ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Letter: Making America greater than great

Brown writes writes about the Age of Enlightenment.

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.
We are part of The Trust Project.

What makes America great is when we commit ourselves to the Age of Enlightenment ideas that were used by the Founding Fathers and continue to be used by oppressed people of every background, belief, nationality, class and identity.

The Age of Enlightenment was an amazing time in western civilization because men and some women began to think long and hard about how the government ought to treat its citizens and how we, the people, ought to treat each other.

The great ideas that came out of this age included representative government, liberty, equality, fraternity, the separation between church and state, tolerance, and using science to not only better understand our world, but to help improve it.

Yes, the American Founding Fathers did not apply these ideas perfectly. That part of history needs to be acknowledged and taught honestly.

However, when white, working-class men began to organize labor unions and labor parties, they were invoking these ideas in the search for a more perfect union.

ADVERTISEMENT

When people of color, women, disabled people, and the LGBTQ community began to campaign for freedom and equality, they, too, were invoking these ideas in the search for a more perfect union.

So great are these ideas, that they are not limited to one particular culture or nationality. They can be found in nations as diverse as the Japanese Meiji Restoration, the Declaration of Independence that the people of Vietnam issued against occupying France, and the American “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If we truly want to “Make America Great Again” we would commit ourselves to these Age of Enlightenment ideas. They are what make America the greatest nation on earth and they can make our nation even greater than thought possible.

Edward TJ Brown lives in Parkers Prairie, Minn.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

What to read next
Backer writes, "Without a doubt, we’ve had our challenges. We’ve made a few mistakes, some serious and painful, along the way. Through it all, we’ve persevered; we’ve learned and become better. And we won’t stop learning and becoming better."
Kooyer writes, "Even though considered protected free speech by the U.S. Supreme Court, usurping our collective, beloved, enduring emblem of democracy for the purposes of making a political statement is something in which thoughtful Americans of good character simply do not engage."
Martin writes, "Our Jan. 6th Capitol riot is a dark and dismal day in recent history. The day was bad enough and our reaction is worse."
Carpenter writes, "My attitude toward political involvement has changed, for a lot of reasons. One reason is that I have gotten to the age where I’m thinking more about the world that I am leaving to my children and grandchildren."