Water Cooler 10/26/18 Open Thread - The Foundation of Clear Thinking; Culture Amendment

Greetings RedStaters!  And Thank God its Friday!  I hope you enjoy today’s thoughts, and as always, the Water Cooler is an Open Thread, so feel free to share thoughts on these or any other topics in the comments below.

We have so much to be thankful for.  While there is so much wackiness in the world that can overwhelm our eyes and our ears, there is sanity and constancy in our Lord – as He was, He is, and ever shall be.  The God who made the Heavens and the Earth is the one who promised that all who turn to Him and put their faith in Him will be saved from the chaos and sin of this world.  No small thing.  You know – one of the most amazing things I see in the Bible is not how different things were back 2 to 4 millennia, but in many ways, how much they are the same.  The same human nature, aspirations, struggles, failings, successes.  And yet mankind generally tries to pilot this world with the perspective of 20-50 years.  Like driving a car in fog, it can seem like you’re getting along alright, and then all quickly transition into a multi-car pileup.  A little humility about who we are as humans seems warranted.

The Foundation of All Clear Thinking

I am re-reading C.S.Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and am re-discovering a real jewel.  I had figuratively filed it away as a great book for thinkers to consider belief in God.  But there is so much more I am refiling it as something to be used more like a quick reference for the human machine.  If you are not a believer, and I was in your ranks – it is a brilliant man’s personal discovery and sharing of what he finds to be simple truths.  If you are interested in finding truth, his points are crystal clear, and the book is mostly an easy read.

Reading through it again I thought it would be great to try to work in bits of it over time in the Friday Water Cooler.  Flipping back to examine one of the first points this morning I found this as the concluding paragraph to the first chapter [emphasis mine]:

These, then, are the two points that I wanted to make.  First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.  Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way.  They know the Law of Nature; they break it.  These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.

Brilliant.  Here in one paragraph is an explanation of what has worked to make America strong and prosperous, and where America has gone off the rails. The Founders of the United States of America considered the arc of history and the truths of human nature.  They considered the arc of human history and created a system in light of actual human behavior.  The system dispersed power throughout the government and provided for checks and balances such that the system would even out the storms of individual failure, transient conditions, and mob passions.

The unraveling of our system is coming from forces that have left this solid foundation of clear thinking for the shifting sands of hope, emotion, and feeling.

The Republic Preservation Amendment

Also lately, I have been browsing back through Mark R Levin’s The Liberty Amendments, which is an interesting read of a different sort.  I think the case is well made in the book that the Founders feared creeping power of the Federal Government toward tyranny, and created in Article V a remedy for this.  Two-thirds of the States could force a Convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution.

The case is also well made that our governmental machine is broken in several ways that could be addressed through that mechanism.  Levine proposes several Amendments that could be considered in such an occasion.  In the spirit of such an event, I see another need, and so offer the germ of another for discussion.

A Sketch of An Amendment to Preserve the American Constitution and Republic

I have forcefully argued that the Department of Education should be abolished as it is both unconstitutional and lacking of a compelling need to address at the national level versus at the state level.  I am modifying this proposition.  I believe that many of the ills seen in the decline of our freedoms and centralization of power in the federal bureaucracy come from ignorance, and we would do better to ensure that Americans understand our system and foundations.  If I were to try to address this via the Amendment route, I would attempt to capture these points

  • Constitutional literacy is foundational to understanding and preservation of the American republic.
  • As such, we have a compelling interest in making sure that our Citizens and Residents understand the system
  • This is a national interest
  • This is the only piece of education that I believe should be compelled or managed nationally
  • It must only cover through Constitutional law, not the layers of court decisions, federal laws etc.
    • The Constitution, including ratified Amendments
    • The Federalist Papers and other contextual information that informs intent of the founders
    • I exclude extra-constitutional law and context as a shifting target.  If not explicitly passed into the constitution, it is not bedrock.
  • This is delivered through national mandate, and tested for comprehension
  • A current passing grade on a standardized constitutional literacy test can be used as requirement for grant of citizenship (non-revokable), voting, participation in government at Federal OR STATE levels.

The idea is that before we let CNN and Harvard corrupt what our system is we ensure that the basic truths are there.  If there is a movement to socialize part of our economy, or give the Federal Government powers not granted by the Constitution, the effort must first become legal through Amendment to the Constitution.

What do you think?

It’s an Open Thread

Enjoy your Friday, and your week, and may God bless you, and God bless the America that turns to Him with humility and need.

Mike