The U.S. Government's Constitutional Betrayal

For discussions of culture, politics, economics, sociology, law, business and any other topic that falls under the social science remit.

The U.S. Government's Constitutional Betrayal

Postby d0rkyd00d » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:23 pm

Lately, in addition to gaining a better understanding of the U.S. Constitution (thanks to you rubes), I have been strongly drawn to the words and writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. As I peer more closely into his thoughts and ideas, I find myself agreeing with his conclusion: that the best possible road forward for the U.S. is via a Non-Violent Revolution, something that would truly be unprecedented and extraordinary in the history of our country (if it hasn't become obvious by now, even evidenced by members of this forum, the first instinct for many here in the USA is to resort to violence).

Truly, a Revolution, at this point, is what is necessary. Nothing less will suffice.

Many would agree that the USA in its current state is "too far gone," in many respects. Perhaps, given the imperfections and moral blindspots of the authors and signers of the Constitution, this was inevitable. While the Constitution clearly bears the mark of ingenuity, care, and forethought of the great thinkers who crafted it, it is also marred and muddied by the compromises with slavers in the South, that arguably were needed to get the Constitution over the finish line and adopted.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence clearly outlines the overall goal and intent of the new government that would be rise from the ashes of the Revolutionary War (emphasis mine):

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

Government, deriving its Power from the consent of the governed, is charged with the responsibility of protecting the Rights of individuals to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The government is charged with effecting Safety and Happiness amongst its citizens. How many Americans, I wonder, feel that the government has succeeded in keeping its citizens "Safe?" How many Americans feel the Government has successfully created a system in which happiness is flourishing?

Does our government currently derive its power from the governed, or from large corporate interests? The Constitution's authors opted for a Democratic Republic so that the will of the people could be represented. But what is a vote worth relative to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from special interests and lobbyists? How can the voices of the people be heard when the ears of our elected officials are stuffed with the money of those who pay to have the loudest voice?

The first paragraph of the Constitution clarifies the role of government even further, stating:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Forming a more perfect Union. As I look at the electoral map of the U.S. and see the sea of red Republican voters, punctuated with large spots of blue Democratic voters, it is evident there is disunity and division amongst the electorate. Few seem to recall a time within their lives, or at least recent memory, of such a divided electorate. Never has it seemed more obvious that the needs of many Americans are not being met by either party: so in regards to forming a "more perfect Union," we have failed.

In regards to establishing Justice: whether you believe Hillary Clinton got off free for Benghazi and her e-mails, or Trump got off free for his bribery phone call and attempted insurrection, what we can all agree upon is that it appears we have reached a time in our country when power is no longer able to be held to account. Perhaps the precedent started with Nixon, or Vietnam, or perhaps it was set far longer ago than that, but it certainly seems that the electorate has been unable to prevent our elected officials from being held accountable for illegal or unscrupulous actions (Justice for thee, not for me, as some of you may be thinking). There are so many ways one could point to in which our justice system is in desperate need of overhaul, that I believe most would agree, our government has failed to "establish Justice."

In regards to promoting "the general Welfare:" has the government succeeded in protecting the Welfare of the many / most, or has it, at least for the past several decades, forsaken the "general Welfare" for the Welfare of the few, wealthy, and powerful? Has it instituted mechanisms that, to the best of our limited human abilities, would ensure the "general Welfare" of the nation was addressed before the Welfare of the few, or of foreign nations? In many ways, the government has failed to promote the "general Welfare" of American citizens.

In regards to securing "Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity:" has the government instituted policies that have, in the long term, positioned America for success on the global stage? Have we gained a lead on competing economies such as China, or political adversaries such as China & Russia? Or have we lost economic ground as wealth has slowly and meticulously been siphoned out of blue collar pockets and into the hands of global titans of industry, who can seamlessly tuck this wealth away into desolate corners of the earth to ensure it never leaves the hands of those who only desire to hold such a vast and exorbitant amount of wealth in the name of power and opulence, not to actually spend, donate, or suffer the horror of taxation.

Perhaps, some may argue, we have only recently taken a step back. And it is impossible to argue that, since our Constitution was adopted, there haven't been tremendous strides forward in delivering on the ideals outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, the Amendment to end slavery, or to grant voting rights to women and African Americans, or to put term limits on the office of President. That said, I cannot help but wonder why it is that the last Amendment to the Constitution was in July, 1992, and was actually proposed over 200 years ago? Could it be, that over the past thirty years, we have not learned anything that would further refine our Constitution or reinforce the rights of individuals and the role of government? The Amendment prior to that was from July 1, 1971, nearly fifty years ago. Had we, at this point, truly reached the final and perfect solution of mankind's governance? More likely you may have come to another conclusion: that government for the past fifty years has been nearly impotent, deadlocked in policy and desperate to find new ways to circumvent the work of actually legislating, of forming a more perfect Union, of providing for the general Welfare of our citizens, of delivering on the promises made on the campaign trail.

In a global context, fifty years of identity crisis and legislative stagnation has been disastrous. Instead of positioning the U.S. for the twenty first century, the last fifty years were spent finding new and clever ways to guide wealth and power to those who already had plenty of both. Instead of investing in education, the Government decided to go to war in Vietnam. Instead of investing in infrastructure, the U.S. Government decided to go to war in Korea. Instead of investing money towards waging a war on poverty, the Government focused its attention on a trillion plus dollar war in Iraq. As Americans continue to send tax dollars to the Federal Government and watch those dollars go to obscure Forever-wars overseas that are supposedly being fought in the name of "democracy," I cannot help but wonder, as I'm sure many of my fellow countrymen do, what our Return on Investment has been? Where are the receipts? And if the product is not as advertised, how in the fuck do we get a refund?
"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." -Voltaire

"If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do."
-Bertrand Russell
Posts: 3056
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:37 pm

Re: The U.S. Government's Constitutional Betrayal

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:44 pm

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>


Peter Kropotkin
ILP Legend
Posts: 9170
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:47 am
Location: blue state

Return to Society, Government, and Economics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users