When our nation’s founders wrote their remarkable (in theory and in actual words chosen) document, they worked on many versions, arguing with each other over many points. They knew it was not dictated by God, not perfect, not a miraculous final word for all the ages. For the first democracy of its kind, at that time in history, they did the best they knew how, compromising with each other on various points.
And so it is now, in a very different setting of social complexity, technical knowledge, and faster pace of change, we need to redefine our expectations of our government.
We are no longer an agrarian nation. We never will be again. Our farms are now businesses. Having no food assistance for poor people in cities is completely different from having no food assistance for people with the time and place to grow their own food.
When our government began, medical care was very basic for everyone. Doctors couldn’t do much better than dedicated nursing care from the family in most cases.
Where else do we want to limit government? Education? In those days, rich children were educated at home, privately. Poor children left their families at very early ages, if they were lucky enough to find an apprenticeship somewhere.
Should we limit our national imagination and progress to only the already wealthy?
Courts and the justice system
Should we throw out all of our laws and start over from scratch?
At the time of our country’s beginning, all other governments were strictly and entirely about keeping the currently powerful people in power. They were not about capitalism. Laws made in every corner of the earth benefitted those in power, not businesses. Justice was rarely an issue.
If we limit laws and the justice system, people without honor will soon abuse others.
Laura Twing lives in Cedar county, with her husband, and various animal companions.