Amil Imani, an ex-pat Iranian now living in the US, recently posted an interesting article to the American Thinker website.
His premise is that the current theocratic and despotic rulers of Iran are not true Iranians in the sense that they do not portray the ancient traditions started by King Cyrus the Great. This Cyrus II, besides founding Persia by uniting the Medes and the Persians, conquering Babylon and liberating the Jews, also wrote the very first Charter of Human Rights.
Exhibiting qualities that were not exactly common in his era, Cyrus respected the religious beliefs and cultural traditions of other races, earning him the devotion of all his subjects.
Imani holds that the real descendants of Cyrus are those people—scattered throughout the world—who adhere to Cyrus’ Charter: Free humans with human beliefs. Noting that even racially different humans have precious little genetic variation, he contends—and I must agree—that what makes people different is not their biology, but the “software” that runs them.
Are there any lesson here for Americans?
We first have to pin down our origins…
Ethnically, the founders of our country were primarily of Anglo-Saxon extraction. Religiously, some were devout, many were not. And, some who were overtly religious, such as John Jay, were paradoxical in their concurrent anti-slavery and anti-Catholic activities.
Although most were from privileged backgrounds, some, including Alexander Hamilton, certainly were not. In any case, all distinguished themselves in their professional lives, demonstrating the qualities of industry, charity, and self-sacrifice.
Few of the founders would fit the stereotype of a “rebel,” yet, rebels they were. And, it was this very rebellion against an overarching imperial power that would unite men whose professional and commercial interests were disparate enough to cause a civil war a mere 85 years later.
But, if we want to look at the “software” that ran these men, the legacy is our Constitution. Originally written in the summer of 1787, it would not be until May 29, 1790 that the last holdout (Rhode Island) would ratify the document, and then only barely. Still, if this Constitution defines America, or is at least one way of defining America, it is at once simple—and sobering—to hold our leaders to this standard.
Since the colonies came together voluntarily, and secession was always on the table, the very notion of a War Between the States was a hideous affront, a bloody travesty, and a supreme betrayal. No American could advocate this, and few outside the leadership class actually did. Indeed, a goodly number within the leadership class protested vigorously. Even this cultural blasphemy would not be enough to destroy the Republic, but it did change it.
The way was paved for a Federal Leviathan, orders of magnitude beyond what was imagined by the most ardent Federalists of the 18th century. Power-hungry career politicians could now build their own personal empires in a manner that would have disgusted all the founders.
Massive classes of victims would be created, to justify ever more expansion of the monster. Neither these victims, nor their political pimps bear any resemblance to the American ideal, even if they dominate political discourse. And all the while, the Constitution is relegated to little more than ceremonial status, since more than 90 percent of what goes on these days is neither mentioned, nor even remotely anticipated by this document and its amendments.
Of course, appearances are kept up, with fatuous bloviating about “Constitutional Law,” a branch of law that has become little more than a trivial pursuit of the dubious—if devastating—rulings of a Supreme Court, that has sadly become a Supreme farce, aided and abetted by an increasingly feckless Legislative and Executive Branch. None of this, I would remind you, is faintly American.
Somewhere, though, within our 300 million souls, the original fire is burning; only don’t bother looking for it in the hearts of our leaders.