Western Europeans flocked to the country we now call the United States of America for several reasons: two of which were to escape persecution (i.e., someone telling them what they should or shouldn’t do and believe), and to exploit the vast natural resources. In order to protect and support themselves they developed civil societies with rules and guidelines of acceptable behavior. (It should be mentioned that there were already indigenous civil societies here existing for the same reason.) Our rules and guidelines became the Constitution of the United States of America.

As the population grew, people who felt persecuted in their new environment, or who simply didn’t like being held to the rules of the current civil society, simply moved over the next hill and created their own rules and guidelines and exploited untapped natural resources. Eventually, however, more seekers of personal and financial freedom showed up and someone had to adapt or find a new hill to cross over.

Well, friends, we’ve run out of hills. Unless you live totally off the grid in some secret canyon in the wilds of Idaho or Alaska, or Manhattan, you eventually must have contact with a civil society that has certain expectations of your behavior for the protection and support of the greater population. The Constitution wasn’t written by hill-crossers — it was written by those who stayed and fought and died to make the country work for the society in which they chose to live.

We Americans have historically romanticized hill-crossers, but now they just seem desperate and sad. We are all on the beach now, and we have to work together to survive as a civil society.

H. J. Whitmore

Summerville

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