November 20, 2016
Dear Mr. Trump,
I am writing to suggest a small piece of the puzzle in making America great again, maybe just a reminder since I learned of your secondary education in military school at NYMA. There is a need for a common belief in core values. There is a need to return to schools, public and private, the Pledge of Allegiance and the like to our routines.
Your expertise as a builder and developer gives you insight about the importance of an exact set of drawings, plans, and schematics to drawing a team of engineers and contractors to the start, continuing effort, and completion of a project. Every ribbon cutting you’ve participated in is a testament to this as fact. I suggest it is a fundamental Truth of success in building.
Certain factions of our populace have been changing the fundamental plans of our national project, and they have used our courts to do it instead of the voting booths across the nation. First prayer fell, then the Pledge of Allegiance, and along the way our songs also fell. God Bless America, America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee), and America, The Beautiful are only a few of such pages of the plan that have been set aside. All this began during the celebration of our Bicentennial.
These simple songs and words provide a basis of thought for what is the American dream. Upon this foundation, the stories of the struggles of pioneers from Roanoke Island, and Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, opening the Ohio Valley, the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, and clipper ships to California frame the dream in the passions, struggles, failures, and successes of the People, of “We, the People”.
Some among us have changed the blueprints. They argue the plans are flawed because of errors that were made. The argue that genocide was committed in the name of Manifest Destiny and this makes the basic plan flawed. They see no value in the plan. They replaced the plan, rather than modify it, singularly focusing it on individual groups, creating divisive cracks in the foundation of the American dream. The argument made is one based on a freedom ‘from’ religion, rather than an appropriate freedom ‘of’ religion.
I suggest these words and songs mentioned represent the American Civil Religion, the basis for a common belief in the American dream and necessary to the survival of this grand project called The United States. Robert N. Bellah wrote (from Berkeley) in 1966;
“I think it should be clear from the text that I conceive of the central tradition of the American civil religion not as a form of national self-worship but as the subordination of the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged.” 1
Mr. President, as you work to Make America Great Again, may I humbly suggest that you use “The Midas Touch” to renew the plans for this nation’s future, to correct the misuse of the original blueprints, and restore the ethical principles to the People. Find within your routine and build within your team the means to restore the teachings of the Pledge of Allegiance, America, and America The Beautiful to our national fabric. Those wandering in the streets protesting today were never taught that purple shadows on mountains can be majestic, that amber waves of grain feed the world, that it is pilgrims’ feats of blood, sweat, and tears which build alabaster cities, no matter what station in life they start their journey from.
With great respect and awe, I am your loyal servant,
John L. Zoll
- Bellah, Robert N. “Civil Religion in America”. Daedalus, Journal of the American Arts and Sciences, Winter 1967 Vol 96 No 1 pp 1-21.