There are many things to complain about in the American political process these days. I spend every major election cycle hoping things don’t get worse. Sometimes they don’t get worse, but often they do. For someone who grew up in the 1980s, this is perplexing. Those of us who grew up in the 1980s observed humanity making major progress towards global peace, fairer trade, better sustainable economic development around the globe; and a very real lessening of tensions between what we unapologetically called the “Free World” and the failed worldwide communist regimes.
If I remember my Sunday School lessons correctly, there were periods of time when people had weak leaders and wanted strong leaders. American history bears this out to some extent. Our forebears decided the Articles of Confederation resulted in an ineffective governing system. Through debate, compromise, and reconciliation they drafted what would become in 1787 the Constitution of the United States. As with any human endeavor, the Constitution was not a perfect product. It contained within it both the seeds of its salvation and the seeds of its destruction. That it has survived this long and been the inspiration to so many other people is a testament to the wisdom of those who created it.
The aftermath of our Civil War resulted in the elimination of slavery. It also resulted in a federal system in which the states were relegated to a status akin to a “Super-county” (or “Super-parish” if you’re from the great state of Louisiana). The states mattered, but less so than before.
In subsequent installments of “Weltanschauung Making Things Better” I plan to introduce some ideas that might just help restore some much-needed balance (or at least offer a new component of the foundation to build something better).