Themistocles was one of the greatest statesmen in the history of Ancient Greece. Living from 524 BC to 459 BC, he guided Athens through some of the darkest days in his history. In the years leading up to the great Persian invasion of Greece, Themistocles constantly warned his fellow citizens of the coming danger and advocated the necessary steps to prepare for the storm. When the danger finally came in 480 BC, he called for the necessary sacrifices and common sense strategies necessary to bring Athens safely through the storm. In the end, Themistocles won the Battle of Salamis, destroying the Persian fleet and thereby saving his city, setting the stage for the Golden Age of Athens.
The example of Themistocles is the guiding light of the Themistocles Letters.
We believe that the United States of America is entering a time of great difficulty and danger. The federal budget deficit and the resulting national debt pose a serious threat to the future of the American republic. Global climate changes remains entirely unaddressed, and our dependence on foreign sources of energy continues to bedevil us. The gap between the rich and the poor is wider than it has ever been and shows no signs of diminishing. Our education system is not succeeding in producing the kind of informed and well-rounded citizens that we need. Our problems seem to be piling upon us like rocks from a landslide.
Among our elected leaders, bitter political gridlock has paralyzed our government at all levels, greatly hindering efforts to solve our problems. The Democratic Party seems to offer no solution to the nation's problems aside from increasing the size of an already bloated and inefficient government, thus making the nation's fiscal crisis even worse. The Republican Party seems to pursue policies which favor only wealthy corporations, apparently unconcerned with the harm they cause to ordinary Americans. Political discourse is virtually dead, having been replaced by vicious partisanship, endless name-calling, and the peddling of conspiracy theories. Any semblance of common sense and compromise has long since vanished. The existing political structure of the United States is clearly not up to the challenge of successfully bringing the nation through the troubling times it is now in the process of entering.
In the mist of all our problems, far too many Americans seem happily lost in a fog of celebrity gossip magazines, reality television, and frivolous materialism. If our nation is to ride through the storm, its people must wake up from the sleep into which they have lulled themselves.
That is what the Themistocles Letters will be about. We will examine the serious problems facing America and explore possible solutions to them. We have no liberal or conservative axe to grind, for both sides of America's political matrix are at fault in creating the mess in which we now find ourselves. Instead of repeating tiresome talking points, we will focus on finding real solutions to real problems. We want the American people, and American's elected leaders, to recover their senses and regain a spirit of common sense and compromise.
Because, believe me, we are going to need it.