Frome "The Bold and Magnificent Dream", by Bruce and William B. Catton:
They deliberately meant, in other words, to speak for all humanity in that preamble. When they wrote it, there were large numbers of Americans who could claim little or no share in the rights being enunciated. But the door was being left ajar for them, and for voicless, faceless legions of their kind the world over, and for millions yet unborn. It was being left open consciously, because all-inclusiveness- a better life and a stake in society for everyone (author's italics), regardless of race or sex or creed or previous condition- was what the American dream at its highest had already come to mean.
Here lay the basis of a faith that could move mountains. The course of human events had reached one of its decisive turning points, and a great deal of human history for the next two centuries (and beyond) was going to be different because the men of 1776 had first enunciated the dream, in phrases that still contain fire- libery, equality, pursuit of happiness, unalienable human rights- and had then proceeded to show that it just might work. Whoever chose that tune for Lord Cornwallis' military bands at Yorktown had known what he was about.
The tune mentioned above was, of course, "The World Turned Upside Down", and was played as the Redcoats grounded their arms and colors between the ranks of American Continentals and French Regulars after the victory at Yorktown.
The new nation that went forward from that day has never been perfect, and has never claimed to be. But the hopes, dreams, and intentions of the founders have stood the tests of the last couple of centuries better than any other representative governement, anywhere, by any measure. I guess that in an age of instant gratification and almost universal historical illiteracy, that's just not good enough.
But when did half of America decide that we are the enemy?
Where will we find the Washingtons, Jeffersons, Lincolns, and Reagans we so desperately need today?
I worry for my family and my nation. This is not a fear of the senseless violence sure to come as a result of our inability to correctly address today's Islamofascists, or whatever tomorrow's superpower conflicts turn out to be. No foreign power will deprive us our liberty. If that day ever comes it will be our own sloth and shortsightedness manipulated by C-team politicians, intelligentsia, and media that destroy this grand experiment.
Today the magninicent dream continues. For how long, though... for how long?