Since the man in the red suit’s midnight marathon of gift giving, I find myself reflecting on the gifts I have received in the past. I have received gifts that I didn’t want or need, ugly sweaters and stinky colognes that were more a penalty than a prize. I have received some fantastic gifts, those that I always wanted and was overjoyed to open. Some times I have gotten things I thought I wanted only to be disappointed to learn that the TV commercial was better than what was in the box under the tree. Every so often I have gotten things I didn’t want and wasn’t impressed by only to have that gift change my mind as it changed my life.
The gift I am talking about in this post is a gift so often taken for granted that a lot of people will think of it as a burden or a curse. But if considered objectively it is a wondrous thing that has been handed down to us. But this gift has been maligned and vilified as what is wrong with our Republic. Let me take a moment to write in favor of American Politics.
Our nation is a constitutional republic, which embraces the future. All American believe that the future will be better, and we have been proven right to believe that. Nostalgia has a place in our hearts, but we put our hopes in the future. We plan and dream about the future. But the future is not easy to predict. The future comes when it wants to and where it wants to and brings with it new challenges.
People from previous generations couldn’t imagine that obesity would be as much a problem for this generation’s health as malnutrition was in their time. The world views of previous generations were formed by the technology that existed in their experience. Industrialization, modern farming, advancements in transportation, and, modern medicine has done more to upend settled worldviews than any political philosophers’ ideas ever have. It speaks through results, and it can’t be ignored.
Many leftist use this sort of argument to advance the idea that the Constitution is outdated. “The Founding Fathers didn't know about airplanes and they would have outlawed hate speech if they did.” They are wrong in this because of how they see themselves. They start from a rigid belief that everything that has gone before them is fatally flawed. Their self assessment is that they are here to break the chains of convention and tradition that have impeded humankind from achieving a paradise on earth. To their way of thinking the urgency of NOW trumps all other considerations. They are trapped by the belief that everything new is better. In their mad rush “Forward” they are willing to abandon any thing to see it replaced with something “new.”
The Left’s embrace of the “new” blinds them to the truth that what they call “new” really isn’t new at all. “There is nothing new under the sun,” is an axiom that every new generation learns only when they become the older generation, and sometimes not even then. The ideas that the Left is so in love with are really very old.
We have seen it time and again, in all parts of the world, when people are faced with catastrophic problems they want to turn to a strong leader to solve the problems for them. Such leaders take on more and more power over the lives of those they govern all in the name of crisis management. Laws are amended by edict and enforced by wimp. Eventually the leaders become dictators and crush the rights of the people they govern.
The truly new idea is the foundation stone of our revolution:
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,
The government must be subservient to the people. The way this plays out is through politics. People become passionate about an issue and that passion fuels action. People talk about the issue and more people get involved. It is from such simple origins that political movements start.
At this time, we hear voices raised in frustration and acrimony in our nation’s Capital. On one side there is a man with a pen and a phone and every intention to use them. On the other is a group of people that all too often has done nothing when action was needed and much of what they have done needs to be undone. Plenty of disagreement is taking place. But nothing seems to change and the will of the people is being held back by an entrenched few that clings to their antiquated view of what our future must be.
We can see that nothing will improve without us. If we don’t participate if we don’t advocate, if we don’t do the hard work that is needed, then we are giving up some of our rights. Today it is very easy to ignore what is going on in politics. All of us have things we would rather do. The problems we face can seem so huge that they can be solved. But across our nation, some of us are standing up. Grass root initiatives like The Right to Refuse are showing that passionate activists can have an impact on our out of control big government.
But politics is that ugly gift we received not thinking we would ever want it. Our founding fathers and all that came from then till now felt the same way. We should want it and we all should use it to create a future that we will be proud to leave to our children. The Future is calling. Will you answer? Will you work in politics in defense of our God given Rights?
Are you ready to accept this Gift?