Traveling back from a meeting, I was staring through a windshield which I find to be thought provoking for some reason. I was thinking about the Founders and the attacks their reputations have been subject to for the last 50 or so years. I was wondering why. People like Jefferson committed great aspirations to the activities of the everyday guy with soaring rhetoric and ideals that equalled the rhetoric. As a result, he was revered. Washington committed his life to a goal of creating a country and then walked away from Kingdom when it was offered in favor of allowing the ideals of the new country to grow. He, too, was revered. Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, Lincoln, and others adorn our currency and were honored with monuments and legend. Fairly recently in our history, we have been informed that these people were hypocrites, drunks, slave owners and retrobates of every description and unworthy of our reverance. Is this the result of finding the truth amid the debris of legend or a concerted effort to discount the individual in favor of the collective? More recently, we are led to view people not as individuals but as members of a given race or gender or party or union or nationality or religion. Collectivism may not be Un-American, but Individualism is the most American thing that there is. Collectivism assumes that the individual cannot rise. That an individual, in truth, cannot even survive without significant help and support. "It Takes a Village". In the past, American Collectivism existed to clear away the obstacles so that the expended effort of individuals could lead to individual greatness. Now it seems that American collectivism has changed to demand that the efforts of the individual support the needs of the many. In order to justify this, the talented individual must be viewed as both corrupt and lucky and his rewards must be viewed as illegitimate and unearned. No individual can therefore be revered. Jefferson owned slaves and wrote about freedom. Hypocrite. Washington slept around. Whore. Franklin was a womanizer, Lincoln a bad spouse and absent father, Grant a drunk, Hamilton a coniving political hack. Carnegie, Ford, Firestone, Rockerfeller, Edison, Westinghouse and all the rest were draped in greatness when I was young and now are generally acknowledged to be the rapists of the landscape. Is Collectivism only possible when heroes are destroyed? Is Americanism possible when individual greatness is reviled?