Friday, March 23, 2012
Corruptio Optimi Est Pessima
(The best things become, when corrupted, the worst.)
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
The title of this commentary is a Latin phrase. It is loaded with meaning for America today. Liberally translated, it means: When the best things become corrupt, it is then that they become the worst things.
As I survey our country, America, it is clear we have a government that has deteriorated from the best to the worst. Well, not THE worst ... yet. But unless some correction is made to it this November, there can be no doubt it will become the worst Americans have ever experienced.
The American government was constructed by our forefathers to be a representative republic based on the Constitution. That constitution was intended to be the law of the land. But, just as the men who actually created our government warned us, it would remain a republic only so long as we could keep (or maintain) it as a republic.
Many decades ago, I had great admiration for a German auto company. They built the Volkswagen "Beetle." They sold millions of them all over the world. I bought a brand new one, right off the showroom floor, in 1971. It was the perfect car. Mine even had air conditioning, which I had added at the dealership before I picked it up. I actually bought the Beetle, sight unseen, on the phone. I did not actually see, or drive, the car until I went to the dealership to sign the papers and pick it up.
In the seven years I owned the car, it required no repairs due to breakdowns or malfunctions ... none. I replaced the muffler once, or twice, and gave it the standard tune-ups at the proper times -- and that was it.
Why in the world would a man feel comfortable purchasing an automobile on the phone, sight unseen? Volkswagen had it RIGHT. No pun intended, but by 1971, Volkswagen had the "bugs out of the Beetle." They had the body design down cold. That little air-cooled engine was geared to never reach a point at which it was performing under stress. As a result, the longevity of those little engines was, and is, legendary.
For a long time, new Volkswagen Beetles of the designed cherished by the public disappeared from US highways though they continued to be built in a few countries south of the United States.
Now the Beetle is, again, a familiar sight on American roadways. It has been redesigned both for aesthetics and to meet our federal government guidelines/laws. But, as a former owner of a 1971 Beetle, they are not the same car ... not by a long shot. I am sure the new Beetle is a fine and even wonderful automobile, but it is NOT the legendary Beetle. Just to be clear ... this is my opinion as the former owner of one of those legendary little cars.
Perfection cannot be improved upon.
The US government has been tinkered with almost from the moment of its conception. Wise men, or those who think themselves wise (and have become fools in so doing) have continuously sought to improve upon the work of America's forefathers. Since the Bill of Rights was ratified, the constitution has been amended 17 times.
The point I'm attempting to make is this: When you "mess" with perfection, you get imperfection.
Allow me to point out the obvious. Our physical government has become bloated and unmanageable, overbearing, over reaching, intrusive, power hungry, aloof, and cut off from the people it is supposed to govern. Legions of "wise men" continue to demand changes in the American government that have not only bestowed more and more power on government bureaucrats, but has actually turned our system of government on it's head.
Originally, the federal government was designed to be an agent of the states, to act at the behest of the states, with the states having ultimate -- and complete -- authority over the federal government.
Today, all 50 states answer to the federal government and cower in the shadow of the ever-present intimidation cast by the enormous power the omnipotence of that vastly too powerful central government.
That which was the best is quickly becoming the worst, or as some would argue -- HAS BECOME the worst.
Yes, there was a time in America when the states told the federal government how things would be run. Not so today. Today America's strong central government can FORCE states to do it’s bidding even though the US Constitution plainly says that particular power was left to the states.
Example: The states of Texas and South Carolina BOTH have recently been told by the federal government that they cannot require a photo ID to vote in their states. Another is the order from the federal government that the people of the states must, by law, purchase health Insurance. It is not a suggestion; it is an order -- the defiance of which will bring a fine on the individual citizens who refuse to comply.
The two examples above are just a tiny, infinitesimal, example of the thousands of such commands, edicts, LAWS that yoke American citizens today. Thousands upon thousands of such laws weighing down America today never, ever, underwent scrutiny by the people's Congress. They were never debated in the House of Representatives or the Senate. They were simply issued by agencies of the federal government whose rules and regulations have the "power of law."
The myriad of federal agencies was the work of men who sought to improve the federal government at the expense of the freedom of the people of America. Ultimately, they did not improve America but changed America's government into a sort Frankenstein beast, of which -- the people are afraid.
Corruptio optimi est pessima. The best things become, when corrupted, the worst.
Contrary to what we hear so much today -- "the government is broken" -- I'd reply that it is NOT broken. It is alive, huge -- and GROWING.
In my opinion, it cannot be "fixed." A Constitutional Convention is required to, at the very least, tap the "undo" key -- or "reboot" -- America to its default condition. But that will never happen.
Modern Americans are incapable of selecting a group of citizens charged with purging our government of the freedom killing agencies that have all but enslaved a once free America.
America's collapse is a certainty. When it happens, may God help those who will struggle to make the original America rise from the ashes of its last grotesque iteration.
J. D. Longstreet