Monday, February 10, 2014

The Majority -- According to the Preamble ed

      Freedom’s rally, “we, the people,” is insufficient for the justice required for freedom:  Justice and freedom are offered under “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble to the United States Constitution. After 225 years of Americans neglecting the preamble’s gift and duties, many citizens today are 1) consuming children’s futures into perpetuity, 2) evolving toward a democracy, the rule of the mob, and 3) living risky lives. The intended government is a democratic-republic, the rule of law that is managed by citizens who discover and gradually eliminate injustices. The potential American republicanism, which I call just civic governance by justly governed citizens, can only emerge when US citizens regard themselves as the majority that fulfills “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble; each person maintains cooperative autonomy to live according to personal opinion. [In January, 2015, we expressed this by replacing for our purposes "We the People of the United States" with "A Civic People of the United States," thus dividing inhabitants on the issue civic alienation in general. People can decide which group they are in by considering the goals stated in the preamble: Do they commit to and trust those goals or not?]
     Citizens: Re-consider the preamble. Focus on it; paraphrase it; practice it; promote it. The preamble is copied below:
         "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice,          insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and          secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish
         this Constitution for the United States of America."
A paraphrase for 2014 living follows:  citizens who comprehensively fulfill these goals--integrity, justice, civility, defense, perseverance, liberty, and continuity—justly govern the United States of America. I want collaborate on readers proposals for fulfilling the goals. Perhaps modify the goals for 2014 living, especially, for children, the objects of the seventh goal: "our Posterity." Please post your ideas.
     The preamble offers the association of associations--the overarching culture under-which no-harm preferential cultures flourish. All the people are citizens, but citizens who promote narrow associations such as religion or race or skin color to the exclusion of fellow citizens disassociate from “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble. No-harm people with red god, black god, white god, whatever god or no god flourish and debate whether skin color is of concern to a god. They debate questions of interest to them yet still collaborate for civic morality.  Some citizens find themselves subjects of the law. For example, a "skillful" red-light runner who causes another person's death probably loses freedom, even life. We the People of the United States persists to eliminate injustices and immoralities, such as slavery.
     Many citizens abuse American children’s futures. Poet Leonard Cohen imagined the metaphysical “children who are asking to be born.” No metaphysical child is asking to be born into some form of abuse. For example, “There are an estimated 39 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in the US alone.” Children under fourteen have $600,000 debt (adding $13,000 each year), imposed on them by psychologically adolescent people of adult age. This dreadful behavior is imposed on the country by the federal government and willing adults.
     Adolescent-adult behavior is the chief cause of child abuses. Too many people with adult bodies have adolescent minds. H. A. Overstreet, in The Mature Mind, 1949, explains that humans are born ignorant, irresponsible, inarticulate, sexually diffuse, and self-centered -- to a world of contradictions; but with the opportunity to acquire psychological maturity. Some don’t mature. For example, there are today 110 million Americans with reported sexually transmitted disease; that’s 35% of the population and 50% of sexually active citizens. Overstreet urged adults--society itself--to focus on psychological maturity more than age.
     Quoting Professor Orlando Patterson, “Psychologically the ultimate human condition is to be liberated from all internal and external constraints in one's desire to realize one's self." We owe it to ourselves to want psychological maturity—to discover our preferences respecting the objective truth -- what is.
     Repeating, “we, the people” is insufficient. “We, the people,” whatever that means to the promoter is an unfortunate mistake with a documented past. President Obama, in his 2nd Inaugural Address, probably referred to the majority voters. Obama is not alone if this is his definition, as tendency to fulfill a competitive majority was a concern during ratification of the US Constitution. They overlook the people’s majority under the preamble; they hope for “Solomon-like” representatives. As long as the country cycles between left and right, "We the People of the United States" as defined in the preamble cannot emerge. As long as citizens allow competitive devices like PACs to gain power and control the vote, the inclusive association, “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble will continue to languish. It has for 225 years. The idea, "We just want to be free to live in peace," will not be fulfilled. But I don't want to wait!
     In cooperative autonomy, citizens, young and old, accommodate each other’s no-harm preferences as each person progresses in their individual, short lives. Thus, just civic governance requires majority association to fulfill the seven [I now see nine] goals of the preamble during each person’s life – not for some future person but for this life. Much as expediently passing through green lights requires prompt stops at red lights, living according to personal preferences requires allowing every other person to live according to their personal preferences during their life. Americans are divided by the past and struggles for favor in the future and thereby overlook their chance to live according to personal opinion and allowing others the same opportunity.
     Ask, “What would I need to do to perceive that I am of We the People of the United States as defined in the preamble?” Practice collaborative autonomy in debates with factions:  people of low character versus people of noble character; rich versus poor; believer versus non-believer; LGBTs versus heterosexuals. [Imagine civic compromises that can provide each person liberty plus the achievable combination goodwill--PL&DG.]
     For example, after debate with gays, I sincerely suggest that Louisiana license both homosexual monogamy and heterosexual monogamy, leaving marriage to the churches or other traditions to decide. I listened to gays then made a suggestion and wait for response.
    Our generation should bring “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble into existence at last. We should stop being blinded by a “shining city on a hill,” uncooperative majority struggles, and American exceptionalism, to emerge as the majority according to the preamble, soon enough for our lives and the lives of our children.

     If you would like to consider how history may have obscured the preamble, please read the essay posted on February 9, 2014, “Why ‘We the People of the United States’ is Important.”

Copyright©2014 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Updated, September 30, 2015.