Thoughts on the 4th of July
Reflections on the question, "Is mankind capable of self-government on a sustained basis?" Concern expressed on the prospects for our democracy.
As we enjoy the mild euphoria of another Independence Day, we should be aware of the
existential question that is ever present but rarely expressed:
Is mankind capable of self government on a sustained basis?
When the founders of our country created the republic in 1789, they concluded that the
benefits of a free society justified the risks inherent in a democratic government. And for more than 200 years the American people have been reasonably successful in managing t
heir republic and have weathered some serious challenges, justifying the faith of the founders in choosing this form of government. But in recent years the performance of our government has deteriorated, suggesting that severe testing of that underlying premise may be at hand.
In a democracy, the fringes of society are often the most active politically and consequently
they have a disproportionate influence in our political affairs. This can lead us down paths
which undermine the institutions of our republic and are contrary to the wishes of the majority of our citizens. Constant diligence is required to protect these institutions and our personal freedoms, and to take actions appropriate for their perseverance. Such action today is sorely needed.
As challenges appear, a democracy is slow to judge and slow to act. That is a strength which
prevents impulsive actions that are not well thought out. But it can also be a weakness if it fails to see the depth of impending threats, leading to indecision and
inaction. Leadership must emerge to galvanize us into the necessary action. But a glimmer of hope may be found today among state legislators: leadership has appeared there which will shepherd us to an Article V convention of states to mandate balancing the budget.
The first such convention, which will validate the wisdom of the founders in giving us the Article V amendment options, now appears within reach. We must encourage and support that effort. It will blaze the way for other
reforms, such as Act 2.
Act 2 offers us a blueprint to stop the decay and repair the republic by restoring and improving the checks and balances that were inherent in its original design. If we implement these reforms through constitutional amendment, we will see a greatly improved and disciplined government that will continue to be a beacon of hope for mankind around the world. We will establish stability (and sanity) in Washington. Implementation of the Act 2 reforms will demonstrate that
– Mankind is capable of self-government on a sustained basis!!