Saturday, January 23, 2010

the eyes have it

Many people wonder why there is so much vitriol and polarization in every strata of American life.

As I see it the condition is utterly unavoidable considering the confluence of a number of social and political factors. I'll just focus on the political here.

There was a time the political factions were devoted to the Constitution. Like one's eyes they saw the same object from a different perspective.

After the shooting phrase of the War for Southern Independence the Great Victim that was mortally wounded was the Constitution and with it American Liberty. As Salmon Chase, Lincoln appointee to the supreme court said, "States rights died at Appomattox." But it took some time to expire and the body to begin to rot and stink as it does today.

By the time of Roosevelt and Wilson so-called Constitutional lawyers, working together with a Supreme Court that had arrogantly cast off natural law, carried out an all out attack on the Constitution. That attack continues to this day, striking now repeatedly at the bill of rights.
Their efforts quickly rendered the Constitution all but irrelevant, making it, like state sovereignty, a mere relic of the past, fecklessly on display under glass. The war had taken place between the General government and the Constitution that was supposed to restrain it, and the government had won.

Sadly , through the process of incrementalism the sovereign states have been reduced to little more than administrative arms of the National Government. Make no mistake about it, there is only one Government in America and it is located on the Potomac. The states have no more political power than the Queen of England. Their borders are vestigial relics and their local politicians have their eyes focused on pleasing Washington and looking to the day they can go up to the big time and join the show.

The Constitution, now confined and under guard, can no longer restrain the excesses of men's imaginations to control and manipulate others, to get unjust gain, and corruption oozes out of the cracks of the Ship of State and all its compartments begin taking on water.

Impotent in its encasement the Constitution can no longer do mischief to the smoke-filled back room deals and schemes of self-seeking politicians and business men. The inmates have at last a free hand to run the asylum, and run it that are--more on that later.

One important result of this was a sea change; the nation ceased being a nation of laws and began being a nation of men; a nation of battling wills and silver-tongued lawyers arguing for which position serves best the greater good, not which position preserves the Constitutional constraints on the Central Government and protects individual liberty.

Consequently, the Constitution has evaporated in importance in the eyes of the two parties, and each now focuses on their own unique perspectives almost exclusively. Just as a man whose eyes are pulled to their respective right and left corners would look mad, to reasonable men American politics and society now look like madness; a barely restrained brawl.

Like a rudderless vessel that has willfully torn itself free from its anchor, the American Ship of State is now wandering aimlessly in a dark and turbulent sea of conflict, careening to and fro as irreconcilable factions struggle to capture the wheel. Those who are now powerless, that is to say, We the People (remember us), pray fervently neither group will succeed in gaining control, for the moment one does shipwreck on the rocky shores of either the Scylla or the Charybdis will be our certain fate.

Our only hope is to re-anchor ourselves in and submit to the Constitution. It is still, technically speaking, the law of the land. But once a nation has betrayed its founding ideals, has history ever seen that nation return to them and re-achieve its spiritual, economic and political health?

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