We the people must decide
The social media banter during and after the first debate was interesting, some of it disturbing. Over and over people I would consider informed voters asked how in the world we had arrived at such a juncture when our choices for President and Commander-in-Chief would be between two such dreaded and despised candidates. More than a few asked, "how did we get in this mess?" The answer is really very simple: we the people did it. During the primary season of this election cycle 15.8 million we the people Democrats cast their votes for Hillary Clinton. At the same time 13.3 million we the people Republicans preferred Donald Trump over the other 16 Republican candidates. Well yes, there's been plenty of media hype, the political parties did their usual dog and pony shows, and Washington continued it's wayward ways to incite and shove us in political directions. But, in the final analysis, we the people decided who would be on the November 8 ballot.
The poisonous rhetoric was evident in the post debate talking key boards too. The #neverTrump people were the most toxic on my Face Book and Twitter feeds. One of them blamed this election dilemma on the 13.3 million Trump supporters, labeling them as morons, low information voters, racists, RINO's, and other derogatory labels. They were, in fact, more negative about Trump than my more liberal friends, Hillary supporters to the core. There's been a good bit of lament about our broken system too, the apparent deficiencies of the two party system as it plays now, and other gripes and complaints about the current political landscape in the land of the free because of the brave. Observing the hours of analysis from the news media since last Monday has been another circus act with debate moderator Lester Holt usually skewered in the center ring. Finding someone to blame for this mess, however, seems to be the order of the day. It's the game we play best since the Garden.
Our Founders envisioned a nation governed by we the people. Their dreams weren't birthed in an information age like this one. In time, though, the population united around the ideal of a government, as Abraham Lincoln would declare in the Gettysburg Address in 1863, "...of the people, by the people, for the people...". This constitutionally limited representative democratic republic form of governing an entire nation was a unique, and I believe inspired, a political experiment formulated by wise leaders who trusted the work ethic and common sense of we the people. The system they devised understood the vagaries of human nature and laced safeguards into the essential fabric of their governing document, The Constitution of the United States. It's almost hard to see anymore through the maze of our mammoth government machinery, faltering three branch system, executive abuses, and two party preferences. But, we the people still make the essential decisions about who represents us at every elected level of government.
Two things are notable about we the people now.
1. We the people today are not the same we the people as in 1787.
Some of the people questioning how we got to this place must not be aware
of the massive shifts that are evident in the makeup of our population today.
I've been reading a very intriguing book, The End of White Christian America by
Robert P. Jones. It is a detailed analysis of American demographics over the
past hundred or so years. The we the people who were making elective
decisions a generation ago are not the we the people going into voting booths
today. The values of the Builders, Boomers, Gen X'ers, Millennials, and the
newest unnamed cohort are vastly different in every category of
consideration---religion, race, social standing, moral compass, economic
principles, education, mobility, and geographical spread. The racial makeup of
the nation has also changed rapidly. Another marked shift has been the lower
profile of the Southern evangelical vote. All of this means that we the
people is being redefined drastically. These changes are expected to continue
for many years to come.
2. We the people are angry and frustrated.
It's interesting to note that Mr. Lincoln's assessment of our government came
at the most divisive time in our national epoch. Yet, now, there seems to be a
unsettling dissatisfaction with everything about our national ethos---the racial
tensions, anti-Christian sentiment, questioning of authority, an abusive and
out-of-control government, economic disparity, government invasion of human
rights, and more to the point, questions about how this we the people system
is actualized. In my opinion, much of the dissension about the 2016 vote has
been between those who want more of the same as opposed to those who
want something different. It's Clinton, the government operative, and Trump,
the brash, explosive outsider. We the people must decide.
Of course, I believe that this we the people experiment has deeply spiritual roots. Our nation wasn't founded as a theocracy. But, our founders were reliant on God's direction in shaping every line of the Constitution and in their hope that those strong spiritual principles would guide we the people in perpetuity. As a sidebar, you can't read Scripture and not observe the we the people trust and respect so evident in both Testaments. Today, however, the we the people vote is marginalized by an abusive system that seems to give we the people so little voice.
Now, finally, a point. The framers perhaps envisioned a day when this government would exceed it's intended reach. They obviously knew enough about human nature to anticipate a time when the mechanics of government would rile the population. So, they wrote Article V of The Constitution to permit we the people to amend The Constitution in a convention of states. I'm a novice about the particulars of this article. But, I fully believe it is the only way we the people can exercise our Constitutional rights in curbing the excesses of government so that the voice of we the people will once again be meaningful. Want to know more. Click here for the Convention of States Project web site. Study it and learn about his Constitutional process.
So, we the people must vote on November 8. What is more, we the people must get on the telephone to our state legislators demanding Convention of States legislation in their respective states. You can go here for a listing of your state representatives and senators. Contact them now.
We the people did it. They're me and you, our neighbors, the people we meet in Wal Mart, and the people we sit beside in church. We the people must decide.