- Politics and Social Issues
By: Wayne Brown
On my drive to the office this morning, I heard that President Obama would be speaking to a group of college students today in an attempt to stimulate them to get the youth vote out for the November elections. The newscaster pointed out that more than 50% of today’s college students who voted from Obama in the 2008 election have already begun to have remorse regarding their voter choice. Thinking of our young college students motivation to vote for this president, I could not help but dwell on aspects of our society that apparently have been poorly conveyed to these young minds over the years.
Recently, television journalist, John Stossel, went to Times Square in New York City with photos of the top political elected leadership on both sides of the aisle. He showed these photos to young folks he encountered in the area. In most instances, they could not identify the politicians in the photos but most of the could identify the guy “Mike The Situation” from the reality television show. These are the same people that President Obama is labeling as “irresponsible” because they are not reliable in going to the polls and supporting the Democratic Party. Well, he got the label right but he got the reasoning wrong. These are people who would certainly be better off to stay away from the polls. Sadly, these individuals likely have some strong political opinions if asked yet a very poor knowledge of current events in their own country. This is the danger we face in America and the shame that we face that a political party is so willing to encourage participation by such an apathetic group of voters.
The United States of America is an on-going process. Yes, it a physical geographic location. Yes, it has a government and a population. Yes, it has laws and an economy as well as a military. And it has many, many other things in its makeup. That said, all those things are part of the ‘process’ that is America. Like any process, America has some basic and guiding principles which must be regarded if the process is to stay on track and continue in the direction that was intended at the outset.
Let’s stop here and clear something up. This is not a piece about conservative virtues or a rant against liberal thinking. The point here is to say that in America it is one’s freedom to choose to be a Democrat, a Republican, or a Libertarian for that matter. At the heart of each of these political parties, there was always a shared vision from day one of their inception. All of these parties originally subscribed to the premise of protecting the process in America by upholding our democratic principles; by protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and by working to preserve the rule of law within the boundaries of this country. That statement is no longer totally true as it is my perception that the Democrats have lost control of their party and the focus of the party no longer supports these principles.
We live in a time when the educational system is much attuned to teaching process and the methodology for carrying out process. In fact the system is so much tuned in that manner today that we often see young graduates more than willing to institute a process without really understanding the direction or potential outcome. Somehow they seem to have embraced an understanding that implementation of a process will yield the desired result. They seem to give little thought to the fact that it also can yield the ‘undesired result’ as well if the basic principles and procedures of the process are ignored or modified. Herein is the broader problem.
Let’s get back to the concept of America being a ‘process’. If we accept that premise then we must immediately question what the basic and guiding principles for that process might be. Without question, the answer is The Constitution, the Bill Of Rights, and the Rule of Law. Those principles are the center line of the American democratic process upon which our republic was founded and has continued to successfully exist for more than two centuries. When we embrace political views or send elected officials to represent us in government, we expect those views and the actions of those elected officials will ultimately support the basic principles of our American Process. When they do not, we are no longer ‘on process’ for we have departed from the disciplines which guide it and keep it centered.
We must also understand that ‘government’ as it exists is a necessary entity to our process. Government per se does not bring any significant pluses or positives to the process. Government exists to preserve order, sustain and direct a military, and provide a framework of laws and a system of justice. Beyond that scope, ‘government’ becomes a negative to the process. Expanding the size of government does nothing to improve the American Process, it only increases the overhead expenses associated with having a government. This becomes an expense that ultimately the taxpayer must shoulder thus the goal should be to continually look for ways to reduce the size of government while sustaining those core functions for which government is responsible.
With regard to the ‘American Process’, we must understand that anything that steps beyond the scope of those principles defined by the basic guiding elements of our process are alien to it. If individuals or groups gain control through the elective process yet persist in ignoring the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Rule of Law, then we are basically turning our backs on our own process and venturing into new uncharted waters that are not necessarily democratic in nature or principle. At the same time, this approach opens the door to those groups or individuals to ‘make things up as we go along’. When that happens, everyone becomes blind to the direction and the destination. In the process, we may also be giving up liberties and freedoms which we were guaranteed when we operated within the process. We are basically working without a net and there is nothing to be gained by the result. There is no proof or established principle or example which establishes that we can continue to exist as a free nation when we operate from utopian ‘shoot from the hip’ functionality. In doing so, we risk the very bedrock of our foundation as a society.
There are those who call themselves ‘Democrats’ and are currently serving in elected positions of our government yet the belief structure they work from extends far beyond the limits of those which define the Democratic Party. These are individuals hiding under the guise of being a ‘Democrat’ but in practice are actually employing the principles of Marxism, Socialism, or possibly even Communism. All three philosophies of society violate the basic premise of the American Process therefore they are unacceptable to our society. We cannot employ these practices and expect to continue in our accustomed levels of liberty and freedom.
Certainly we can disagree in our approach to the process. Given the fact that all parties have the same vision to remain as nation of people, to quote the Declaration of Independence, ‘endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’ Once we depart from this guidepost in our approach to the process, we are no longer in pursuit of the same process our Founding Fathers envisioned for this nation as a free republic. Once we engage in economics which oppress capitalistic involvement and investment; once we begin to attempt the process of redistributing wealth or assets, we have departed the American Process and the principles which guide it, sustain it, and make it great.
There is nothing within the American Process which guarantees an outcome to anyone operating within it. What the process does provide for is the ‘opportunity’ and the ‘equality’ to attempt the pursuit. Some will be more successful than others; some will give up far too easily or fall short of their desires. A free enterprise marketplace, the opportunity to invest both self and capital, the license to take risks, and the right to reap the benefits of those investments and risks is the reality of the American Process. Government has both a role and a responsibility to nurture the environment under which this process takes place. This is not to say the government controls the process, it simply monitors and guards the environmental conditions under which the process takes place. Once the focus becomes the government, we have lost sight of the process and the principles of it.
It is the duty of every citizen residing in America to be informed on the process and to guard the process from those who would do it harm. It is the duty of the citizen by virtue of the power of the ballot box to guard against those individuals or groups who would rise up in America and attempt to either modify or doom the process to failure. It is the duty of every citizen to recognize the characteristics and principles of Marxist, Socialist, Communists, or any others who would desire to subvert the American Process into a system of utopian equality which derives it philosophy through redistribution of assets. If we as citizens cannot recognize these threats, we certainly cannot guard against them and may easily be attracted to them at some future date.
In any functional entity, there is a system of procedures and techniques which can be used in employing the basic principles. It is here that we derive our differences even though, as a people, we seek the same end. Techniques are just that…they vary with the individual and they vary in their implementation. On the other hand, procedure is procedure, there is no variation. Within a given process, procedure must always be adhered to right down the line. It is here that we too often find ourselves in disagreement because there are those in our society who see no danger in deviating from established procedure; changing and modifying it at will without thought to the impact. It is here that we cannot go and we must not go. This is the sacred ground of the American Process. We must teach it; we must know it, and we must sustain it if we are to offer our follow on generations the freedoms we have enjoyed as Americans.
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