Virtue….or Common Sense?


Listen carefully to this man’s commentary on the state of republican virtue in the United States of America (third question in the interview). I am not including his definition of republicanism in this conversation because of the simplicity of this interview, along with the fact that is a core theme of our class thus far. In regards to Gordon S. Wood, a college professor, and supposedly esteemed scholar of the American Revolution, I have serious beef with this guy. As you can all see, we as Americans, should be proud of the fact that the leaders of our country would not resort to a.) bombing or b.) shooting their opponent, in the likely event that they could lose an election. Absurd? I thought so. But could this have some validity to it, in fact?

The primary reason for which I argue that Wood’s assessment of our country’s “republican virtue” is absurd, stems from the essential value of republicanism, which is inherently positive. The fact that republicanism builds community, and in Paine’s eyes, relates directly to the ideal government, brings Mr. Wood’s comment into question. By stating that the only virtuous idea in our country in recent memory is our lack of bombs set off and guns pulled on other politicians, he takes a lot away from what most Americans (and others) consider a democracy. The question is what is good about our country, and, naturally, it’s that we aren’t uncivilized barbarians. Wood essentially tells us his view on our republican government is that it is not the worst case scenario for liberalism. You thought Rand’s ideas were outrageous? Imagine what would happen if every single politician that loses in every single election in our country resorted to attempted murder of his opponent. In my opinion, the comment was in bad taste when put in this light.

The question of the said validity of this statement also springs into my mind. Now, even though it seems as if I completely refuted his statement in the previous paragraph, I left room for the other side. I truly believe his remarks stem from the fact that the state of our political system is dangerous. With the political fragmentation in our party, which is really only a divide between two grossly ambitious and selfish groups of people, we face a time in our nation in which we must take serious precaution in how we move forward. Not only are political tensions high, but racial and class differences are causing a serious split in our population. We are beginning to realize that personal ambition and a lack of cooperation between our communities is causing severe pain in the United States. So maybe he has something right in that it could somehow be a positive that our politicians aren’t plotting bombs in each other’s cars yet.

With two observations of Wood’s comments presented, I still feel very strongly that anyone who considers the highest virtue in our country to be the low murder rate after elections, is disgustingly pessimistic.

With that, I’ll leave you with this…….

About mrsawyer937

Native of Dayton, Ohio. Currently a Senior at the University of Michigan making optimistic ideas blossom into bona fide realities.
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