Nearly 230 years ago, Americans were given a gift. A gift that people had already fought and died for; and what we did with that gift was for us to determine. That gift, the United States of America needed a lot of tweaking, but its skeleton was already established in the US Constitution. That gift is our inheritance. Are we going to squander it, fighting amongst ourselves, or are we going to respect that precious gift and celebrate our diversity as well as our unity?
Sure, the American experiment was a work in progress and was definitely ‘rough around the edges,’ and there was a looming question, a holdover from revolutionary days, about slavery. America’s civil war was not fought about slavery only, but it was fought about rights: does the federal government have the right to tell the states to have slaves or not?
Do the discussions, arguments, rationalizations, accusations and demonstrations accomplish anything other than to divide this country more? When I think of division, I’m reminded of the “House Divided” speech in which Lincoln admonishes us that “A House Divided against itself cannot stand”
Have we become that house divided? The US was inspired as an experiment, “Can men govern themselves through a representative system? ” Some say that the experiment which began in the ‘Bill of Rights’ and which was to govern the American people, had 2 purposes:
1. to prevent unreasonable seizure [in many instances, of land] by the government without adequate compensation
2. to prevent invasion of Americans civil liberties -without justifiable cause.
Prevention of these sounds simple enough, eh? Apparently not. Some people feel that the government is best when it provides for all the needs of all it’s citizens. Others feel that the federal government should be streamlined and not involved in our lives. Where do you fit? What do you think?
“Can a federal government of the people grow like ours has without destabilizing?” Can America truly become a ‘melting pot’ with each person bringing the strength of his experiences with him and not losing his identity.? You may have your own thoughts as to whether we can or can not, but I think we’re becoming dangerously close to what Abe Lincoln referred to in his House Divided speech.
Why do I feel this way? We are becoming divisive. More divisive than I”ve ever seen before and I’ve lived a lot of years. So, I guess it is time for Americans of all thought, to answer some basic question Do we want a large federal government which tells the states what they can and cannot do? Or do we want a small central government with more power given to the states to determine what is in the best interest of its citizen? How much should the federal government be involved in the everyday lives of it’s citizens,
What is the role of the federal government? To keep us safe from harm, provide for national security and domestic tranquility or to keep us safe from harm, provide for national security, provide domestic tranquility, and ascertain that we all attend college, are covered by health insurance, all budgetary desires are met and see that we all get a basic K-12 education, energy independence? Where and how do state and local governments bear responsibility and fit in?