Known to a dwindling number of us outside the Beltway and, hopefully you, our Constitution guides our Republic, and, for the most part, it has successfully held our country together since 1787. Some politicians and circumstances have led the country astray, but we’ve always managed to come ‘home’ to the wisdom and insight of the men who, undoubtedly, forged the most enduring and successful framework of government for free people ever created on earth.
Take Note: We have an administration that disdains the Constitution; it ignores the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights. And, we have an increasingly large electorate who either don’t know, don’t care about or are openly hostile to our form of government. These are not ‘normal’ times.
Our Constitution calls for three co-equal branches of government. The relative power of each has ebbed and flowed over our history…strong and weak presidents, house speakers, senate majority leaders, supreme court chief justices. The masterful ‘checks and balances’ model has worked well…when exercised within the constraints of the Constitution.
Take Note: The current administration ignores these constraints; it has, is and will continue to openly ignore the separation of powers. The evidence is overwhelming, indisputable. Refusing to acknowledge the obvious is an exercise in self-delusion.
Our representative Republic operates with a two-party model, a model that assumes the two parties counterbalance each other. Typically, whether Federalists, Whigs, Jeffersonian Republicans or today’s Republicans and Democrats, one party traditionally supports a large, powerful federal government; the other, a smaller, de-centralized central government, relying more on state and local governance.
Take Note: When both parties support a powerful, centralized federal government, the only difference being the degree and rapidity of centralization, they offer neither real opposition to each other, nor any real option for freedom loving citizens.
Throughout history, governments, regimes, empires and kingdoms have risen then fallen. The causes for their demise are many, but one common denominator is evident in all: a ruling class emerges that becomes more remote and distant from the citizens, not hearing or listening to them. Rulers shower themselves with power and wealth; they ignore the people who put them in power and allow them to remain.
Take Note: Democrat and Republican politicians may differ in policy and philosophy, but they share a common greed for power, prestige and wealth. The people know an out-of-touch elite political class does not serve the Republic well…party affiliation is irrelevant.
Third parties have come and gone, but, when members of one of the two major parties feel disaffected and splinter to form a third party, the opposing party wins the election. Recall 1992.
Take Note: The logic of the last paragraph is lost on citizens who believe they have little or no say in and/or control of their party; fear, frustration and anger will trump rational thought.
I’ll conclude with personal thoughts I didn’t anticipate expressing until a few years from now. But, alas, the events since the election warrant their inclusion here.
Using one of today’s clichés, the United States is at a tipping point, if it hasn’t already passed it. Over the last five decades dishonorable, dishonest, fearful, selfish and ideologically-driven politicians have pushed the country to its precarious position. Financial, cultural and political systems that served us well since 1787 have been ignored or intentionally discarded…and we ask, how the hell did it happen?
Retroactive diagnoses are of little use. It is what it is; there’s no way to change history.
As feeble and complicit as the Republican Party has been, you, unbelievably and frightfully, are the last line of defense. Do you realize that? The political system is failing; do you realize excuses and rationalization are hollow and meaningless?
Winning the next election…for president, congressman or senator…means less than nothing if the people have no more faith and confidence in you than your opponents. For once, it’s not about you; it’s about preserving the Republic.
Should you fail the people, you will share the blame and responsibility with those you claim to oppose. If you fail working within the political system, the people will ultimately find ways and means to work outside the system. These alternatives are too horrific to think about, but free people will always find a way to remain free.
Think about it…think about it long and hard. You took an oath to protect and preserve the Constitution. In the end, that’s all that matters…at least it should be.