ARTICIE BY SENATOR MIKE ti.ANSFIELD (D., MOI'iTANA)
FOR THE 'IDRON'ID STAR
MAY 21, 1976
The American bicente1mial coincides vi th my last year in the
Senate of the United States . As a result, the year has for me, not only
a special significance as a national commemoration but also a very pe1·sonal
m\.!aning . In asking vhere Am~rica has COOle fran, whero we al'e and where wo
lilEiY be headed as a nation, I cannot evade \.he queation of whathar or 110t
threo decades of national service in the Congress have been well spent .
These questions are best answered if the nation and the Congress •'. ("'\
are both seen as continuities. The living generatiorm of Americans and those
who hold political office on their sufferance 1:u-e both sojoun1ers for a brief
span . He are not the sole so\ll·ce of all that is right in the land. Nor are
we the perpetrators of all that may be vrone; . We are born into a Clllllulative
situation. We modiry it to some extent for be~ter or worse during our life-times
and pass it on. We are, in short, participantB in a continuing process .
In ita moat significant aspect, the continuity has to do with th~
elaboration of hUllla.Il freedom in civilized society . The process did not begin
in America. Freedan as we know it and Canadians know 1 t reaches baok to tho
Magna Carta and ita roots go even deeper into the past.
The American Revolution whose Bicentennial is now being celeb1.1ated
is, of course, one of the g~·ea.t milestones . Having crossed the Atlantic to
the now worl
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