America is a great and wonderful experiment. Sure, the experiment had been tried before 1776-most notably, and probably originally, Athens-but it became widespread only after the American experiment. I am talking, of course, about democracy.
Democracy traces its origins to that small city-state on the Attic peninsula-Athens. Its name echoes in legend and lore as the birthplace of democracy. Unique even among other Greek city-states, Athens towers in Western civilization, and was certainly a model for the American experiment.
Other experiments at democracy rose and fell throughout history. Hampered by contending power blocks, destroyed by invasion, subject to militarism, and reined in by the church, none of these other experiments inspired like ours.
Just think for a moment about the birth of America. It is almost absurd, this democracy thing, this purely elected government (although not everyone could vote). At the time of America’s founding, there was no real precedent anywhere in the world. What vision, what daring, what courage, what foolhardiness! It almost makes me gasp just to think about it.
And from our great experiment flowed a huge wave. France, 1789, was the first rider on that wave, with various European nations and colonies following over the next 150 years. The wave is still flowing today, and we, the great experimenters, as we constantly tinker with our experiment, are riders on our own wave. We vote.
When our nation chose George Washington as its first leader, it wanted him to be a king. Not an absolute monarch such as the Tsar in Russia, or the Kaiser in Germany, or the King in France (in fact, there would be some rather momentous events in France very soon), to be sure, but a king none the less. A monarch was the only kind of leader the world knew. Washington refused the title and instead adopted the title “President” from that of the head of the Congressional Congress. He also insisted on “Mr. President” as a term of address, rather than “lordship”, or “highness”, or any other address used by European royalty. And it was incredibly unique, as was our political structure: this strange democracy modeled not upon any existing nation, but harkening back over two millennia to a small city on the eastern shore of Greece.
By voting we affirm our great lineage with that citadel of Western civilization, as the rest of the world, overwhelmingly democratic, has affirmed our vision of some two hundred years ago. Many throughout history have perished for the right which we will exercise tomorrow. To call oneself “citizen” was a privilege not enjoyed by everyone and so, my fellow citizens, do not let the great right of casting your vote rust with neglect.
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4 Minute AMRAP
7 Sumo-DeadLift-HighPull 95/65#
7 C2B Pull-Up
REST 6 MINUTES
4 Minute AMRAP
6 Shoulder-To-Overhead 115/85#
REST 6 MINUTES
400 Meter Run