Reading my copy of the “American Patriot’s Almanac” my interest to investigate Mark Twain further was sparked when it was noted that the legendary humorist and political commentator was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. When I searched for further information I learned the following insight to this famous American.
Twain is quoted to have said, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress,” and then in a Boston speech in 1890 he expressed his scorn for European snobs who looked down on America.
“If I look harried and worn, it is not from an ill conscience. It is from sitting up nights to worry about the foreign critic. He won’t concede that we have a civilization----a “real” civilization…[H]e said we had never contributed anything to the betterment of the world…
What is a “real” civilization? [Let us suppose it is one without despotic government and near-universal inequality, ignorance, and poverty. In that case] there are some partial civilizations scattered around Europe---pretty lofty civilizations they are, but who begot them? What is the seed from which they sprang? Liberty and intelligence. What planted that seed? There are dates and statistics which suggest that it was the American Revolution that planted it. When that revolution began, monarchy had been on trial some thousands of years, over there, and was a distinct and convicted failure… [W]e hoisted the banner of revolution and raised the first genuine shout for human liberty that had ever been heard…
Who summoned the French slaves to rise and set the nation free? We did it. What resulted in England and on the Continent? Crippled liberty took up its bed and walked. From that day to this its march has not halted, and please God it never will. We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors, if we had contributed nothing! Nothing hurts me like ingratitude.”
While those words were uttered over one hundred years ago they continue to be a sound appraisal of the situation then and now. One wonders if our current leader President Barack Obama ever read Twain’s works or words, because he certainly has bowed to European interests during the earliest days of his administration. Why would he want to take us backward and not forward as the real leader of the free world? There are those among us who suspect that he envisions himself as the ultimate leader of one world, United Nations governance. This subject sure gives me pause to contemplate Obama’s true intentions.