Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Independence Day Rant

The other evening I was watching my local news channel and they were talking about how, due to the dryness of the fields, they may have to cancel some of the Independence Day firework shows. That triggered a thought that they ought to replace them with readings and discussions of the U.S. Constitution. Although Independence Day celebrates the Declaration of Independence, I think a discussion of the principles found in the Constitution would be a suitable substitute for a fireworks show. Then I thought, no one would come to hear someone discuss the Constitution. Therein lies the subject of this article, no one seems to care about our Constitution, the system of government it describes, and what it means to be a citizen of these United States.

I find it interesting that during the religious holidays of Easter and Christmas some of the television networks broadcast movies with a religious theme such as the Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston. Why then, since we are in the midst of the process of selecting our next President, and to a lesser degree certain Congressman and Senators, does nobody seem to care about the document that outlines the duties of these elected representatives?

I am pretty sure that, by now, most people are aware that there are two candidates running for president who get all the media attention, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. However distasteful it is to me, one of those men will most likely be our next President.

With that in mind, I find it interesting that in a 2006 MSNBC interview, Barack Obama made the following statement, “I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.”

Senator Obama must have foreseen his future nomination when he said that, otherwise he would not have run. First of all the Senator does not understand that we do not have a democracy, we have a representative republic. Just repeat the Pledge of Allegiance and see if you can find where it says, “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and to the democracy for which it stands...”

Next up, the Senator does not even know how many states there are in this country. He claims to have visited 57 of them, “It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon and over the lat 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in fifty uh seven states, I think one left to go. One left to go, Alaska and Hawaii I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to, but my staff would not justify it.

It could be said that he made a simple slip of the tongue, that he actually meant 47 states. But then that would still suggest he thinks there are only 49 states. I wonder which one he left out?

I do not wish for people to think that I am picking on Senator Obama and that I support Senator McCain. Hardly, Senator McCain, in my opinion, is as much a walking, talking piece of human excrement as Senator Obama.

There are two quotes that pretty much sum up how I feel about politicians in general, including the two primary candidates running for President. The first is by H. L. Mencken, “A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.” The other is by comedian Robin Williams, “Politics: ‘Poli’ a Latin word meaning ‘many’; and ‘tics’ meaning bloodsucking creatures”

What does it say about our country, and we as a people, that these two men are the best this country can come up with for President? Does it suggest, as Senator Obama himself stated, that we have gotten lazy and are therefore getting bad politics and politicians? Or is it as Theodore Roosevelt said, “The most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice.”

Clarence Darrow once said, “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.”

I hate to do this, but Senator Obama, once again, may have described exactly how we got to the point where we are having to choose between him and Senator McCain for the highest office in the land. In May of 2004, Senator Obama stated, “People are whupped. I'm whupped. My wife is whupped. Unless it's your job to be curious, who really has the time to sit and ask questions and explore issues?”

That, my friends, is pure nonsense. I work my tail off almost every day, yet I still come home and research, write, and stress out over the future of my country because of people who claim they are too whupped to take the time to research the issues. That is the definition of apathy, and Plato had this to say about apathy, “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

It is not just that we are apathetic, we also have very short term memories. Our country has been on the downhill slide for many years, but people are oblivious to it. Years ago Georg Friedrich Hegel said the following, "What experience and history teach is this- that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."

How many remember a certain governor from Arkansas who ran for, and was elected as President, who was just as slick and charismatic as Senator Obama? How many remember that this President once said, "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..."

The old Chinese proverb says “"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” Is America about to be fooled again?

Former Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas once said, “As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”

However, since we are so ‘whupped’, we don’t see the darkness falling upon our nation. We have been led to believe that the only viable candidates for office shall emanate from either the Republican or the Democratic parties. Thomas Jefferson had this to say about political parties, "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."

We have been led to believe that our government is the cure for all that ails us and that only through their benevolence can we obtain security and happiness. The guidelines concerning the powers granted government which are found in the Constitution are forgotten, just as Arthur Schlesinger said, “For most Americans the Constitution had become a hazy document, cited like the Bible on ceremonial occasions but forgotten in the daily transactions of life.”

Those who blindly follow a candidate because of the political party they belong to, or because they are too ‘whupped’ to research the issues, should ponder what Albert Einstein once said, “...for those who would joyously march in rank and file, they already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident when a spinal chord would have sufficed.”

Our country is worth saving, the idea that all men are created with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not things that we should let slip away because we are ‘whupped’.

Samuel Adams once said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

Unfortunately I am realizing that far too many people, as a friend recently told me, “...that most people do not support a civilization and are not concerned with what, why, when, and who make a civilization function. Most people are interested in a dry roof, reasonable health, good food sex and easy to use toilets. After that, most people are concerned with becoming undisciplined hedonists with their free time and surplus capital or borrowed capital.”

Americans care more about sports, video games, the lifestyles of celebrities, and reality television than they do about the affairs of their nation. Let me tell you, reality television has nothing on what is unfolding, and has been, for years in this country. Our rights are slowly being stripped away from us by the very people whom we elect to watch over them. It does not seem that this will change much either, not when we have two candidates who, in a perfect world, probably couldn’t get a job flipping hamburgers at McDonalds.

To quote Edward Langley, “What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.” To quote myself, “What this country needs is some comprehensive government reform.”

The framework for good governance is there if only people would read it and apply it to how they choose their elected representatives. However, as long as they remain too ’whupped’ nothing is going to change.


tchoden said...

I wish everyone would read and understand this article. There are lessons to be learned.
But apprantly people are buzy watching illusion blinding their senses.
Awesome post like always.

The Zombieslayer said...

That, my friends, is pure nonsense. I work my tail off almost every day, yet I still come home and research, write, and stress out over the future of my country because of people who claim they are too whupped to take the time to research the issues.

Same with me, my friend. I work in a high stress software engineering job, as all my jobs in this profession have been (high stress, lots of hours). This one is less stress and less hours, but it's still a lot of thinking.

Anyone saying they don't have TIME, I want to smack them upside the head. People ALWAYS have time, unless they're retards. There is no excuse. If you want other people to make decisions for you without your consent, then move to China.