By all analyses, the US government has got to go. I really can’t justify it anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. The idea behind the government and the ideas that support it aren’t all bad and wrong. The execution is all wrong, though.
Perhaps I should list out the ideas that make it right, and then point out how you make it right again.
First and foremost, the US Constitution was written by a bunch of white, privileged males, many of whom owned slaves. At every point in history when the political elite and powerful got together to reform things, they tried to set things up in a way that those who they feared would fear them. But this time, it wasn’t a top-down government imposed on the people. They tried to frame it as the people imposing a government on themselves. This is fundamentally sound. It is the way it should be.
The constitution was not and never was supposed to be a document limiting the rights of the people. It was a contract that set the parameters of government. Should government exceed those parameters, then it would be null and void. That’s the way our government was set up and that’s how things were supposed to work. However, no one has ever pulled the “kill switch” successfully, although we came close a few times. The kill switches should’ve been pulled several times. Jefferson was estimating once a decade or so we would basically have to rebuild the entire things from scratch. He was wrong. We never did really rebuild it.
The next idea that they got right was the idea of a government based upon simple morality. Morality is such a clouded issue today. We are squabbling over who’s morality is right and proper but no one is willing to simply drop a cornerstone and point to it and vigorously defend it. I blame the Christians for this. Which brings me to the next idea.
The idea of religious freedom is also sound and proper. Unfortunately, it is a freedom that we have squandered. Much like someone who uses their freedom of speech to catch up on the latest celebrity gossip, we use our freedom to worship in the vain worship of false idols that can’t see, can’t hear, can’t talk, and certainly can’t save us from ourselves. (I’ll have to write another post about how Christianity should really look.)
The idea of free speech is all but gone. I think the Founding Fathers made a mistake here. They put the freedom of speech near the top of the pyramid of freedoms. Or rather, they pointed to it as if it were the foundation. Take away all other freedoms, as long as we can talk, we should be able to preserve the rest. I think they were wrong. They didn’t count on so many people having so many things to say, and so many people thinking they know what they are talking about. (The post on Christianity will explain why freedom 0 is not the freedom of speech. I’ll leave you one guess as to which is the fundamental freedom.)
When the US government goes, and it will go, because nothing like it has ever survived long, we’re going to face a catastrophe. The catastrophe isn’t really our own making. After all, reality has always been there, ready to consume the ignorant and the weak and the wicked. It will only seem bad because people thought they were safe but they were not.
What will replace it? Something else. Something worse? Maybe something better.
The reason why I hope that the catastrophe will not be so bad and that we might actually get something better is every time in our history, when Americans have stared down hell, we pulled up our sleeves and went to work. We came together. We chose good over evil. We faced reality and lived rather than die in our ignorance.
We’ll do it again.
When government collapses under its own weight, when the flood of reality can’t be held back anymore, the American people won’t be able to turn to Europe or Asia or Africa or anywhere else. None of their economies and governments can possibly hope to keep our society together. The only people we can turn to will be our neighbors and friends. And that’s the only people on this earth I can trust with my life.
Put it this way: If we can’t turn to our neighbors and can’t trust them with our lives, what’s the point anyway? Preserve our freedoms for what purpose exactly?