In common speech, we tend to use the words glory, honor, famous and fame as interchangeable terms. They share the common ingredient of praise, and of an independent audience that judges behavior. Where they differ is as to what that audience is and when the praise is awarded. In the simplest of definitions, glory is associated with God. Honor involves respect from a small group, such as one’s family or fellow professionals in law, sports, writing, broadcasting, etc. Famous people are typically celebrities who enjoy shallow admiration from a wide group. That leaves the quality of fame.
In contrast to famous celebrities, fame is more inclusive and looks to the largest possible human audience, horizontally in space and vertically in time. Fame is the reward for the action of great men who stand out and tower above their fellows in some spectacular way. Posterity remembers. Men seeking fame reject the static and complacent urge in the human heart to merely be and instead take the strenuous effort to become, to become a person and force in history larger than the ordinary. Such men refuse to be victims of events; they strive to make events, and to never be forgotten by those later generations that will be born into a world his actions helped to shape.
Alexander Hamilton wrote that the desire for reward is “one of the strongest incentives of human conduct.” Anticipation of reward motivates us. The rewards we seek shape our actions. The different ends for which we strive largely shape the means we employ to achieve our ends.
Some will strive for money. Ambition, which is characteristic of a free society, spurs most men to better their condition. The ambition to earn money and provide the good life for oneself and family is upright and decent. Yet, taken to an extreme, too much ambition in the pursuit of money (avarice) is base and destructive.
Unlimited avarice and ambition in presidents can lead to national ruin. As touched upon in an earlier post, The Framers’ President II, all organizations take on the qualities of their leaders. The virus of a corrupt, avaricious president infects the entire administration, as well as the people, as all eventually take part in universal plunder.
The personification of government for profit and raw, vulgar, destructive ambition is Hillary Clinton. Her personal interests and definition of reward stand as polar opposites to the duties of the president to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
What inspires Donald J. Trump? Wealth? Celebrity? Power? Beautiful women? Certainly all of these motivated him in the past. But having achieved these goals, just what persuades a seventy year old to take on the rigors of the Presidency? The big clue is within his goal to “Make America great again.” The man who makes America great again can count on the eternal gratitude of history. This is fame.
Clearly, the best security for fidelity to any enterprise is to make a man’s interest coincide with his duty. If shallow ambition was his quest, DJT would have grubbed campaign funds from the usual RNC special interests. A man dedicated to making America great again who avoids the usual special interest snares actually CAN make his interest coincide with his duty to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” His appears to be a noble and patriotic quest. If, through his leadership, he can pull this off, if he can lead the reversal of vicious progressivism and set our nation on the path toward first principles, he will have the eternal gratitude of history and will have achieved FAME.
Fame defeats the threat of oblivion. Fame is secular immortality. This, I believe, is DJT’s quest.
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States.
Adair, Douglass. Fame and the Founding Fathers. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1974.
Hamilton, Madison, Jay. The Federalist #72 (1788). Book.