Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our government in my own personal nutshell

I have a lot on my mind and feel the need to get a load off my chest and with that in mind, this could be a lengthy document. I will thank you in advance for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read what follows.

Recently, there has been so much in the news about the process involved in finding a successor for a number of appointed individuals that were leaving the office they held for one reason or another. Some departing justice was nominated by the President and ever since that announcement they were placed under a microscope by the media and everyone else with half a brain and a soapbox from which to make their opinions known. There are many aspects of this selection process which concerns me as a citizen.

Is the individual the president nominated the best possible candidate for the position? In my own poorly informed opinion, I doubt that is the case. The color of a person’s skin or the sex or race of a nominee should not deserve any consideration when it comes to a life time appointment on the Supreme Court and yet, it appears on the surface that the woman judge, one Sonia Sotomayor, was chosen by the President because she is the most qualified judge available. For some reason, I feel that the fact she is a woman and also Latina had something to do with the appointment.

If there were some secret criteria which dictates that the composition of the Supreme Court should demonstrate a cross section of the racial and sexual makeup of this country's citizenry, then I would ask, when will the total number of Justices be increased? Where is the homosexual token member? The Bisexual? The obese? The thin? The youthful one? ...if you get my meaning. All of that hardly scratches the surface when it comes to the diversity of this country's citizens.

The Supreme Court would rank right up there with a small military unit in number if that were the case. Then I read where an individual expressed their concern that the real values of certain appointed justices may somehow alter our constitution with respect to the separation of church and state. With that, I was really off and running.

I went to one of my daughter's reference books and looked up the Declaration of Independence and read it over very methodically. I let every word sink in thoroughly. The third line of the first paragraph makes reference to "Natures God". The second paragraph speaks for itself, "All men are CREATED equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights and so on. One need not be a genius or language expert to see the basis for these great men's values. One need only look back at the Pilgrim's experiences with the Church of England to understand why the originators of our constitution were so intent upon insuring that our government would not establish any church as the government's approved religion.

Is a church a building or a specific belief? I don't believe it is either one of these. A church is made up of a group of people..."We the people." How can a government OF the people, FOR the people and BY the people separate itself from itself? Yet a supreme effort has been given to that very purpose.

Our elected officials have done such a bang-up job of it, they have actually succeeded in isolating themselves from the very people they were elected to represent. What happens to the mind of a new Supreme Court Justice? Does the process involved in interpreting the constitution's meaning require the heart and spirit of a man or woman to be positioned in neutral and thusly be disengaged? Can intellect alone be trusted to make such far-reaching decisions?

Our government, the individuals that constitute all sectors, has taken on the resemblance of a country within a country. They are self-governing, seemingly responsible to no one but their peers in the rest of the governing bodies. They vote themselves pay raises whenever the urge strikes. The voters are so apathetic they could care less so long as government's actions don't interfere with their own little world.

History and the social sciences, government and every citizen's role in that government are taught to children who are not capable of grasping the importance of a citizen's contributions to the running of that government. If these children's parents are apathetic toward government, then their children will be doubly so.

Call me by any name you choose but call me concerned right along with it. I can't believe that our forefathers intended for any man or woman to make a lifelong career in government, especially by focusing on one branch of it. There is power to be had in government and one man exposed to the power of manipulating and influencing a powerful entity, such as our government has grown to be, is in peril even if he doesn't see it. Checks and balances are fine so long as someone doesn't find a way to move the pivot point off-center and tip the scale as they would have it move.

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