Democracy At Work
I’ve always felt it was better to know nothing about a subject than to know just a little, but am going to make an exception on the subject of States Rights. I haven’t read the Federalist’s Papers or Constitution since my Jr. Year in college in 1946, so really know just a little about this subject.
The Federalist Papers was an explanation of the meanings of the Constitution by Hamilton, Madison and Jay. I remember it as being long and written like a legal brief and difficult for the average person to understand. We must remember that the constitution was written by 55 wealthy males and not “We The People.” Like most written documents and books it was subject to interpretation.
The simple definition of States Rights, in my interpretation of Madison’s words in “The Federalists Papers, was the federal government controlled laws affecting the whole country while states were free to enact laws only affecting people of their state. Cities then had to abide by laws of the state. Federal courts insured that state actions were in compliance with the federal constitution. The Civil War was an example of whether states had the right to have slaves or the concern of the federal government.
There may be some value in States Rights, but the same corrupt and incompetent federal officials are just duplicated at the state level. The one value at the state level is they are closer to the people they govern.
My problem with all government agencies is that we have so many mental midgets over riding a few sincere members that nothing is accomplished. I don’t claim to be a mental giant, but am capable of recognizing incompetency.
The three Republican presidential candidates making fools of them self fall into this category. I am ashamed of depth of our potential and many present congressional members. Only a few of them have the courage of expressing defining opinion. At one time I blamed voters for the election of so many mental midgets, but now realize it isn’t the voters, but the choices they are given.
Tony Judt in his book “Ill Fares Land” writes— “We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or legislative act: is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it bring about a better society or better world? Those use to be the political questions, even if they invite no easy answers. We must learn once again how to pose them. Our present society is a purely money-and market oriented world and questions of right, justice and betterment of society is a thing of the past.
The few must pose these questions, from small groups until their voices are heard. In time these voices will reach a crescendo and our masters will pay attention. We haven’t quite reached the bottom of the barrel yet, but are near enough to see hope. We need a congress of the people and for the people instead of one controlled by Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers.
Japanese Proverb: No Lord Can rule Without Followers Playing Deaf And Blind