Since I failed to do it before –
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
(italics are mint)
Is the famous quote from Madison in the Federalist #51 published on Friday, February 8, 1788 and credited to either Alexander Hamilton or James Madison. The complete text can be found in the Congress.gov website.
I am not sure whether to claim I spent the last week thinking too little, or thinking too much. One of the challenges of representational government is that it must represent all of the people. Not just those with the issue of the moment, or those with the most money. I am certain that my grandmother, coming to the US in the early 20th Century around the age of 10 wasn’t as worried about the US government as she was being safe from the pogroms, having enough to eat and perhaps being able to get some education. For her and most of that generation, money was safety, food, clothing and a future for their children. They had faced starvation, death, weapons and sea voyages in steerage. They had no place to which they could return even if they had wanted.
I have seen the effects of hate let loose: in Bosnia where neighbors when after those who had lived next door for decades; in Iraq where blowing up houses, schools, hospitals, convoys became common place without regard for those just trying to survive and protect their families; in Afghanistan where destroying history was paramount and teaching the young allowed only if doctrinal and if those taught are males.
Divisiveness, single issues, fanaticism all take away from freedom. It is easy to say that you “believe in the constitution” when it seems to support what you want but not as clear when those same freedoms have to be allowed to those with whom you don’t agree.
I am hoping we are strong enough as a country to survive the current bigotry, bullying, and white male supremacy and come back to a middle ground where hard work is expected and rewarded, children are fed, medical care is available to those who require it and schools actually teach science.
It shouldn’t be an unobtainable dream.