Thursday, April 8, 2010

The People's Constitution

Daniel Webster famously explained in his Second Reply to Hayne that "It is, sir, the people's Constitution, the people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people."

This idea underlies the First Principle of the Social Compact - articulated in our Declaration of Independence "that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the government."

The growing frustration and resentment of the public - on all sides of the political spectrum - with government today often stems from the belief that government of the people has been subverted to the interest of the government of the special interest.  The pitching of factions against one another has always been a feature of our republic, but the domination of special interests in so many political avenues threatens the legitimacy of our system.  With so many political discussions devolving into rancor and personal attacks, that many have become cynics is not surprising.

So what do we do?  Become educated, become more engaged in the political process, and hold our leaders accountable for their actions.  To do otherwise cedes the field to the most corrupting influences in our politics.

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