Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Consent of the Governed?

There are moments when words fail.

I sometimes feel as if I literally watching the end of the world as I know it slowly unfold before my eyes.  Kind of a bold statement, I know.  So how do I come by it?

No matter who wins the upcoming election, it will be someone whom, upon arriving in office, bears 40-50% of the population against them. That is right out of the gate.  And that is with four years left for the individual in office.

One of the novel concepts (at least novel to me) that the Declaration of Independence introduced was the concept of "The Consent of The Governed", that governments exist because those they govern have given them implicit permission to govern.  And, states the Declaration of Independence, if the consent is removed, "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter o abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying it foundations on such principles and organizing its power is such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

So we enter a time where half of the country effectively dislikes the agenda of the other half of the country and the elected leader that represents it.  Add to this an atmosphere which is as polarized as I can remember, and what do you come up with?

I do not know that there is an "America" to speak of anymore.  Oh, it is a place on the map, and we have certain symbols of it, but I would propose we have very little left uniting us anymore.  And I think an argument could be made - even by mutually opposing groups - that their "Safety and Happiness" is not longer effected.

And if we truly uphold our founding documents, can we really say that changing form of the government if the consent of the governed is truly withdrawn is really wrong?

2 comments:

PeteForester1 said...

I've been saying this for years! The United States is nothing more or less than the world's largest dysfunctional family. There are people who say America is "too big to fail." On the contrary; America is almost too big to succeed! The only thing that's kept us together is that we've been stronger together than apart "(E pluribus unum; of many, one"). The last eight years' "leadership" has rendered us E unum pluribus; Of one, many." Our people are now seeing their money being funneled into programs which not only go against their political stances, but against their faith. On top of that, the government is now telling us that we can no longer live our faith, unless we belong to one faith-based group which seems to be the "flavor of the month;" the name of the extremists among them not even uttered by our president!

With several states murmuring the word "secession," it may indeed be too late to change our government. We may indeed be watching the building momentum of the disintegration of our nation.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Pete, I have wondered for many years if the U.S. as a form of government has simply outgrown its ability to at as a government. Think about it: at this point 545 people (Congress, the President and the Supreme Court) create laws that impact the lives of 330 million people. I simply do not see how those few numbers can truly represent a larger number successfully.

I would also argue (I think) that the rot started a long time before, perhaps even going back to Bush the Elder. The whole "Read My Lips: No New Taxes" both set a new level of distrust from the voting public as well as indirectly ushering in Clinton. Since then it has just been one slow, long accretion of power accumulating to the center. Certainly the last eight years have not helped but when presented with the power to act and the opportunity to do so, Republicans also did nothing.