Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Story Retold

If all the tales are told, retell them, Brother.
If few attend, let those who listen feel.

- Catherine Drinker Bowen

I have started to read Miracle at Philadelphia the story of the constitutional convention that formed the constitution of the USA.The quote above is from the Author's Preface. It got me thinking about how when I hear the story of the constitution and how I feel about it. Personally I think the constitution was divinely inspired.

The Preamble to the Constitution states:

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.

Now if you're like me you first heard this from Schoolhouse Rock. The tune is catchy and I'm singing along with it as I write this. These first words of what some consider the greatest document ever written start a feeling of pride, joy, . . . it's not quite explainable in me. The story retold makes me feel and herein lies the power of the document.

I'm looking forward to reading this book. I am only a few pages into it, but can tell that it will be both fascinating and enlightening. Part of the fascination is to understand how this country went from the Articles of Confederation and 13 "sovereign" states acting independently to a national government meant to meet the goals of the Preamble. One of the states (Rhode Island) didn't even send a delegation to the convention. The states were of the opinion that a federal government would gain too much control. The convention had to be couched as an update to the Articles of Confederation just to get permission to convene. It's fascinating to see how some of the greatest minds our country had at the time had such differing opinions on things.

Now the question comes up as to why I am reading this book. Well truthfully this year is a pivotal year in our country's history. This is an historic election. I want to understand how the constitution came to be and the thought processes and arguments behind it. Then I want to compare that to the campaigns of the candidates and see which one (if any) holds to the ideals that this country was founded on. I'm taking the election seriously this year and hope that when the tale of the election of 2008 is retold, those that attend and listen will feel.


N&E5 said...

I do not doubt your sincerity that you are truly engaged in this election. However, the simply reality is that you invariably vote for McCain due to several issues that have divided this nation for decades. That is your right and your prerogative. However, it's slighly disingenuous to say you are completely weighing both candidates.

I would have said the same thing recently (albeit from probably the opposite political spectrum). But the truth is I won't vote for McCain/Palin due to 3-4 central issues.

I would like to move beyond this where we'd actually consider voting for someone who we may agree with 75% of the time and vehemently disagree with 25%. We had that at one point in our history. But I just find things increasingly polarized such that it is hard not to become cemented in one's own beliefs.

There is so much rhetoric out there now. I feel like I am having to perform due diligence on every tidbit of information I read. I have particularly found that I must do due diligence on information that I in support of my chosen candidate as there are people who support him that will take things out of context and exaggerate. I find it troubling and frustrating.

Regarding returning to our Constitutional values, I think you should really look at this issue. Look at the what has happened to many issues: first amendment; second amendment, fourth amendment; fifth amendment. You will see a steady erosion of historically valued rights since '01. Many people have informed me that 9/11 changed everything. I say that I trust our founding fathers to put my trust in the document that has guided us to prosperity over the fearful whims of the American electorate. If we chose not to honor this great legacy when times are tough, the Constitution is all but dead to me.

BJ Blinston said...

When I wrote the post I was not in any way leaning towards one candidate or another. Right now I'm not 100% convinced but am leaning towards McCain. That can still change but I'm not hearing what I need to from Obama for that to occur. Neither candidate is talking about how to pay for things right now, but that is for another post.

N&E5 said...

Would you vote for someone who was pro-choice and pro-gay marriage?

I ask myself the opposite. I suppose under some circumstances I could consider it; however, it is unlikely. Harry Reid I would vote for so I guess there's one.

Romney's dad was an excellent governor of our state. Mitt's tenure in Mass was not horrible. I am just wondering if one could go the other way.

I do not see LDS as being as rigid and as joined at the hip per se with the Republican party as fundamentalists despite Utahs 70% self-identified Republican voting block. Just my perception.

I wish we could simply turn the presidency into issues that effect all of us. Abortion is important to be sure, but it will not impact our lives on a day to day perspective like economic policy or immigration issues (especially where you are).

BJ Blinston said...

I would weigh everything together before I vote. It's that important. There are some issues I will always disagree with the candidate on. No one is going to agree with me or you 100%. I do believe in voting for who's best for our country. I agree the abortion issue isn't the top of the list right now. It shouldn't be either. We need a solid plan to make us stronger.