There’s an interesting scene in episode seven of HBO’s John Adams, where 90 year-old Adams is shown the above painting by the artist, John Trumbull. Adams is displeased. He says the history of the American Revolution is lost. He chastises Trumbull for making a graphic fiction of the events in Philadelphia. Adams reminds him that the nation was at war, and that the signers filtered in one by one to sign the Declaration and that there was nothing tranquil about it.
It may seem a trivial point, but it’s not. As our nation teeters, faced with economic and political crises, we need to look back and learn from our own history. We need to remember and honor the sacrifices made my great Americans, and use their examples as motivation. There were scoundrels then, as there are now. Those who care about the future of our nation (and the people in it) must work to root them out and restore the ideal of public service and corporate responsibility. It’s a big task but it’s not out of reach.