In the Federalist Papers, founding Americans were asked to consider the new Constitution (our current Constitution) after everyone experienced the “inefficacy of the subsisting federal government.” While our form of government is far superior to the Articles of Confederation, who can argue for the efficacy of our current federal government? Every election in modern times, so it seems, is filled with promises to “change Washington.” Approval ratings for elected officials have remained low for years, with periods of dipping even further down. New politicians experience rapid rises in popularity, only to fall quickly into the familiar patterns of political excuses and partisan blaming. The problems we have faced for decades, if not since the inception of our Nation, have been met with “solutions” which do little more than postpone the final payment to our debtors and task our posterity with even greater burdens as they attempt to find solutions for what will now be infinitely more complex problems with each generation.
Our safety, our welfare, our sovereignty, and our union are at stake as political parties seek to widen the divide of opinion, in order to obtain power, and foreign influences attempt to subvert the very foundations upon which our union was established. The decision regarding the fate of this union still, at this time, rests where it always has: with the people of this country. While the question to be decided by that first generation of this nation was “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force,” the question which faces this generation is whether societies of people are really capable or not of MAINTAINING such good government through reflection and choice, or whether they will allow the fate of their rights and privileges to fall into the uncertain and ever-changing winds of partisan sentiment and subversive philosophies, only to find rest in the clutches of those dictators and tyrants who will serve themselves under the guise of serving the people.
Our perceptions of rights, privileges, and the public good have become so corrupted by those specious influences that we hardly recognize the difference between the principles of freedom and the downhill path to oppression. In the critical time leading up to the adoption of our Constitution, our predecessors faced challenges by those already in positions of power, or seeking positions of power, who feared the adoption of the Constitution and its function of pruning the overgrown branches of excessive power. Of concern also, were those wolves in sheep’s clothing who favored the adoption of the Constitution for reasons of ambition, greed, and partisanship, among others. In these areas, we have made little progress.
The ambition of parties and individuals has so separated our people from their foundations that the issue is considered before the principle, so that politicians and tyrants come to power by leading the people into heated debate regarding the most recent popular issue without the people seeking to test the proposed solutions against the time-tested measures provided from this countries founding. So skilled are these self-declared patriots, that they divert the attention of even the most well-intentioned citizens from the fact that only the lyrics have changed, while the musical style has remained constant. Adoption of the latest catchphrases elicits excited and uproarious support without consideration of the need to try and challenge the candidate’s character and motives, even when that character and those motives have been demonstrated through a sordid history. Sadly, the drive to forgive and forget a politician’s faults is often rooted more in party than it is in religious feeling.
We are reminded that despots come to power by masking their ambitions as “zeal for the rights of the people” rather than speaking of “the firmness and efficiency of government.” Truth is not something that is feared by statesman and patriots, but these seemingly rare commodities are best recognized by their willingness to unguardedly discuss principles of government. Politicians fear saying the wrong things and losing popularity, while statesmen seek to teach correct principles and allow the people to recognize truth when they hear it. The statesmen does not fear a discussion on the role of government, because he is interested in how government can protect and preserve rights, rather than how he may use it to gain power and control over the people.
While there have been subversive challenges to the Constitution, and moreover, there has been a dearth of study and understanding of the principles upon which the constitution was based since before my birth, I declare openly my support for the Constitution and the urgency of our situation. Each individual must acquaint themselves with the principles of that sacred document and determine for themselves if those are the principles they wish to have continue in our country, or if those principles should be set aside for desires and dictates of other nations, philosophies, parties, or politicians—which is the dismemberment and destruction of our Union.