens like the rising mist.

As he scanned the many tear-filled eyes, he began to speak, “Two-hundred-forty-four years old; this country is but an infant in comparison to the many ancient civilizations that preceded.”

He paused, wiping the tears from his cheeks. “Yet, the corruption reeks like the smell of raging wildfires in a burning swamp. What we are witnessing may well be cancer uncurable unless the good citizens awaken and confront the ruse by which their elected officials manipulate them.”

Father raised his right arm then pointed toward Arlington Cemetary, “Too many have sacrificed for the ideals of liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and justice for ALL. Through feeble hand, the founders crafted a constitution sturdy enough to endure time but flexible enough to change when absolutely necessary.”

He gritted his teeth before he continued, “Maybe a product of the times or because of our short-sightedness, we gave lip service to the great proposal. By not ending slavery and giving women an equal footing in those first days, we allowed the disease to infect and repeatedly divide the nation. Our Declaration of Independence festered into a mockery of the high-minded words because our actions DID not follow suit. As so eloquently stated in our charter, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Too many of our citizens are still marginalized. Their cries for truth burn in their hearts. Their voices are heard from the streets across the land. Our democratic republic still fails them. The masses rise across the country in protest to remind us.”

An unknown soldier who awakened because of the turmoil asked, “Father Washington, Can number forty-six and the newly elected congress turn the country around?”

Father Washington scratched his chin and thought for a moment. “They can help if they have the will. But it is up to the citizens to disengage themselves from their mindless pursuit of pleasures and begin to hold their governing representatives accountable. We chose elected representatives for a reason — to keep tyranny at bay. Unfortunately, they have become the tyrants with their lifelong ambitions to hold the office of power rather than to serve the people. The words of the Declaration must transform every street corner and home.”

He turned to behold the city on a hill, “Go rest, my friends. Our time has passed. Go back to your posthumous slumber. It is up to this generation now whether they will rise or fall.”

Writer, philosopher, humorist, observer of life, an all-around lovable guy.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store