“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who … will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” – Samuel Adams
The other day I was watching CNN and the commentators were talking about how we are more forgiving of the Hollywood Celebrities indiscretions, than we are of our representatives in Washington. The idea that we compare our Hollywood Celebrities with our those in whose trust we place our lives says it all. The media has turned us into mindless sheep. We believe what we see on the boob tube. We are a nation that has become lazy, fat, and uneducated. And the politicians, advertisers, bankers and everyone else who wants our money or our votes – love us that way.
We do not seek virtue or honesty in our leaders, how could we? We no longer seriously value it in ourselves. We placed virtue and morals into the category of things to which we aspire. If we were educated, or, if we did have moral and virtuous leaders in Washington, leaders who were there as public servants for no reason other than to best represent the needs of the American people, we would not have a healthcare problem. If we had the type of representatives that our founding fathers were, and intended us to have, no corporation or banking institution could ever get away with any actions that were not in the best interest of the Citizens of the country. There would be no lobbyists in Washington if this was the American of our founding fathers. There would be no interest that stood between our representatives and us. Those who ran for office would do so for the same reason as one who joins the peace corp., to serve the greater good, as a calling. Our founding fathers considered politics a Divine Science, in this country it was a calling from God and they treated it, at great expense to themselves, as such.
Today, with the problems existing in healthcare, it has been said that if there is no great profit in medicine, we will no longer have doctors. This is insane. There have always been doctors or healers as far back as history. Once, to be a healer was a spiritual calling. Later, although not spiritual, it was still a calling to heal. If being a doctor were no longer a high paying career, there would be a different kind of doctor practicing medicine. A doctor would be one who felt a calling in his heart to heal. This is no different from any other calling. We see our soldiers who serve their country for little pay. There are police and firefighters who find it their calling to serve and protect, some come from generations with the same calling. Teachers are called to educate the young leaders and citizens of the future for so little money it is shameful, but still – they teach.
Ministers, who generally make only enough to live on, still feel called to serve God and His children. There is no shortage, regardless of what we want to believe, of men and women who feel the need to be of service to their fellow human beings. John and Samuel Adams both sacrificed their fortunes to serve in public office. George Washington did not take the pay for his position as President, although his plantation had been wiped out by the Revolutionary war. The founding fathers believed that one of the most important pillars of the Constitution was the virtue of those who would be elected to enforce it.
Imagine for a moment, that teachers were elected. In order for the voters to know what the teacher was about, she would need to pay for TV time and advertising to reach the people and get the votes. This would cost money. So, the teacher of your children would have to make deals with whoever had the money to pay for the exposure necessary to be elected. This would mean that if they wanted to be elected for another year, they would have no choice but to teach your children what their contributors wanted taught. Regardless of how well meaning the teacher was initially, it would no longer be feasible for a teacher to take what was best for your children into account. The only thing that the teacher would worry about was teaching your children in a way that pleased whoever had to be pleased to raise the funds for the next election. The founding fathers knew the dangers of corporate involvement.
The way that you would feel about the education of your children being determined by whoever chose to pay for the means to be elected, is the way that our founding fathers felt about those who were chosen to represent the people in Washington. They believed very deeply that there should be no monetary incentive to become a public servant, and that is what our congressmen are, public servants. Not only our congressional representatives, but also our governors, mayors, council members, and all officials elected to represent our interests. Those who served after the signing of the Constitution did so as a sacred calling. The founding fathers did not consider these principles to be simply ‘good ideas’, they considered these principles to be the mortar that held the bricks of the Republic together. Self-government requires virtuous citizens and then virtuous leaders. Trusting men and or women to represent us in Washington, or even in our local city hall is much worse, and more profoundly destructive than leaving a gang of thieves to guard our most prized possessions. And what is more valuable than one’s life and liberty? Yet, we know that long before our representatives reach the polls, they have been forced to sell their services to corporations or special interests in order to even be considered for election.
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.”
“There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent an sudden usurpation.”James Madison
The founding fathers believed that limiting the term of our Congressional Representatives to two years, would guarantee that if they were overcome by greed or some form of self-interest or corruption, the people could vote them out of office before they had enough time to hurt the country. However, with the system as it is today, that two year limit means that they have less time to prove to their benefactors that they are valuable enough to reinvest in. There is no time, or room, for the best interest of the people – therefore, what is best for the corporations and for the special interests is sold to us as what is best for the people.
Thomas Jefferson stated that there was what he called a “Natural Aristocracy”. This Natural Aristocracy was one that existed through a wealth of virtue, and talent. He was accustomed to what he considered the “Artificial Aristocracy”, founded on wealth or station of birth, lacking in virtue or talent, which, controlled the governing of European countries. He, as did all of our founding fathers, believed that in order to our Republic to remain strong in its service to its people, the rulers must be of the Natural Aristocracy and not the artificial one.
“For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction. There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it’s ascendancy.” Thomas Jefferson to John Adams
It all makes such sense, and, we will not reach back to these principles through design, because we are all too consumed by the material world and the overwhelming task of freeing our legislature from the tentacles of greed. This cancer has grown too large and is too incorporated in our system to extract it. So, the patient, the material, capitalist nation that we have grown to know and depend upon will die. So that the Republic, the nation that our forefathers founded under Divine Inspiration can be reborn from the ashes – like the phoenix.