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A More Perfect UnionPosted Tuesday, August 24, 2010, at 4:34 PM
I know that many of us have completely different ideas of improving this country we call home. One thing we share in common is that we all want to see America continue to achieve and be a shining example to the rest of the world. That part is the easy part. After that it gets muddled down and quite often our ideological differences get in the way of continuing to create a more perfect union.
The Constitution without pause is the law of the land. It is the document that all our other laws follow and are possible through. Right up front our ideological differences separate us. Some believe the Constitution to be rigid and what was written was what was meant. Others believe that the Constitution is malleable or a "living document" and that it is up to each generation to interrupt the Constitution and use it according to where our society is at a given point. The truth, I believe, is that it is both. It is both rigid and malleable, the Supreme Court and Congress have played this out. Originally there were no amendments to the Constitution but the Founding Fathers determined that there needed to be because the main part of the Constitution was, in fact, too rigid. Over 200 years 27 Amendments have been added to the Constitution and this is where the malleable part came in. These are the parts that can be looked at and tweaked to fit our society at a given point.
Somewhere along the way, though, we got off track. Unfortunately, our mistrust of those ideologically different than us has forced us to go way off track instead of coming back in line.
We have a two party system in this country. I believe this is where we got off the tracks in the first place. Thomas Jefferson did not like the idea of political parties and distrusted what would happen if they formed.
"Were parties here divided merely by a greediness for office,...to take a part with either would be unworthy of a reasonable or moral man." --Thomas Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 1795. ME [http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0800.htm 9:317]
He was not always so clear on how he felt about political parties. It seemed that he had a love-hate relationship with them. I, personally, hate the political parties. Unfortunately they are a necessary evil in today's society. Before the Civil War the two dominant political parties changed hands and names several times. Some came and went, but the end game before the Civil War is that political party structure was very fluid.
We have now had the exact same two main political parties in this country since the time of Lincoln. It has grown stale and the parties themselves are distancing themselves from each other with every year.
My solution, which I have mentioned on here quite a few times is to dissolve the two main parties into a system of parties. Having more than two, possibly three, candidates to choose for the office of the President would, in my mind, get the person that best represented everyone into the White House. To me that would create a more perfect Union.
Congress is a mess is it not? Neither party in Congress represents the people anymore. They now represent the highest bidder. The highest bidder is typically a lobbyist tied to some industry. Sure, they all say the right things when they are home but once they get to Washington D.C. they forget all about the promises they made us. To me every single member of Congress should be replaced. That will never happen of course, but we can dream. Under the idea of the multiple party system no party would ever have a stranglehold on Congress and no party in the minority would be able to hold Congress hostage just hoping to get to the next election. Coalitions would have to be built in order to get legislation passed. In this system new laws would be closer to benefiting all instead of some.
Besides all of that it is us, the American people, that need to start putting our differences aside in order to continue that goal of creating a more perfect union. There is nothing inherently wrong or immoral in helping those that are less fortunate than us. Can we improve on the system that we have today? Absolutely. Do we need to (to borrow a phrase) repeal and replace. Not really. In the end it would cost a lot more to repeal and replace instead of just fixing.
We are at a crossroads in the country. Do we continue going down the path we are going growing further and further a part, driven that way by our political parties? Do we change course and strive to do what our founding fathers wanted from us initially, create a more perfect union? It is high time for the second option.
A phrase that has been bandied around lately (carelessly I might add) is the talk of an armed revolution or civil war. That option is useless and unneeded. We have the power to create a revolution every two years and it is simply going to the polls and voting. We do not need to group think on this but we can act together as ONE AMERICAN VOICE and demand change. The United States of America created the modern democracy yet among nations that allow voting our turnout is among the lowest. If you want to truly be involved with the way your country is run, VOTE!
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