There is indeed much debate about what is or isn't constitutional (Editor's Notebook, December 2010). Never harm in debate, so long as it is recognized that the Constitution includes a preamble stating its goals, and that it did not arise in a vacuum, but rather followed in the wake of the Declaration of Independence. Our famous and endeared Declaration does forever include, "Truths that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed with Rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." High goals that demand a fair share to all citizens, do they not? Our government is sworn to secure these Rights for all its citizens, is it not? Protection of privilege must be balanced with fairness, must it not?
Reading the letters of Mr. Klumker and Mr. Burrows (Letters, January), it is not difficult to see privilege raised to sacrosanct heights but fairness given very short shrift.
The editor's suggestion for an enlightened debate about the limits of government is a good one. Perhaps you can promote the idea by continued publishing of letters on the subject? Or indeed by putting out a call for even more discussion in a public forum?
As I've reviewed the political debating over the years (Editor's Notebook, January), it seems to me that all these political and economic theories are trying to build paradise on a Jell-O foundation. About 3,000 years ago a fellow named Isocrates opined that unless the general public cherished justice "in their own souls" it was impossible to build a good society. Moses said much the same in Leviticus chapter 26.
One of the hazards of using a raft at the beach is the chance of dozing off and finding yourself totally adrift with no "guidepost" to show you which way it is to the shore you've drifted away from. It could be that we've done that with regard to our ourselves in our thinking. The government is constituted of people drawn from the citizenry; you can't draw clean water from a cesspool. So if we have problems, it could be that we've "drifted."
Based on our electioneering, we seem to think this is compensated for by "confessing each other's sins" in what passes for campaigning. Perhaps we each might look at ourselves in the mirror of the 10 Commandments and then truthfully make the necessary adjustments in our own souls and see if that doesn't give us a rock foundation to build a just society upon?
Just a thought.
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