When I was a kid, every now and then on the way home from school Iíd see a crowd suddenly take shape like an imminent storm. Knowing that a fight was developing, I took a wide detour around it. Iíd seen enough of them to know that I had no desire to see two guys beat the crap out of each other or two females ripping off wigs. And the same way that a hurricane spawns tornadoes there were always loud-mouths in the crowd who would try to start fights with some other voyeuristic bystander, drawing from the mobís sick energy. Iíd seen enough in the past to know that often, when it came to actually fighting, both opponents were sometimes reluctant to battle. But there were always enough troglodytes in the crowd to blow sparks into flames.
This is how I see the current campaign for President. As things stand Americans are looking for a political savior to get us out of all the problems that our ignorance, arrogance and bad habits have gotten us into. Therefore a crowd is developing around the office of President. There are plenty of loud-mouths in the crowd making sure that a fight occurs. But like the fights after school their predictable movement is sufficient to draw the eye while providing nothing to draw the heart.
I have, despite a fervent search, been unable to find where a President or government is supposed to have the power to offer most of what both candidates constantly offer. Check here and if you find anything let me know: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/help/constRedir.html. This site has the Constitution as well as the Federalist Papers.
But donít stop there. The Anti-Federalists smelled a government rat even then. Check it out here: http://www.angelfire.com/pa/sergeman/foundingdocs/antifedpap/main.html
Of course I realize that everyone is not going to take the time to read these. But if you do you will see that none of these documents contain anything in them even remotely giving our government the powers it presently usurps. These same documents can be found many places on the Internet, including the governmentís own site. Now, what does it tell you that the very body of people who claim powers far beyond what the founding documents allowed are completely unafraid to display the very documents that would bust them were people to take them seriously? Itís like a bank posting the combination to the safe and the lock codes to the doors right on the front door, unworried about anybody stealing anything because they have faith that nobody cares enough to read whatís in their face.
So, as I learned in those early days, itís time for a detour. Itís not what I prefer. But just as the crowds after school were only ready to hear the sounds of two fools pounding each other, a sizable section of the public is only ready to hear the sounds of two fools saying what sounds good without referring to the very documentation that grants or restricts their powers. Without that reference point, what prevents them from saying and claiming all manner of things that sound right according to prevalent misconceptions? More importantly, without that reference point, on what basis do we screen and filter their words? Iím afraid that without it the only basis we have is that of feeling and undefined promises of who can best scratch the most recent itch, the same basis on which the crowd gathers around actions that leave nothing productive or lasting behind.
Moths gather around street lights and, to me, it is a picture of loneliness to see moths flutter erratically and irresistibly around a street light at 3 a.m. on some dead end road. But at least they act according to how they were made. As a nation we gather around people selling empty promises thinly dressed in outfits any thrift shop would put to shame. And we do so not according to how we were made but according to how weíve been remade in the image of something far below our birthrights.