Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Revolution to “We the People of the United States” ed
Why is a citizens’ revolution needed? Quoting the essay, “The Task to Begin on June 21, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” I repeat, “perhaps 400 years of theism, racism, and force remain at the heart of 225 years of resistance to the justice Abraham Lincoln imagined.” America’s ultimate force—civil war—was conducted by citizens with opposing theisms from shared scripture. At Gettysburg, where white men died to free the slaves, Lincoln appealed to citizens for “a new birth of freedom – [so] that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Lincoln’s words and subsequent events positioned citizens of every race to be of “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble. It took a century to unleash that freedom. Yet, another half century later, the majority of citizens, “we, the people of the United States,” can’t imagine fulfilling the promise of the preamble: just civic governance by justly governed citizens. There’s been no preamble practice in 226 years: America's premier celebration remains distracted by independence from England, and its adults compete for supremecy. It is up to our generation to fulfill the preamble.
Citizens: Revolt against long-standing abuse of the constitution for the USA by neglect of the preamble’s gifts and duty. Among all of the responsibilities citizens accept toward making their life worthwhile, include an overarching duty to govern self and supervise state, and the Union of states, as urged by the preamble. Among good and necessary associations, whether religious or professional or ethnic or political, embrace and maintain a transcendent association: “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble. Be cooperatively autonomous without excuse so as to accommodate fellow citizens. Break the chains of theism, racism, and force that plague America with un-neighborliness. Let governments rise to your Excellency (borrowed from George Washington's June 8, 1783 farewell to the continental army).
The constitution for the USA is designed so that wise and faithful elected officials manage domestic force over citizens. However, 226 years of practice has shown that domestic force does not enhance lawful citizenship—does not fulfill your Excellence. In fact, the assumption that citizens cannot be good neighbors without a wise overlord is self-fulfilling folly: the best political minds obtain power by domestic force but cannot hold it. So like Machiavellian princes, they continually change the game. (However, Chapter XI Machiavellianism,The Prince, maintains the charade.)
Recently, the Supreme Court named corporations and political pacts as “persons,” respecting political influence, so that the candidates to whom citizens may grant the vote have ambitions far removed from citizens’ interests. Political regimes could care less about each citizen’s liberty and the futures for their children. Nevertheless, the final vote depends on personal competition to be the majority citizen. The 50% plus one vote will force the 50% less one vote to suffer loss of property for at least one election period. Citizens should reject domestic force as a means either of fulfilling personal interests or tolerating fellow citizens. Let the majority citizens’ demands for cooperative autonomy and mutual accommodation of neighbors reform the conduct of elected and appointed officials in the governments. Ask only what each political candidate has done lately to fulfill the preamble’s nine goals. Let them know that the majority of citizens is comprised of people who intend to fulfill the preamble. (I think that majority exists but they aren't talking to each other.)
Recently the constitution for the USA has been weakened by the unwarranted use of force from the three federal branches working together. Citizens have suffered arbitrary, unconstitutional legislation, arrogant assumption of powers by administrations, and ambitious decisions by the Supreme Court to consider bad legislation. Three examples follow. Congress’s Defense of Marriage Act was destined for failure, because it unconstitutionally cited “Jude-Christian tradition.” The regime of President George W. Bush arbitrarily read the First Amendment as limiting the Congress only, and created a faith-based policy. The Supreme Court weighed an Affordable Care Act (ACA) lawsuit and usurped Congress’s role by designating as tax the charge/fee for not having insurance. Just citizens would admit to themselves that religion is private practice for believers only, not for all citizens, and keep it out of civic governance. Just citizens would recognize, when an administration is over-extending the intended mixing of powers between the legislative, the administrative, and the judicial branches. Similarly, when the Supreme Court is presented a case poorly negotiated in the Congress, as with the ACA, just citizens would demand the return to Congress, instead of a correction by the Supreme Court. Thus, the constitution for the USA is not dysfunctional: The persons who maintain it have not risen to justice, because they serve “we, the people of the United States,” who have not risen to justice. Also, some citizens are quick to appeal to the Courts to resist other citizens’ preferences for personal living. Citizens must reform to mutual accommodation instead of force, using the preamble as the regulator, much as drivers use traffic signals to safely, expediently use traffic intersections.
No one can convince me I was ever a racist. An African-American’s farewell statement when I quit throwing newspapers from my 28” Schwinn bicycle was a refuge when I felt challenges in later life. He said, “I hate to see you leave; you’ve been the best on the block.” Listening to Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream Speech,” I celebrated that America would have freedom at last. But half a century later, to my dismay, the Legislative Black Caucus exists and worse is James H. Cone's black liberation theology: What happened to the character part of Dr. King’s dream? More importantly, what will it take for most African-Americans to move past the Declaration of Independence and its poetry “all men are created equal” and aspire to be of “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble to the US Constitution. All citizens are born equally uninformed but with equal opportunity to fulfill the preamble. “We, the people of the United States,” will always try to warp this republican form of government into a democracy and thereby maintain the cyclic battle for that 50% plus one vote that can oppress the 50% missing one vote—to cycle between liberal control and fiscal-conservative control, distracted by Machiavellian regimes to not notice they are neighbors.
Cyclic oppression it is as destructive in racism as in any other discrimination, such as class, or gender, or age or ethnicity or poverty or religion. Check the popular TV show “Justified,” to glimpse origins for which I am grateful: Harlan County, Kentucky and Knoxville, Tennessee. I have risen above egocentricity born from poverty: I want for every citizen at every stage of their lives the opportunity to pursue no-harm personal liberty yet in cooperative autonomy and mutual accommodation. Just civic governance does require collaboration, and justice comes from the same authority as any reality: the objective truth. The preamble can be the regulator for justice as conveniently as traffic signals regulate safe, expedient passage through intersections. Just citizens need to communicate with just citizens. They are everywhere and must start talking to each other if the country will rise above theism, racism, and force.
I have tried to explain the citizen’s revolution I advocate and propose to start on June 21, 2014 in Baton Rouge, the first celebration of “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble. Please ask questions or click on "comments," below the essay.
Note, since this was written, the work has evolved to A Civic People of the United States who want the achievable combination no-harm personal liberty and domestic goodwill, a 70% majority among We the People of the United States.
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. Edited August 31, 2015