Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What About Our Anger?

     We have heard, especially on the Right, that there is much anger among the American people with our representatives in Washington. And even though culturally the United States has fallen short of the grand expectations for it held by our Founders, we have as a nation exceeded anything our Founders could have imagined economically. And although recent studies have shown that people are angry in general, the same studies show that those people are generally happy in and with their own lives. The solution to anger is not more anger, as some in the conservative movement seem to think.
     The general happiness in this country is not unfounded. We have, after all, created a country that has attained a level of prosperity and freedom unknown in the world today, let alone when our Founders put quill to parchment and birthed the very documents which made the aforementioned prosperity and freedom possible. The ability for the citizenry to pursue their happiness unfettered by overbearing government was so important a concept to our forefathers that they enshrined it in the original founding document for the new nation they were creating, the Declaration of Independence.
     Today that pursuit of happiness is being threatened by an administration whose values are antithetical to those that founded this great nation. And some feel that the two houses of congress created by the Founders to keep the Executive Branch in check have failed. Without outlining in great detail why that is not true, the greater issue is one of culture, not politics. The Founders never intended the constitution to be practiced by men who did not believe in its principles.
     There has been much talk recently, especially among some in the conservative movement, about a convention of states as a means to cure the ills of our federal government. The Article V convention, as it is called by some, is an end around congress in passing a constitutional amendment that is somehow going to magically restrain congress and repair the damage some think they have visited upon this country. Normally a constitutional amendment would need 2/3 approval from both houses of congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures to support it. The Article V end around requires 2/3 of the state legislatures to agree to a convention at which an amendment can be added to the constitution with 3/4 of those states agreeing.
     Those who push such a measure as an Article V convention have not been able to tell me what amendment they would propose that would solve this nation's problems, which I believe are cultural, not political. Additionally these same folks have not been able to articulate how they intend to get politicians in the state legislatures to act any differently from politicians in the federal legislature. And finally, the insistence on taking this magic pill of an Article V convention assumes, and wrongly so I might add, that all our problems are the result of career politicians. But these folks miss the point that this country was founded, and has been governed all of its existence, by career politicians.
     I feel that our history clearly showing the dominant role of career politicians in this nation's founding and progress can not be dismissed. The act of talk show hosts and first term senators lamenting about career politicians wrecking this nation is a diversion from the real problems we have as a nation. Problems which will not be repaired by a constitutional amendment or any other political solution. Our problems reach to the very foundations of our culture and will require patient, thoughtful, and intellectual solutions implemented over decades, and not just supporting candidates who justify our anger and make us feel righteous about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment