Trust and Obey

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.  -  Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was known for making broad sweeping comments on our political system and its failings.  This quote deserves some further discussion here.

To see where we are going, it is best to know where we came from.  Many of you will say that this country was founded in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  While we may have declared our independence we did not actually achieve it until years later and by then we had formed a less centrally controlled government organized under the Articles of Confederation.  The US Constitution was written in 1787 and finally ratified in 1789 when nine states had formally agreed to abide by it.  

What is little known today, but was very obvious to our Founding Fathers was that the American Revolution was in fact a Civil War.  We were English in law, governance and tradition.  There is no other way to view this other than as a civil unrest.   Most school children are taught to believe that the whole of the 13 colonies was in favor of independence from the English crown.  At any particular time in the course of the war no more than 1/3 of the population favored the forming of a separate nation.  The other 2/3 were equally divided between the English supporters and those who really didn't care either way.

Once independence had been won, there was a great deal of debate about what to do with it.  This led to the Articles of Confederation.  An extremely weak central government with very little authority to do much of anything, which allowed states to run their own affairs.  This was done in direct response to the perceived concern of throwing off the English crown to replace it with an American one.  Unfortunately, the Articles of Confederation were purposely so weak that there was a very real chance of having another revolution with the 13 States separating into smaller local factions of shared interest.  

In 1787, the Founders determined to meet in secret in Philadelphia (then the largest city in the United States) to discuss a new form of government.  Why the secret meeting?  The Articles of Confederation did not allow for changes to the agreement.  Therefore to change the government the Founders had to break the law they had agreed to live under.  This was considered treasonous, hence the secrecy.

With the passing of the US Constitution a completely new form of government was thrust upon the world (although much was drawn piecemeal from previous forms of government throughout history).  This government is often portrayed as the perfect form for all and therefore the best ever created.  While those at the top might have believed it, it didn't mean that those early years were in any way guaranteed to succeed.

Fast forward over 200 years and we have a very different form of government than that which was put into place in 1789.  Some of that change is due naturally to the fact that in 1789 our founders didn't really know everything they would need to run this country and developed the meat of the government after the recipe was created with the US Constitution.  There are many in this country who wish to take the Constitution (and the subsequent Amendments) at face value.  Others believe that the constitution is a living breathing document that needs to change with the times.  Where you fall on this continuum will determine what you believe in and how you think things should operate in our country.

We challenge each reader to understand where this country came from and where it is going.  Take the time to question what you are told to make an educated decision.  Blind trust is fine as a child, but as an adult you learn to ask questions and expect answers.  You have the ability to respectfully request that your questions are answered as truthfully and honestly as possible.  You have the responsibility to challenge the media to dig for and publish the truth whatever it may be.  You have an obligation to vote from an educated standpoint.  Don't allow anyone else to tell you how you should vote and what you should believe.  Make the effort to educate yourself and encourage those around you to do the same.  An educated electorate will naturally lead to a better run and less corrupt form of government.  In the words of School House Rock: "Knowledge is Power!"