I applaud the Times for publishing the Declaration of Independence each July 4. It is a time of refreshing to remember the power of our original document of freedom.
There is much current conversation during this election year about the displeasure of the American people toward our government. We hear one candidate rise by telling us our leaders are stupid and have ill served us. While those observations seem to echo truth are they the real truth?
Our Declaration states early in its form that the just power of the government is derived from the consent of the governed. No matter how angry we may be as a people toward our leadership we must not ignore the fact that we ourselves have consented to the actions or lack thereof for over a generation.
In the past 50 years, there have been only three instances where we did not re-elect at least 90 percent of U.S. House members. In that same 50 years, there have been six times where we did not re-elect at least 80 percent of the U.S. Senate. By returning those who have done little, or in many cases done nothing, to positions of power, we have consented again and again to their continuing in power.
Our national problem with our government rests not with our leaders but with us. We have the authority from the Declaration and we have the power in hand with the vote to remedy this problem, yet we as a people refuse to exercise either our authority or our power to resolve this corruption that has come to reside within us.
We have allowed ourselves to be lulled into inaction by the two tribes that divide us and enjoy power over us by convincing us to renew their power to ill serve us and each points to the other as the problem.
The truth of this matter was granted to us many years ago by another section of our daily newspaper, the comics. Pogo realized that “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
A wise man also taught us that the very definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results. We have not yet accepted the truth of Pogo nor our own insanity defined so clearly for us.
How can a proud people made free by the blood of patriots come to be so willing to forego our will in the worship of the status quo? My blessed church family continually reminds me that if you do not vote you should not complain. I believe the opposite. Look carefully upon what those who have voted have consented to for 50 years and one may, if one is thoughtful, reconsider how we came to where we are.
Every citizen is fully entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts. The numbers are the facts and they do not lie.