Monday, February 13, 2012

What it Should Be

It has become apparent that most of our citizenry, both Politician and civilian, really do not understand, or want to understand, what type of Nation the Constitution establishes.  In 1776 the Colonists in America had finally had enough of a top down Government that had the power to control the Peoples lives in every aspect without the say of the People themselves.  These individualists set themselves on a path to create the greatest Government the world would ever see, a Government that was a bottom up Government, a Government that would allow for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and most importantly, a Government that would allow a person to succeed or to fail on their own merits, a Government for a good and moral People.  America has lost sight of what that bottom up style of Government means.

Americans in general are very private people.  What that means is that what happens within the confines of their own homes is their business, in many cases not even members of their own families will know or even care about what happens within those walls.  If you don’t believe this just try to tell someone what they are to do within their own home, better yet just jump into a pit with an Alligator at one end and a hungry Bobcat at the other and see how that turns out.  Outside those walls Americans, as a whole, are very social, friendly and caring people.  To better understand this look at the example of my neighborhood.  I live in a rural part of North Carolina, an area, like so many other rural areas, is populated more by relatives, both near and distant, than it is by outsiders.  I live in an area populated by people that have many common interests or common desires.  Some People choose to live in developed areas that have covenants, they decide that the home they desire is worth the covenants, I choose otherwise.

In my case I have my home and a few acres of land.  Since my wife and I are on the road most of the time and we are not farmers, as much as we would like to be, we lease out our land to whichever local farmer we choose to lease it to for whatever reasons we have.  My closest neighbor just happens to be my parents with their home and a couple of acres.  While I may ask my fathers opinion about what to do in my yard, or he may ask my opinion about what to do about something in his home, there is no expectation or requirement that the advice be taken or acted upon, it is just advice.  On the other side of my parents home is a distant cousin and behind him is his daughter and her husband.  Next to them are a niece and her husband; in all cases what happens within the boundaries of their property is their business.  What this does not mean is that we have fences built to keep each other out of sight and out of mind, in fact there are no fences what so ever separating the properties, there are not even armed guards on patrol at our borders.  However, none of my neighbors, relative or not, whether they like what I do or not, will even think of telling me how to live my life or what I may do within the boundaries of my property as long as it is not illegal and it is not affecting them and their property.  We are, however, more then willing to help each other, whether that help is volunteered or asked for, it works both ways.

The same is true for those that chose to live in the cities, whether they are in single family homes or they are in multi-family buildings, regardless of whether they own or rent, beings how the payment of rent is a contract of temporary ownership, actually a contract of temporary responsibility for that property.  In many cases those in the cities have the same feelings as their country cousins when it comes to helping others while expecting others to respect their privacy; unfortunately this is not true in all cases.

It seems that my wife and I are constantly trying to improve our home as our budget allows.  The great thing is that we don’t have to ask our neighbors whether or not we can do the things we want to do, at the same time during many of these improvements our neighbors may profit.  When we decided to put in our driveway and later when we extended it, we went to one of our neighbors that owns a dump truck and has the contacts for the materials.  During another upgrade when I wanted to install a flag pole one of our neighbors loaned me an auger expecting nothing more from me then the return of it in the same condition as I had received it.   I didn’t have to write a bill that would require all my neighbors to chip in to pay for my driveway or my flagpole, in fact I didn’t even have to pass a bill that required all my neighbors to put in driveways or flagpoles while our neighboring community paid for it.  In fact, one of the great things about all of this is the neighboring community knows nothing about what we have done to our property or what our neighbors have done to theirs.  Another great thing is the fact that if something was to happen to one of our neighbors, a death in the family or a sickness or even if someone was to threaten their safety the rest of us would be there to help them, no questions asked, no conditions made.  It may not be the same if it were to happen to one of our neighboring communities since they are somewhat removed from us on a day to day basis.  This is not because we do not care about the neighboring communities as much as it is that what happens there does not affect us as much as what happens to our neighbors.  On the other hand our community, our neighboring community and the other communities in our County have gone together to provide a Sheriffs Office, something that as individuals and individual communities just was not a function we had the time or training to perform.

What I have described above is exactly what the framers of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers of our Nation, envisioned for our Nation.  Just as my home and my property are sovereign so are our Cities, our Counties and our States.  We banded together to form a union of sovereign States, sovereign Countries just as my community has banded together.  While the social and political attitudes within our community may vary they are not forced upon every individual in the community.  While the neighboring community may believe differently they we do when it comes to social or political issues it does not mean we will not work together when it is right for us to do so without expecting a change in either community.  That is how it should be and how it was envisioned to be for our Nation and our States.  When one of the families in our communities raise children and grow too large for the home they reside in the children will form homes of their own, little sovereign nations of their own, that too was one of the visions of our Founding Fathers.  Our Founding Fathers never expected our Nation to grow as it has and to try and maintain one central Government for such a large Nation both in population and in land mass.  Our Founding Fathers would have thought States such as California, Texas and even New York should be split into two, three or even more separate States, separate sovereign Countries.  Our Founding Fathers even believed that the States should have more power then the Federal Government, in other words the Federal Government was in many way subservient to the State Governments, the President was to be in many ways subservient to State Governors.  They even named it UNITED STATES to demonstrate the banding together of the separate states when there was a common good.  The exceptions to this were simple, the dealing with Foreign Governments for trade agreements and treaties and when it came to actual declared war when the safety of the Nation as a whole was threatened.

What just amazes me about all of this is that you would think the various political and social sects would jump all over this and make it happen.  There could be a State that was nothing other then a welfare State, one that was nothing more then a hippy commune and so on and so on.  That is actually the way it should be, in reality it is not.  I’m not sure if it started with the Progressive movement or the so called Conservative movement, which in my opinion should be the we will rule the world movement.  Where ever it started neither would be happy until all States and all Nations throughout the world were just mirror images of the way they believed.  You know that actually sounds familiar, wasn’t it Britain that believed as late as the 17th maybe even the 18th Century that they were going to make the world Britain?

Steve Avery