We recently experienced a governmental shutdown and despite all the prognostications of calamity and forecasts of doom issued by the media, America apparently survived and no lasting damage was done. Except for some minor inconveniences and some deliberately provocative acts by the administration (designed to upset certain segments of the American public, as in the closing of some war memorials, certain monuments, national parks and wildlife refuges), life proceeded unabated for the overwhelming majority.
Another interesting aspect of the shutdown was revealed when one objectively views the reporting by the “unbiased” media. Based on several studies, it is interesting to note that our “unbiased media” somehow managed a one-sided presentation of those responsible for the shutdown.
Here are some interesting facts presented by the Media Research Center regarding the coverage of the “pre-shutdown” and the actual shutdown itself. From Sept. 17 through Sept. 30 (the “pre-shutdown” period), evening news programs on the three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) blamed the GOP 21 times compared to zero times for Democrats. That negative coverage doubled during the actual closure period from Oct.1 through Oct.15. The same shows blamed Republicans 41 times and Democrats zero times. So take a wild guess as to who the public at large blames for the shutdown. This should not be misconstrued as a pro or con position for either party, merely an observation. Remember, the Constitution prohibits any “abridging … of the press,” so the citizenry should receive the truth of the matter, predicated on actual facts, not the opinions of individuals.
I wonder how many people have actually read the Constitution of the United States of America. Have you?
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The book “Think and Grow Rich” sold at least 30 million copies; the “Da Vinci Code” sold 57 million; “Lord of the Rings” has sold more than 100 million; and “the little red book” (the personal explanation to the people of China of the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, written by Mao Tse-tung) has sold more than 820 million copies. Only the Bible has sold more copies, with current estimates at more than four billion.
So, why shouldn’t the U. S. Constitution be required reading for all freshmen, high school and college students – and all would-be public servants? Perhaps that’s not a fair question; after all, the Chinese communists are not free to read anything pertaining to liberty. Their government prevents them – and isn’t government coercion just one of the things that most Americans find abhorrent? Isn’t freedom the hallmark of the American system?
So, what does all this actually have to do with the Constitution itself? Well, for one thing, those who have actually read it are aware of the provisions that govern, or should I say determines how the United States should be governed by those people privileged to serve as “public servants” – provisions absolutely essential and vital to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” here in United States.
Watching our legislators (from the president to Congress, and beyond) govern America makes one wonder how many have actually read the U. S. Constitution. I am aware that there are some (not among our readers, of course) who will ask, “What’s the purpose of reading an old document like that? This is the 21st century! Let’s read “The Twilight Saga” (43 million) or the “Harry Potter” series (400 million).
Consider reading and meditating upon the following (almost as old as our republic):
Most will remember from our history lessons, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Another statement attributed to Patrick Henry, though less well known but equally as powerful and perhaps even more applicable to our station today, clearly and dramatically places “the government” and “we the people” in proper perspective.
Patrick Henry may or may not have uttered the exact phrase, but the idea certainly corresponds to the ideals espoused by the founders. Perhaps we should even consider sending this statement to each of our elected representatives, our “public servants” (regardless of which seat they hold, Legislative or Executive) informing them of the following:
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”