This house is our culture. It represents so much about what we must revere if we are to have a culture. It is a work of art, in its own right. It is a work by the hands of Americans. Americans of different cultures from all over the world but also of one culture as Americans.
The whole melting pot thing, a basic American cultural foundation, means “multicultural”. Tolerance and empathy are the remaining legs of the American Cultural Foundation Triad.
Multicultural, tolerant, empathetic
Being an American means being multicultural on the outside and on the inside. Our ancestors all came from elsewhere. Some came voluntarily, some came in servitude, and some came as slaves. Even Native Americans made the long walk from Asia.
The Civil War was largely about the imposition of this Cultural Foundation Triad on States which had decided they were not going to be part of that culture. So Americans killed Americans by the hundreds of thousands because it was the right thing to do. We then turned our culture outward but we allowed it to be corrupted by base capitalism. That corruption has steadily eaten away at our moral foundation.
Today, we find ourselves with a President and supporters that have turned American culture on its head. Multicultural has been replaced by a fawning admiration of European culture so severe that they insist that American culture is simply European culture. Period. America may be a country of peoples from all over the globe but to President Trump and his followers it is simply “Euro-West”. Sadly, the European culture they choose to emulate is the very European culture Americans were forced to confront and destroy twice before. Actually, “choose” is the wrong word. They were “forced” to emulate those worst impulses of Europe because Europe has adopted so much of the American Cultural Foundation Triad as to be indistinguishable.
We are a society cannibalizing ourselves for a few shekels. There is little difference between wearing a black jumpsuit while taking a pickax to priceless Iraqi antiquities OR wearing a Brooks Brothers suit while taking a bulldozer to American antiquities OR opening up American public lands to exploitation by President Trump and the Other US Oligarchs.
These are our sacred sites, folks. They are as important to the meaning of America as those antiquities were to the meaning of Iraq. They are being destroyed for the same reason. Power. Whether that power comes from wealth OR religion both are thirsts for power. And that thirst must be quenched even if it means sacrificing much of that which defines us.
Of course, they aren’t the people making the sacrifice. You are.
Hat tip to Rustin Gudim for the heads up
The photos of the interior will blow you away.