THE CONSTITUTION: A FOND FAREWELL
First, let’s give credit to the Constitution. It did last over 200 years and that’s not bad. And it took an unusual combination of unfortunate circumstances and criminal behavior to bring it down. The United States was a noble experiment in government – an experiment in managing the innate love of power that motivates our souls. The plan wasn’t idealistic or naive. It was creative, and based on stark reality. We had to find a way for rulers to be controlled. They could not be allowed to call the shots completely on their own. The world had seen enough of kings.
Every kid in school heard the phrase “checks and balances” and the concept worked pretty damn well for over two centuries. Power was split amongst three branches of government, and monitored by a free and independent press.
The last word went to the voting public, and they responded: the despotism that had been so much a part of the world’s history was finally eliminated, at least from this country. What a magnificent time. The idea took off and America flourished. If the citizens of another country ever try democracy and freedom again, they could do a lot worse than imitate our system. In fact, they couldn’t do much better.
So what went wrong? Basically one party seized all three branches of the government. No more checks and balances. That in itself shouldn’t have been enough but the voting process was corrupted and a presidential election was stolen. The Supreme Court grabbed the power to decide a presidential election and away we went. Remember what Shakespeare wrote about what happens after a king seizes power through deceit? Elections continue to be rigged with no way of even checking the results. The rulers talk endlessly about democracy abroad while they try and end it here.
What about the press? The media has been purchased and neutralized by the same corporate interests who have purchased the legislative branch. If the electorate could vote, they still would be subject to the endless government propaganda of corporate media, with very little chance of hearing the real story. And what is that story?
It’s simple: The United States has changed its form of government. The President is claiming unlimited powers and there is nothing to check him. Without saying the word, he’s become a king. He still gives lip service to the rule of law, but the list of impeachable offences he has committed grows almost monthly. To him, the Constitution is an impediment – an inconvenience that he must work around. It is no longer relevant. He believes with all his heart that he IS the rule of law. And he has the nerve to try and argue that this is what our forefathers had in mind. There is a general malaise amongst the citizens because they realize that nothing can be done. There is no one left to check the man’s power. The fact that we can't correct our course, proves our system has changed. In the old days, we could fix things, if they got out of hand. Our system is broken and no one I talk to believes we can repair it. Do you? How?
The stunning part is that the President acts as if being a despot is an original idea. He doesn’t even realize the world has dealt with his kind for time immortal. Such is his knowledge of history. His approach is not just horrendously dangerous – it’s trite. He is everything this country tried to avoid all rolled into one.
President Bush and his cronies have ruined a good thing here. How could they be allowed to do that? There is an urge to be angry but at what? We shouldn’t blame the Constitution. After all it did last a long time, and it took a massive effort of criminal behavior to bring it down. The Constitution was magnificent. I’m really going to miss it.