Tuesday, June 28, 2016
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Section A: General News


Editorial: America’s Constitution ... words to live by




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Russell Dickerson
Guest Editorial
March 28, 2012 | 1,240 views | 4 comments

I picked up a copy of Glenn Beck’s The Overton Window on the cheap and started reading it. I came to the big scene where the antagonist talks about the founding principles of our nation. I think he has a point that cannot be ignored. I feel strongly that the Constitution is an excellent guiding document for our nation. The idea that man could govern himself was earth-shaking ... and that is really the founding tenet of our nation -- that man is able to govern himself.

The Constitution fits in my pocket. Even taking your time, it won’t take but a couple of hours to read and savor every line. People understood it ... could understand it. The “Affordable Care Act” wouldn’t fit in my pocket. In fact, I would need a pretty hefty cart to carry it around. The federal tax code -- I’d need a truck. Each and every one of us, as we go though our daily life probably violates some obscure law or regulation without even knowing it. People can no longer understand the law. Even lawyers can’t understand it all. So, how can one govern oneself if you can’t even understand the rules of governance?

Secondly, we as a people lack the competence to govern ourselves anymore. In Thomas Jefferson’s day, either you took responsibility for yourself, or you died of starvation. People cared about outcomes. According to recent statistics, 48 percent of our citizens now pay no income tax. In the last century, dependence on the government for daily subsistence has grown with each generation. Is it any wonder that our dropout rate is so high? It is not the teacher’s fault -- it is the student’s fault. Their expectation in life is to turn 18 and begin drawing their own “paycheck,” so why would someone need a high school diploma? If getting a diploma or GED were a condition of receiving assistance, the dropout rate would plummet. If one’s expectations in life are so low, how can we be expected to execute good governance?

Thirdly, the Founding Fathers designed our government to mirror the people. Studious and hard-working people, who have dreams and plans of a future, created a government that conquered the continent. We accomplished great things and engineering marvels. We made sacrifices so that our dreams could be realized. What are our dreams today? We have become like a drifting ship with no expectation of tomorrow. Our nation has become a macro-model of the lives of that 48 percent. We can easily walk away from homes and debt, and so it is no longer meaningful. The federal government acts the same way. We have become faithless -- the federal government acts the same. We have become spoiled -- the federal government acts the same.

In the long run, perhaps we would have been better as a monarchy -- at least that king would have been invested in the long-term outlook of the nation instead of pandering to spoiled electorate every two to four years. Our allies like Israel know our promises are only as good as the next opinion poll. We promised to be there for Vietnam after we pulled out, but the Viet Cong knew all they had to do was wait an election cycle. What does America stand for anymore?

I attend Tea Party events, and I hope against hope that there will be an awakening to greatness in this country. I teach my children about just governance and accurate history. However, how will such greatness be restored when almost half of America just doesn’t care anymore? Is the Constitution like an honored tradition that we cling to, but in reality is meaningless in our lives? If so, then what will our future hold? The Constitution is not a magic scroll. If the government no longer wishes to honor it, what promise does it make to you? What is the promise of the “right to bear arms” or “freedom of speech” or “freedom of religion” when there is no one to appeal to when those promises are broken?

Have we, who cling to the idea that he who governs least, governs best, become like so many barnyard geese, gathered in a circle squawking in impotence against the farmer taking our eggs?

Russell Dickerson is from Floresville.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
March 30, 2012 11:11am
 
As far as I can recall, the Constitution was the result of many people having their freedoms suppressed by European Monarchs. European Monarchs controlled all aspects of everyones everyday life. They were told what church to ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
March 30, 2012 9:14am
 
All the more important to educate ourselves so that we do not have to relay totally on the biased mainstream media and others with an agenda that does not include the truth. Not a moment to lose!

 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
March 30, 2012 8:27am
 
"Even lawyers can’t understand it all." They can't even understand or agree on what the Constitution says either. "we as a people lack the competence to govern ourselves " What we the people ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
March 28, 2012 3:06pm
 
Very good article. You have to wonder how many today really know much about the Constitution or the Declaration. Moreover how many are intelligent enough to really care. Certainly the ultra-liberals hate the Constitution because ... More ›

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