A Founder’s Advice
By some unexplained awakening, probably from need, the past few years have brought witness to our inherent return to what created and preserved our freedoms and our Country’s success. In this regard, the Tea Party sprung forth and has closely aligned itself with our forefather’s proven tenets.
The emergence has taken Washington by surprise. Prior to the now eye opening 2010 midterm elections, the “establishment” enjoyed their air of supremacy and control. The far off storm cloud whispered of change, yet their comfort zone seemed secure. The election results from that November in 2010 would upset their apple cart. Today, we are exactly half way from that election and half way to our date with deciding freedom’s future.
November 2012 will entail any and all trickery from freedom’s opposition. We must prepare, similar to Gen. Patton’s famous line, “I read your book you magnificent bastard!” However, this time, it is not a worthwhile pursuit to read the opposition playbooks. Such spoofs as The Audacity of Hope remain as insults to our American ideals. Instead, it is to our beginnings, when all seemed impossible, that we find strength and sage like advice. And it is to this arena in which I read one incredibly pertinent passage.
After finalizing our Constitution, its ratification period began. This was a time when the American public was privy to a series of articles explaining its ramifications (The Federalist Papers being the most widely read) and reasons for its acceptance. As apart of this process, there took place a rather testy ratifying convention in Pennsylvania.
During this Pennsylvania Convention, James Wilson helped win the Constitution’s Pennsylvania ratification with his 24 November, 1787 speech. It is to this oratory which I find pertinence and applicable advice concerning today’s disjointed affairs. It is noteworthy to remark that a prime concern of our Forefather’s was to safeguard against the darker side of human nature since greed, jealousy, lust for power and immorality remain tempting for some. It is to this element which Wilson addressed his concerns.
Listen to his words while replaying what is happening today. It’s uncanny as it is precise. In reference to the “high expectations” following our successful war for independence, Mr. Wilson asks the Convention if we met those standards and if not, what happened? It is to this he offers our needed counsel. To quote, “The truth is, we dreaded danger only on one side.” (concerning the war against British rule) “This we manfully repelled. But on another side, danger not less formidable, but more insidious, stole in upon us; and our unsuspecting tempers were not sufficiently attentive either to its approach or to its operations. Those, whom foreign strength could not overpower, have well-nigh become the victims of internal anarchy.”
Sound familiar? Through our growing societal ease, mainly starting after WWII, we have slowly retreated from the joys of hard labor and tough decision making. We have joined in the chorus of “wanting a better life for our children” when all that was produced was a soft and expectant generation. The vigor and vim of our “can do” approach has been replaced by a sense of “victimhood” along with this “me, me, me” attitude. In short, corruption has drifted into our American ideal.
Two factors have joined to weaken our resolve. One, being the most obvious, is the intentional efforts to dumb down younger generations through the Federal Department of Education. The second element also effects younger Americans as the family structure has undergone assault from the ease of divorce and the need for dual incomes. It is obvious that both issues are too extensive to detail but suffice to realize that both appeared for a reason, which is becoming more and more obvious.
Wilson observed that in the proposed government, a politician not familiar with our political systems “would answer that in our governments, the supreme power was vested in the constitution.” However, the truth of the matter is, as Wilson explains, “that in our governments, the supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power remains in the people. As our constitutions are superior to our legislatures; so the people are superior to our constitutions.” Wilson referred to this people power as “the panacea in politics.”
In closing, Wilson summed up that if the error be found in legislature, the constitution may remedy,and if it be the Constitution’s error, the people may cure its ill. That is, and here’s the caveat, “if the people are not wanting to themselves. For a people wanting to themselves, there is no remedy”
What we have to determine is if this “wanting to themselves” was brought on by the same intent which created our dysfunctional education system. The same question can be directed at the American divorce rate and this second income need. Mr. Wilson’s convention speech offers a rare and useful glimpse into our current societal dysfunctions. For it certainly seems that our shift from calm and orderly to one of upheaval and despair took an unusually short time frame. That is if a normal transition was its cause.
Jim Bowman, Author of
This Roar of Ours