There is no question in my mind that the founding fathers were brilliant. How else could they have foreseen the balance of power to bestow on a newly formed government; a government which respected both the individual vote, the democratic aspect, and the difference between urban and rural visions of what a country should be, the republic. For all its flaws, and there are many, our Congress reflects the opinions and attitudes and prejudices of both the most wealthy landed gentry and the poorest common laborer in a more equitable manner than any system there-to-fore. A democracy, where in one man, one vote, rules the day; a republic, where in each state elects only two senators, no matter its population, and one congressman for a given population. Two houses; one who enjoys two senators from a state as small, in population, as Wyoming (just over a half million people) and two senators from a state as large as California, with over 70 times the population. There is the power of a republic.
Jefferson, in particular, wrote with a pen so broad in many aspects, and yet so pointed and narrow in many, that his foresight cut a path through a forest of former governmental failures and near successes, to create one that has lasted and prospered for two hundred years…yet due to one possibly fatal flaw, may now teeter on a precipice created by its own respect for the right of every man represented, and that’s his right to vote his preference. And the preference of far too many has become vote yourself not an opportunity but an advantage over your fellows; vote yourself an unearned and unsustainable piece of the pie-unsustainable because inequities should come from ability and aspiration, not from the mere ability to pull the lever on a voting machine. All men, as is said so eloquently in the Bill of Rights, are created equal; but all men do not aspire to equal productivity, an equal amount of enterprise, or even an equal investment in time and effort. All men do not want to rise above their fellows in wealth or economic power, which is fine in the eyes of that same bill of rights, but all men should be content to take what they earn, and not to vote themselves a position unequal to a return on the investment of their time and effort. For the first time in the history of this republic there are more voters who pay no tax than voters who do, and that may be the final failure of the system.
Large communal organizations, including the Federal government, have voted, and negotiated, and purloined, an inequitable share of the pie. Government is by its very nature, unproductive in a free society, and its only function should be to perform those tasks beyond the scope of the individual, the city, the county, and the state. Those functions should be the common defense, the protection of the border, and commonality of banking and commerce, and other interstate endeavors beyond the scope of the states, such as interstate highways, railroads, and airlines.
Yes, there are functions only a Federal government can perform, but its size, and the size of local governments, must be limited, for only so much weight can be carried on the shoulders of those actually producing the wealth that drives any economy-goods and services.
It’s obvious, or should be, that government can’t give to one man without taking from another; and how much can those in a productive free-enterprise society be expected to produce, how much can be taken from them before they lost incentive to produce. I fear we’re reaching a tipping point where free-enterprise, productivity, production, is at an apex, and attitudes are beginning to shift. Not only attitudes, but basic morals. When you find segments of society that have retired, with full disability because the retirement is 20 per cent greater than those who’ve retired “without” full disability, and are on the golf course driving the ball 300 yards now that their negotiation for “full disability” is behind them, then there’s a basic failure in the moral fabric of our country and no reason to believe that the fabric is not beginning to unravel. What they are is liars and cheats, and maybe that’s one condition the framers and writers of the Constitution could not foresee…when a very large percentage of their countrymen would lie, cheat, and vote themselves into an unfair share.
Its time for every citizen to look into every crack and cranny, and dark hole, of this country and weed out the cheats, the thieves, those who’ve taken more than their share even if only by a small lie, for it’s truly breaking the back of the rest of us-and that true disability might be permanent.
L. J. Martin has written 20 novels, 2 non-fiction works, and is published in a number of periodicals. Prior to becoming a writer he was a real estate broker, specializing in farms, ranches, and development properties and selling internationally. He was also a licensed appraiser and contractor. Born and raised in the oil and ag town of Bakersfield, CA, and hailing from a long line of Okies, Missourians, and Texans, he’s traveled extensively for both work and pleasure. He’s married to an internationally published romantic suspense and historical romance author, and lives in Montana.
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