Donald Trump, the petulant presumed Republican candidate and the lesser of two evils, is campaigning on the slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
What is sad, however, is Trump’s idea of what made America great in the first place. I will tell you this much: It was not his brand of bombastic narcissism. It was not chest-thumping and self-aggrandizement.
How to make America Great Again
If you want to make America great again, look not to conservative-come-lately Donald Trump or the entitled globalist Hillary Clinton. No!
Look way back to one of the driving forces of the establishment of America as an independent nation. look to – listen to – Benjamin Franklin.
I have finally gotten around to reading Franklin’s autobiography. In so doing, I have encountered for the first time since my college days Franklin’s 13 virtues. Incorporate these into daily life. Make these a part of the American mantra. Promote these virtues publicly and practice them privately and you will be part of the movement to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
“I propos’d to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex’d to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express’d the extent I gave to its meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin
Franklin’s 13 Virtues
- Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
- Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
- Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
- Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
- Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
- Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
- Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
- Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
- Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
- Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
- Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
- Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
- Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
I leave you these without commentary, because the great author/inventor/statesman/American needs nothing added. These virtues only need to be repeated, remembered…and incorporated into public and private life.