Authored by William Robert Barber
Obviously, the goal of the fathers (of this republic) was to design a governing body founded on the principle that competing political elements expressed in variant policies, ideologies, and personalities, (often articulated by intense bickering) could find a forum for unfettered discourse. In the interest of achieving such a goal they created a republic that allowed and reflected, within the confines of the constitution, the means and inspiration for competing political ideals.
The principle of stimulating competing ideas is the essence of freedom and individual liberty. The governing of the republic was inextricably tethered to democratic values and such are wholly dependent on the right of discourse. The laws of this republic armed the people directly, and through their elected representatives, indirectly, in the pursuit of consensus with the efficacy of persuasion. In other words, the effectiveness of citizenry persuasion is the merit that prompts consensus; knowing, by design, that without consensus persuasion has no practical application. So to insure tolerance for and of another’s perspective the founders took into account a lawful process that permits multiple “bites at the apple” whereby failing to harness the required consensus is not necessarily fatal.
This lawful process was integrated within the constitution wherein the binding arbitrator is regular elections. In addition to elections and as a stand-by supplement to abate populous agitation there are petitions, referendums, and the specific right to recall an elected official. Matter of factually; there is a real, within the grasps, reasonable alternative for redress from the losing side of a debate for a particular consensus. Elections vent frustration, discombobulate the empowered, and empower the electorate… well, that’s the intent.
There are many differences of approach between this nation’s political parties; but the one commonality that both political parties have promoted is the expansion of the federal government. Proportional; some would evidence as disproportional to governmental expansion, is the coercive means that government has at its disposal to willfully impose it power upon the people. The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice are only two examples of very intimidating governmental agencies. Since the administration of John Adams the executive branch has by means within the constitution and by means contrary to the constitution the underlying result as always been the unyielding growth of the federal government. The Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 were passed by the Federalist-controlled Congress to weaken the Democratic-Republican Party by restricting speech. No citizen could express in any form a scurrilous accusation against the president or congressional members; interestingly, the Vice President (Thomas Jefferson of the opposing party) was fair game. By 1802 the act was repealed or allowed to expire at term. The point being that politician(s) are not to be trusted with power; they will betray the meaningfulness of the constitution is it suits their perception of need.
For years the conduct of government was to spend more than it receives in revenue. Only through other than GAPP accounting did the Clinton administration demonstrate a surplus.
So now this run-away-with-the-people’s-cash government has run out of allotted funds. Naturally, this has happened over and over before. Indeed, each time the elected would use the forum to spat out accusatory accusations at the party in power for increasing the national debt. This phony nonsensical disingenuous plays well in the capital; that is until spending extended over 14 Trillion. Now the political parties are requiring an additional 2 trillion; that served up some attention.
The concept of competing ideas has run into a brick wall; the idea of compromise has evolved into political steadfastness. The Democrats want to find the money to keep their entitlements alive by increasing taxes; the Republicans say the problem is not one of taxing to little but spending too much. The progressives want a European style governing entity while the conservative want limited government. Legislatively there is a very real impasse. This impasse can only be settled by the 2012 election until then the party that controls one-third of government must negotiate with the party that controls two-thirds of government. Both parties have worked very hard to put this nation’s finance in its current placement; hopefully, the conservatives will get as much as possible in spending cuts with no increase in taxes. The progressives believe that fighting entitlement reform and enabling class warfare will help them in the next election… indeed, it just might.