Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What must be done?

We seek change in this country, but it seems none know where to start. None know entirely what the shape, nor the meaning of that change is. Few ever observe the causes beneath the tides and tempests that society has, and holds.

People talk about the conservatives, the liberals, the neoconservative movement, as though that is all there is. They look around and weep, seeking any kind of hope out there in the darkness, any hint of light that doesn't happen to be another train barreling down to push them farther into the shadows.

Every moment that passes, we find ourselves less free. When the liberals failed, and crime continued to rise, we decided to go to the neoconservatives. They as well have failed, and created politics of fear, hatred, and bigotry in the name of justice.

Why did the 'liberals' fail? It is because, while 'allowing' some to exercise their rights, they simultaneously limited the rights of others. While allowing the right of privacy, they ignored, and tried to tear down, a number of other fundamental rights, like those protecting against search and seizure, firearms ownership, possession, and use, and started tracking and marking felons so they could not reintegrate into society. Simultaneous with this, was the expression of new avenues of abuse by the government, and by the people, and a rapid shift into zealotry on both sides.

Whatever happened to voting in the senate for the rights of the states, and in the house of representatives for their constituency? It has gone via lassitude, and far too long entrenched in special interest groups. It has broken down, under the weight of corporate money, bribery, and greed.

How many remember the 'Boys Town' debacle of the 70s and 80s? how many remember the backlashes of the various congresses to try to hide it? How many remember the role of the Franklin Credit Bureau?

For those that don't remember, the 'Boy's Town Scandal' was a child prostitution ring. Congress quashed the investigation. Now, we see the senate passing 94% of our bills without ever reading or voting on them, and passing directly unconstitutional laws through the House and the Senate. That is NOT the purpose of the senate, nor is it acceptable. It's now a figurehead for a growing tide of presidential powers... and how long until the Emperor removes the senate?

We have a growing tide of political influence in the various courts in this country... a tide which swells and grows evermore. But when the judiciary becomes an arm of the executive, rather than countermanding the power of the executive, how is this constitutional, wise, or just? When congress becomes an auxiliary of a powerful president, how is this the system for which our forefathers intended?

When Congress can quash an investigation into their own affairs, how is this accountable to the people? When the President can pardon people under his own orders, and write himself a pardon, how is this accountable? How can we achieve a recompense for grievances when the very system for the redress is broken in their favor?

When the President declares himself above the Constitution, and institutes a 'shadow government' in order to assure the 'proper operation of government in case of an emergency', how can this be constitutional? It is not within his powers, though he has attempted to do it. The infrastructure is in place. Congress, too, cannot decline to allow the judiciary to operate, nor pass laws defining its role, nor expanding the role of the president. This is not within their powers either, short of a full Constitutional Convention.

So where do we start in changing all of this? We start with courage, integrity, and with determination. We start at the polling place, voting in people who will represent our interests at local and state levels... people who will be, and have a vested interest in being honest with the vote, then ensure the voting system remains with full oversight of the people.

Then we move to the national campaigns, and ensure those that go to congress do not have vested interests there. We move to ensure our electoral system is upheld, and intact, and replace those in charge of it with those who will be the surest guards of the will of the people, and the state, who again have vested interest in compelling the accuracy of the vote. We then move to the president, and vote in the persons who will have the surest interest in upholding and sustaining the constitution of the United States, as the contract it was intended to be, between the Several States, and the people of those states, instituting a Federal government by consent.

And then we have our representatives declare unconstitutional the extra powers of the president, the president drop the powers he has been given, as being unconstitutional, the ending of the state of emergency, (if necessary by congressional writ of mandamus) and the reinstatement of a constitutional judiciary that votes by the understanding of the agreement.

A lofty goal? Oh yes... very. Difficult as all hell too, as too many vested interests lie within congress, the presidency, and even our local voting places and governments to simply lie back and accept the will of the people again.

But was that not the role of the senate? The house represents the people, the senate the will of the states. The senate was to cool the passions of the people, to let time dilute their wildness. It too has failed in its goal, as often the senate passes things without a second, or even a first thought.

The true is the same of the Electoral College. People forget that the Electoral College was to ensure that a presidential candidate could not simply be elected by working within the most populous states, and ignoring the least. They call for a 'total vote' without realizing that total vote could utterly ignore the will of millions, simply for being in a less populous state. The powers of the Federal Government were limited... to both ensure the rights of the people, and the powers of the state.

There is a horror to which we may well be heading, a horror in which none of the people have any rights. By gradual erosion, by the will of the majority, eroding the rights of the minority, countermanding the dictates of the constitutional contract, the people are enslaved. Democracy ends, not with a whimper, nor a bang... but with the sound of martial drums, a great parade, patriotism, and the slamming of cell doors.

Thus has it always been. Look closely though, when you slam that door... you might find yourself on the wrong side of it someday.

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