On your morning walk to work each morning you pass a house that has a vicious dog tied in the yard by a rope. As you pass it races towards you, snapping and biting but the rope holds it but as it is only a puppy , you ignore it.
As months pass the puppy grows larger and larger into a full adult dog but never ceases to race at you, teeth bared and snarling loudly, hitting the end of its rope, but the rope holds it in place. However, as time goes on you not only note the dog continues to grow and gain in strength, rope is beginning to look frayed with broken strands showing. Still, it prevents the dog from reaching you and since you must pass this way, you pray it continues to hold.
But, at some point you realize the size and strength of the dog and the weakening of the rope will eventually result in the dog breaking free and attacking you. What is the solution? You can sneak in while the dog is asleep and replace the rope with a chain but it is likely you will wake it. You can remove the dog’s food dish in hopes its owners won’t notice so it will starve and grow weaker. You can shoot the dog before it attacks but you may only wound it and stimulate it to break free and attack. What is a logical solution? I can’t think of one, can you?
BTW, the dog’s name is Kim Jong Un.
In 1958 one of the most politically influential novels, The Ugly American, was published. Of the books’ core revelations the one that was most renowned was that of a foreign journalist who had lived in the US and said, “For some reason, the people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They are loud and ostentatious.”
Well, folks…times have changed…or not? The “Ugly American” is no longer limited to the loud and ostentatious living pretentiously (although Mr. Trump certainly fits nicely into that description). No…today’s Ugly Americans are the people who gather to yell at Hispanic and Asian school children, “Go back to your country!” and scratch swastikas on cars they deem might be owned by non-Christians. They’re the people who hated Obama because he was black but complain if their disability check is a day late as they had planned to go 4-wheeling that weekend and need the money for beer and cartridges for their AK-47s. They’re the ones who prefer “Christian home schooling” for their kids who never learn enough to fill out an application at McDonalds. They’re the folks who wouldn’t stoop so low as to picking fruit or working farm fields for wages but blame those who are doing it as their reason for their inability to find a “decent” job. They’re to ones who want to get rid of “Obamacare” but claim they’d definitely support an Affordable Care Act. They’re the ones who believe the “American Dream” is something to be handed to you for free on your 21st birthday and after that you just lay back and life is a breeze.
Yep…ugly is as ugly does!
The Constitution of the United States is unequivocally considered the epitome of the political foundation of a free people. The principal tenant of this document is government of the people, by the people and for the people…democracy. Yet I have growing concerns that expectations of this document’s infallibility have resulted in our apathy toward these freedoms (Remember, only 54% of eligible voters cast ballots in the last election.)
Arising issues bring to question as to whether this revered document is truly fail-safe in protecting the individual freedoms of our citizens and ensuring against domination by radical political and religious minorities.
Let’s consider these issues:
- Three of the last seven Presidential elections resulted in the winning candidate garnering less than the majority of the electorate. This manifested itself in the last election with a nearly 3 million vote advantage to the losing candidate.
- The increasing preponderance of a growing plutocracy where the nation’s oligarchs are allowed to dictate election results through their monetary contributions and, in turn, receive favorable benefits from the administration.
- The ability of action (and inaction) by a political majority of the legislative branch to thwart actions in the other two branches.
- The application of insidious gerrymandering to ensure uneven political dominance in populated areas in the nation.
- The judicially undisputed voter suppression laws throughout the union directed towards lower income and non-white citizens.
- Increasing partisanship in our nation’s judicial systems.
- Isolationism as a means of political control.
One can only wonder if the Founding Fathers were simply too naïve in their vision of the nature of future affluent societies and actually set in place a system which, once political control was achieved, prevents any valid future opposition.
For the sake of my grandchildren I hope I am over-reacting. But, my observations tell me maybe not.