Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Lawyer: Evolution and Democracy

Our founding fathers manifested their belief that government should be in balance with individual rights through the crafting of the Constitution, which in turn would evolve through changing circumstances of social and commercial realities by, and under, the checks and balances exacted between the three branches of government that it created.  For that Democracy is an ingenious invention.  The fathers of our Democracy understood that there would always be a need to rebalance the competing interests between individuals and the greater good.  

To be dogmatically dug in on one side of the debate, whether on the side of individual freedoms or the side that seeks constraints aimed at effectuating the greatest possible good for all, is to call one side of the coin the only real one.  Therein we have the crux of the age-old feud between conservatives on one side, and liberals on the other.  

Conservatives hoarsely bellow in favor of individual freedoms above all.  Their mantra is liberty from any and all government intrusion.  Played out to its logical conclusion, that belief leads to things like great depressions, devastation of the environment, the extinction of consumer protections against harmful goods and financial products, and the rich get richer while the middle class descends into poverty increasingly powerless to effectuate change in the political landscape.

Liberals champion putting the balance in favor of government to regulate the passions of personal freedom for the benefit of a greater social cohesion.  Carried to its outermost limits, the creative forces of the individual risk being smothered and caused to stagnate, thus denying the components of the body politic the delight inherent in the individual's imperative to create.  

A balance between the two is the key.  Unfortunately, to expect our leaders to be mature and sophisticated enough to understand that, and undertake the task of exacting that balance requires of voters a degree of maturity and sophistication that seems lacking.  Your average Jack or Jill, whether on the left or the right, is not particularly adept at holding two competing, and seemingly contradictory perspectives in his or her mind at once.  

Evolution is always about the coming together of parts, previously whole in themselves and separate from others, to make a greater whole, thus transcending and becoming more than the sum of the new unit's parts.  Our present problems, as a country, cannot be fixed except by an integration of the best that the right and the left have to offer.  That will not happen until the general populous understands that killing off one side ensures the damnation and ruin of the other.  How long will that take?  

What calamity will be required to touch off the impulse to reach higher?      


  1. Please note that these conservatives are only interested in individual freedoms for men. Should a woman want to have a morning after pill, or need an abortion, they are the first to demand laws from the government to prevent them from getting it.

  2. Yeah, there's obviously more to it like Morgan hints at, but this blurb gets at what I think a lot of people are beginning to recognize about the broken or incomplete nature of governing ideologies.

    But really, even though this blurb articulates a search for a more optimal government, this sort of idea, that politicians share similar qualities has been voiced in the common understanding or perception that "all politicians are crooks."