There is an ebb and flow to all things. As we look out with our natural myopic vision we sometimes forget that. Once the world became the interconnected organism it is today the surge and recession has become so fast that many of us have lost our ability to anchor ourselves against the tides. We have become so focused on the now that we forget the past or fail to understand the future.
So many, in an effort to look forward, seek change with the best of intentions, but fail to understand the nature of that change. Likewise, there are those who fear that tidal surge and seek to return to the past. I don’t know how we reconcile these two approaches, for the past is gone, and the future is not yet. Those who would change everything and those who would change nothing gain increasing voice over those who would evolve slowly.
We have reached a point where debate and discussion can no longer be tolerated and for each side the outcome is catastrophic. I sit here in a kind of bemused neutral position, wishing everyone would talk a deep breath and just stop watching ABCNNBCBS, MSNBC and Fox for just a while and focus on themselves and their own needs.
Because we elect and reelect our representatives at such a large percentage it amazes me when we say they are doing a bad job… That means either we are liars or we are stupid, or maybe both.
One of the early strengths of this country was most of the power was held within the states and the issues the states dealt with were important to a small region of the country. As we have given more and more power to a centralized Federal Government we have given away that right of regional self-determination. I think it is important to remember that at the time of the Constitution and formation of the United States, the majority view was that State government should have domination over the lives of their citizens. This was made obvious with first attempt at self-government, the Confederation of States, and is also supported in the Federalist papers when James Madison wrote:
“To the People of the State of New York:
HAVING shown that no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper, the next question to be considered is, whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States.”
The fear of the people, who had just struggled to overthrow the autocratic self-centered, rule of the English, was that creation of a strong central government would create an environment to allow those problems to reemerge.
As we now move to give our Federal government increasing power, I am afraid we see the emergence of those abuses our forefathers so feared. Where hubris and self-importance are valued beyond the qualities of honesty and integrity.
I am also reminded of a time long ago when a great society vested all its power and authority in an emperor, who spent the great wealth of the nation on monuments to his gods…. Are we so different?