Proclaim L̶i̶b̶e̶r̶t̶y̶ Tranq Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.
It’s hard to imagine a seventeen-year-old with no formal education jetting off to Philadelphia today with the equivalent of fifty bucks and a bread roll.
This is what America is supposed to be about. This is the American spirit. People used to *do* things, not sit around and ask for help.
St. FDR did more to kill this classic vision of America than anyone else. Until we get rid of the welfare state, I don't think we'll see any more Franklins.
Fantastic essay !
So good TGC!
"The Scales of Justice have become as Feathers, too Light to tip in any Direction?"
Your talents are amazing.
Classic GC. You missed the part where Franklin watches Meatball twerking.
When I worked in Old City, I often found myself having lunch at a table near the official Ben Franklin impersonator at the Bourse food court. I always got a kick out of the anachronistic scene of Ben eating Sbarro pizza, or lo mein, or whatever. Those were the good old days of Philly. Last spring I took my older daughter to her volleyball tournament at the convention center, and brought along my younger daughter to explore the Reading Terminal Market, Market Street stores, and LOVE park during the down time. I hadn't been into the city since pre-covid, for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I didn't have a vax passport. The kids experiences before then were Comcast holiday shows, ice skating at Dilworth plaza, doing all the historical tours, all of which I had done a million times. Well, a new experience was had by all that day. Complete debauchery. Human excrement on primary streets. Harassment by countless probable drug addicts. In the heart of the tourist section. Real Ben definitely would wish a lightning strike to get out of there these days. It's truly sad.
...a republic, if we can keep it. I kind of think the destruction of the republic started before the ink was dry on the signatures. Excellent post. :)
Very appropriate article GC. Parallel to Franklin, but different, I spent my first 17 years in Philly. Left for the free state of Texas and college, just as soon as I was able. The coup in Dallas was still on everyone's mind then and family thought I was crazy to go to such a place, But I persisted, and wound up in Waco for 4 years.
But back to Philly---As far as I remember the writing was on the wall even way back then. The Democrat machine controlled the city, gang warfare was common, and drug use amongst the young was not unheard of even in the 60's. The video going around now (the streets of Philadelphia) makes me cry though--it's like the people on the same streets I grew up on, no longer even hope for a future--just doing time till the ground swallows them.
So much has changed there even over the last 60 years I have been gone. My returns have been not very frequent, and not at all since Mom passed 18 years ago, but I did find a good cheese steak, and the soft pretzels from the corner vendor were as good as I remembered. Don't believe the same can be said today. I suspect Old Ben would be turning in his grave ( as well as many of the other signers of those two most important documents ) at what we the people have let that fabled republic become. Our freedom was given up at first slowly, and now during my life as fast as a sled flying down an icy hill side. So Sad
This is another great essay, but this line chafes:
"What would Franklin think of the subversive financial speculator and teenage Nazi collaborator George Soros destroying American cities?"
Instead of calling Soros a "Nazi collaborator," why not just call him what he is? A Jew. Especially since his behaviour is typical of Jews, not National Socialists.
The word "Nazi" has become a shortcut for talking about all things tyrannical, but using this shortcut is part of our deeper malaise, as Craig Nelson so aptly illustrates in this post:
This is brilliant! I can see an entire mini-series.
S1 E2: Ben visits a Gender Studies class at U Penn and is perplexed with the faculty and students' lack of critical thinking skills and their infatuation with pronouns.
S1 E3: Ben attends his first Eagles game (This writes itself)
Go nuts G.S!
The present incarnation of America is doomed to die the long overdue and ignoble death its held off for generations. Just as you can't hold off the inevitable end of all flesh so too you can't hold off the inevitable end of empire.
Our founding fathers must be rolling in their graves to see what we've become. :(
History mixed with a satirical ka-pow, excellent GC!
Ben had better come heavy with ammo, a couple of Uzis, stun grenades with an optional tank and/or drone.
This is absolutely Golden. I'm glad you mentioned the Isaacson biography; I also read it and enjoyed it. Kids that still get educated should read this; the visuals included.
Its a different theme, with historical accuracy as the thrust, but the comparison to today's Philly tells it all.
I am a paid subscriber, GC. I bit the bullet. I only hope it don't bite me.