Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out of Many, Too Many


I might have done this research in the heat of my anti-SOPA rage, but as Wikipedia was in the middle of a protest/blackout, I’ve given myself a few days to think about how to best approach this topic.

I’ve noticed recently that on the original seal of the United States, you will not find our current slogan, “In God We Trust,” but our first motto, “E Pluribus Unum.” I’ve been thinking about the difference between these two mottos and the significance each carries.

The original was never signed into law as our official motto, because in 1776, Congress had a lot more important things to do. No, the motto was de facto - or more colloquially, officially unofficial. The Latin phrase means, “out of many, one” and I think carries a heavy promise of truly united strength and faith in this once-great nation.

The later-adopted English motto was signed into law in 1956, undoubtedly because no one had anything better to do in Congress than change things with deeper meaning into crappier things with less meaning for fewer people.

I do not mean to poo-poo “In God We Trust,” particularly as a God-fearing individual. However, while E Plurbis Unim has an immediate and strong sense of unification built-in, In God leaves out Americans who had been included previously. Atheism represents a small portion of today’s US population, less than 2% according to one poll, but a full 16.1% of Americans claim no religion. What better way to segregate than to leave out over 34 million Americans from the motto that is supposed to represent and unite us?

Today Americans come in all shapes and sizes, races and creeds, the same as in days gone by. Why shouldn't we have a motto that unites us when and where it matters most?

Which brings me to my next point. The GOP candidates are largely doing nothing to unite us as a country. I myself would love to see Ron Paul in office, because I honestly believe that he is the best man for the job right now. But Romney, the occasional/probable front-runner, literally falls into the 1% demographic the Occupy movement has so recently fought against. Not to mention he stands alongside Obama in almost every major issue. Gingrich can relate to a lot of people (as he is on his 3rd wife... oooo! burn!) but claims to adhere to traditional family values while in his personal life may he as well beat them. Santorum. Who is Santorum anyway?

I've made some efforts to acquaint myself with these candidates and find myself languishing over what will happen to our government. I already know it’s in the crapper, but maybe, just maybe if the Executive branch could pull its head out for a moment, we might have a chance.

Vote Ron Paul 2012! He’s (surprisingly!) not a war-monger or a politician. He’s your friendly neighborhood OB. He actually understands that each life, and this country as a whole, still has value.