What do we observe instead? The United States of American is more like a banana republic, a land in which a few of we the people hold huge personal sums of collective wealth. What is more ominous we ignore the war debt our enemies prayed for, with war profit unending and we are a people in great strife over money. We are far from the "more perfect union" our forbears envisioned. According to our Founders we are to be a country built on justice as supreme as is written first, in the first line of the Constitution of the United States of America. There is not a random word in that line. Yet, a land in which justice is deemed first in order of importance, we observe this imbalance of wealth and power leading to grave injustices. Getting justice in court costs money; the percentage of minorities and the poor behind bars is far higher than in the general population. Prisons are a way of controlling social unrest, the large size a symptom of a social contract out of balance. That as of yet no chiefs whose reign lead to the financial collapse of our great nation in 2008 are before the courts is a serious symptom of that imbalance. And, maybe worse, a Supreme court that grants a corporation almost full personhood is a court out of balance. Talk about worshipping the golden calf! In the meantime many courts are empty for want of justices to administer the law, and grave crimes go unaddressed. In whose interest is it to have justice denied ?
Is the mess we have allowed our country to become rooted in our Founders' vision, a flaw in their cosmic egg, or is the problem the way we the people interpret the words?
Under Franklin D. Roosevelt ideas of government a large middle class is the "American" dream come true; a good home and hearth for all in a land at peace. A land of law, fair and partial to the first line of our Constitution. That there will be poor amongst us, of course, and we the people, as a part of supporting the general welfare clause notably placed first in the sentence as the purpose of justice and tranquility, to make sure we the people, as decided in fair elections, do our best to minimize the effects of poverty, amongst other concerns. Being poor and having bootstraps is not a bad thing, for this too is part of the "American Story". Such a person has a chance. Poverty is a different beast, for it means living when you do not even have boots, let alone bootstraps, with which to pull yourself up. Bootstraps means good schools and the means to fund them adequately, good health care and the means to fund that adequately, a decent house, and enough good food to eat. Given these basics and a loving family, everyone has a chance to realize her or his human potential. However, we can't do that when so few own so much of our wealth. Though like the poor the rich will always be with us, we the people must be careful not to worship them and vilify the impoverished. Our Founders would not approve. There is nothing secularly wrong with a social order that grows billionaires, but let's not make that our common cause.
I listen to public debate about the kind of society the first line of the Constitution envisioned and wonder if anyone has bothered to read it. The first line it is all there ... a thing of beauty if words were ever put to humanity's cry for justice.
Let's read it again; it could be our country's national oath said by every student every morning and before all championship games, proudly we say together:
"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."
We the people, all of us ruled by justice founded in democratic principles of how to order power to form a more perfect Union. The phrase "more perfect" means our Founders envisioned our Constitution as a living document that would help us move toward the goal of perfection – perfection may be unattainable, so we have to strive for a more perfect union – that is, move in the direction of perfection, even if that ultimate destination is unattainable. What do they ask us to do first? Establish Justice. Why Justice? To insure tranquility meaning the law justly enforced and to provide for common" defence" - notice the small "d" whereas other words are capitalized. Perhaps unconsciously we see where "defence" was placed in the priority of things. Yet we the people allow a military industrial complex we were warned would ruin us to run our government. We are not on course to live the vision our Founders wanted for us.
For what purpose do these structures of the mind, the grand ideas of a learning, serve as the blue print for our Constitution? To promote the general welfare by sharing the blessing of our labor while living in peace with neighbors, near and far. That is what our "grand experiment" is all about. And let's not forget posterity, for that was last but not least in our Founders thinking. This means making sure our children --- all the children ... have something besides debt and catastrophe awaiting them.
In theory, this first line, when fully realized, will be as close as we will get to heaven on earth. This first line the product of many centuries of bloodshed and learning. I submit that within this line enshrined in justice is a vision of peace through justice that all humanity could embrace. Like it or not, humanity is becoming a global village. We the people need to "think big" about tranquility for all humanity. Our Constitution can be a template for a global order based on justice equally applied to all, first according to local traditions and if there is not enough force for local justice, the arm of global law intervenes. Think of it as states right's taken to a global level. (Vision) A world at peace according to the rule of law, can there be any greater gift to our children? What is greatest about us as country is the vision our Founders intended. That we offer to the world this path, the way to life in peace with one another, we can be "America's" next great generation. It is a vision of humanity in which one is never beyond the reach of justice, for She is supreme. We the people must remember that the United States Constitution was derived from the Kaianek’go:wa (The Great Law of Peace), the Constitution of the Rotinoshon:ni (Iroquois Confederacy), which did and does enshrine absolute equality of all people in the Confederacy. (Audlin, Circle of Life) This was the ideal our Founder's had in mind. This means every citizen is empowered as equally responsibile to take part in government, a participatory democracy. For all kinds of reasons our Founders made compromises to create a representative democracy, a Republic, but let us not forget what is connoted and denoted in their vision. One person one vote. And honest and fair elections in which issues are clearly spelled out with clear alternatives, this is what we need. Reasoned debate by an educated citizen ... we must trust democracy ... as our Founders envisioned ... or we the people fail them. During elections the media are geared to educating the citizens that they might do on that day the most important decision as a citizen ... vote ... pick representatives whose policies seem most likely to fulfill the vision implied and intended by our Great Constitution. Competition may be good for the market place, but education is the purpose of the fifth estate during voting times. That does not mean the debates do not get intense as each side presents what is best. Good debate is entertaining. Given the intensity of the media's current capacity to saturate the air waves with information, presidential elections done in month. The long run up to elections destroying our country and wasting our wealth. I would suggest one term six year president to our present 2 four year presidencies. Six years long enough to see how well our government is doing the will of the people, but not so long as to take us way off course. Or if six seems too long, then maybe one four year term is enough. This is a fast changing world.
Healing. Perhaps healing the genocide of the native peoples of this land on which our country was built will lead us back to what our Founders envisioned and intended. We need a healing within, such that we the people might reach out to humanity - the first line - our Light.
Having reconciled ourselves with our past as we can reach out to humanity and work together to form a "more perfect global union", to "establish Global Justice, insure global Tranquility, provide for the common global defence, promote the Global Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the World of Nations." Justice must have the authority to swing the sword by degrees if those sought for justice refuse to surrender. Humanity will always need the warrior, but a warrior sworn to the goddess of justice, not the god of war. Each of us must ask the question, in war or law do I entrust the future?
Guided by the living words of this first line and with God's help, we can be America's next great generation. We can join with a humanity to build the Age of Peace. It will require great sacrifice, but can there be a greater gift to posterity ... for while our Founders put justice up front they put posterity on the end ... the bookends of our great experiment in justice. Let us not fail our fathers and mothers in the beautiful vision put forth.
With this success we will be have become the people of justice as Ben Franklin envisioned. Justice our Light onto the world. Imagine the Age of Peace September 21, 2050.