A friend’s daughter asked me for some input on a paper she is writing for her history class (she is a freshman in college). We got into a discussion about why America didn’t devolve into chaos since it puts so much emphasis on individual freedom. We talked about how much that has changed over the years and how much I have seen during my own life (I guess I’ve lived long enough to have “life experience”). She asked me why America works and what can cause it to stop working. I told her that America can be understood in physical terms – natural laws – because these terms and laws apply whether you believe them or not.
“What do you mean?” she asked, looking a bit puzzled.
“Natural laws – like gravity – apply equally to everyone. You don’t need to believe in gravity for it to work, it just works,” I replied.
Think of America as you would think of baking a chocolate cake – there are seven key aspects necessary to successfully create a chocolate cake – a) a recipe, b) the right ingredients, c) in the correct proportions, d) blended in the proper order, e) baked at the proper temperature, f) in the proper equipment, g) for the proper amount of time. You can take a short cut and buy a pre-packaged mix – but even the mix is blended specifically to output a chocolate cake and will still need additional ingredients added (milk, eggs, etc.) – and is still subject to the final steps just like a cake made from scratch.
Likening America to a cake sound silly but if you think of the Declaration of Independence as the recipe that lists the ingredients, the Constitution as the instructions and America itself as the oven, the analogy actually works.
Like baking a cake, messing with the ingredients or the instructions can be problematic.
If you substitute incompatible ingredients (salt for sugar, for example) or mess with the process (baking at 200 or 450 degrees rather than 350), you won’t get a cake – you will get something else. You can substitute or add compatible ingredients (like margarine for butter or add chocolate chips) and enhance the cake – but those ingredients must be compatible with the recipe and the process. You also can’t bake a cake on a burner on top of the stove, it must be in the oven – so it is clear the environment must be right as well…and it takes time, too. If it says to bake it for 30 minutes, you can’t take it out at 15 and expect it to be done, 45 and expect it not to be burnt or interrupt the process (stop and start) and expect the cake to turn out as planned.
And you can’t make a bad cake good by covering it with icing.
For the first 100 years or so, we pretty much followed the recipe to the letter with one very notable exception – slavery.
Then we had a civil war because we weren’t mixing the right ingredients (slavery violated the principles of the Declaration) and after that was corrected, we went on another 50 years or so until progressivism began to add incompatible ingredients – but they are added in such small quantities over such a long period of time, people adapted to the changing taste – but over time, as more of these ingredients (socialist ideas) were added, America came to look and taste less like a sweet, chocolaty cake and more like a flat, bland loaf of unleavened bread. Progressives will try to cover that unleavened bread with a great layer of sweet icing, but it can’t hide what is underneath.
In my opinion, the downfall of America will not come because the recipe and instructions are bad or outdated, it is because they are no longer being followed.The Declaration and the Constitution haven’t failed us, we have failed them.
If you don’t follow the recipe and instructions when baking a cake, you can’t blame them for the result – good or bad, that result is on you.