“…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, Bliss Copy
Be careful what you ask for…
Some would argue that our form of government is no longer of, by or for the people but has morphed into a federalist oligarchical republic (more on this later). I believe, however, that the United States Government is today exactly what the American People have made it to be.
Even from the earliest days after the Colonies gained independence from Great Britain and the Framers of the Constitution began the debate over what form of government they wanted to create, warnings and forebodings were published and discussed regarding the past mistakes of European monarchies, democracies and the banking systems which funded them. Let’s review what choices in government the Framers had…
Government is the distribution and administration of Authority. In most historic cases the purpose of Authority is to serve Power, but the Framers of the Constitution believed that Authority could serve another purpose: the protection and expansion of Freedom (within a very traditional context) for the Common Man. To the American Forefathers every man had (within a moral context that everyone at that time took for granted) the potential to govern himself, relieving government of the weight of complexity that made many previous expressions of Authority so oppressive. In addition, government’s new purpose would include (through the rule of law) THE PROTECTION OF THE COMMON MAN FROM THE ABUSES OF POWER.
Whatever Authority’s purpose may be, Authority itself is impotent without Power. Authority is no more capable of executing the functions of government without Power than a vehicle can cross a continent without fuel.
What is Power? Power could be considered an aggregation of knowledge, intelligence wisdom, genius, vision, wealth, affluence and influence as well as access to or command over police and military force; I prefer the word SPIRIT.
Why that word? Case in point:
The Biblical Book of Daniel predicted the coming of Alexander the Great over 200 years before he was born, and corroborated the testimony of his contemporaries and biographers in regards to his POWER–referring not simply to his ingenious use of resources (which, because of his father’s efforts, he had plenty of) but to the aura of charisma and command one nearly always sensed while in his presence. Alexander could command thousands of hardened soldiers to march to their deaths, and they would gladly and cheerfully obey. More than this, Alexander LED his men by example, placing himself in the heat of battle with a fearlessness that was truly inspiring.
More than the threat and application of force, true power knows WHERE and WHEN to apply force as well as HOW MUCH and WHAT KIND of force (mental, emotional, inspirational, legal, financial and military) to apply.
Political Power; consists of structure (Separation [limited ties between states], Federalism [parity between central government and states], Integration [supra-national authority, like the European Union]), source (democracy [rule of many], oligarchy [rule of few], autocracy [rule of one]) and ideology (monarchy/republic, authoritarian/libertarian, anarchism/statism, global/local).
Because Government cannot operate without Power, Power has the habit of shaping and influencing Government to favor its own interests (which is to own, dominate and control anything its eyes fall upon).. The ideal is for Government to create laws that treat Power and the Common Man equally; even to the point of enabling the Common Man to become powerful. But the truth is that the balance between the Common Man and Power that Government attempts to maintain is precarious, and nearly always leans in Power’s favor.
It is therefore the responsibility of the People and the Press to stand guard over Government to ensure that Power’s natural tendency to dominate everything it touches doesn’t rob the Common Man of his Freedom or Government’s ability to protect those freedoms.
What it is important for you to understand, dear Reader, is that POWER WILL NEVER VOLUNTARILY LIFT A FINGER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE COMMON MAN. Call the cause what you will (sin, human nature, the deceitfulness of riches or the appetite for pleasure and comfort), Power is a dragon, a ravenous beast that would without thought devour its prey to extinction and then turn on its rivals (and even its Creator) with the same unbridled passion.
Case in point: Bejing’s air pollution and how the rich residents address the problem in comparison to everyone else or the Standing Rock pipeline issue, which came into existence because the white residents in nearby Bismark refused to allow the pipeline to run under their homes.
It may be that each generation must learn this critical lesson the hard way and suffer the excruciating consequences. I fear that, in terms of the Trump Presidency, the hard way will indeed be quite unpleasant for the Common Man.
Now here’s the rub: according to the United States Election Project nearly half of eligible voters didn’t vote. Why? At this point it really doesn’t matter; the fact remains that half of us U.S. citizens shirked our responsibility to GOD, the men and women who laid down their lives for our freedoms, our fellow citizens as well as ourselves to keep the ravenous Power in its cage…and we all shall be the worst for it.
According to the Pew Research Center Fact Tank, at least 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump despite his marriage record, despite his horrifying recorded statements about women and despite his public record of not paying the Common Men and Women who have worked for him their due wages. I find it hypocritical that a evangelical community that will censure its own for even the appearance of domestic violence would have a person with Trump’s moral record in control of the nuclear codes.
Conclusion: the buck has not stopped anywhere…it has just STOPPED. When the Common Man, the People and the Press NO LONGER CARE what Power does, when the dragon does come knocking at their door, they should throw salt and pepper on themselves, lay down on a silver plate and wait for that first bone-crushing bite.