A 2012 world view: What is the end game?
By Nancy Salvato
Having a world view and understanding how that perception influences our choices is important to knowing ourselves, being able to take or defend a position, and set goals and work to meet them. Sharing perspective helps us to understand and communicate with those who do not share the same belief systems but allows us to get along if we can find some commonalities or on what we can agree to disagree. When people holding a world view do not have the awareness to understand why they hold their position or are unable to comprehend that different experiences allow for a different outlook, this is when conflict can occur. This holds relevance for the 2012 election cycle.
Conflict is not confined between strangers. It can arise within family units; it can happen in the workplace, on the playing field, or even at a party. On such a smaller scale, it might be considered a personality conflict. A person can even be conflicted inside one's own head. It is how potential conflict is addressed that makes all the difference in the world.
Within our own country, the Founders and Framers understood that there has to be a balance between individual rights and the rights of the community. They were under no illusions that in a country this large that everyone could hold the same beliefs and goals. They wanted to create a place where to the largest extent possible, people could be free without imposing on others. You could say their end goal was freedom. In creating the U.S. Constitution, they created a document that would maximize freedom and minimize conflict. For example, rather than elevate one religion over others by sponsoring it by the state, they included the First Amendment, which reads:
What is meant by this is that the federal government will not become involved. They knew better than to tell the states to what level they become involved in religion or whether or not the states should even sponsor any particular religious practice. By the same token, if one religion imposed its beliefs on others, this would be abridging the free exercise of a faith and that would not be acceptable. Remember, the idea is to maximize freedom and minimize conflict.
The US Constitution was based on the philosophy of government laid out in the Declaration of Independence, which declares:
The U.S. Constitution was established to protect these truths and it was agreed to by the citizens of this country as explained in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
Contrary to such truths and contrary to the U.S. Constitution are practices such as justices in our court system allowing for Shariah law to supersede what is guaranteed to all citizens under our own system of government, allowing precedents established by international law influence decisions made by our Supreme Court (though it could be argued that the roots our legal practices come from Great Britain and therefore any practices which were established before the ratification of our U.S. Constitution can be considered for proper context), introducing belief systems into our public education system that undermine the values taught at home and require students to accept what may be unacceptable based on their religious faith, narrowing our world views to create one people not based on individual freedom but based on a socialist type system where property can be taken from one person and redistributed to another.
Sadly, there seems to be a large segment of the population that doesn't understand the fundamental law of this country or believes it to be outdated, irrelevant, or that the U.S. Constitution is a living document and can be changed, not by amendment or ratifying conventions, but through precedent based on court decisions, through law made by bureaucrats unanswerable to the people, and who do not question the lack of standing of our citizenry when bringing questions of constitutionality before the federal courts.
When people do not understand the value of what they have, when they don't understand the domino effect of changes made lightly or quickly, when people become complacent and allow others to think for them, when people abdicate their responsibility as citizens to exercise their vote because they don't have a candidate in the race, instead of voting for the better candidate, this is when our country will fall.
The Framers understood that when those who are ruling lose touch with the citizens they represent, when they do not believe themselves governed by the same law, of the same status, we have tyranny.
The citizens of this country have to ask themselves, do we have a representative government or are we living under tyranny?
The election of 2012 gives us the opportunity to elect candidates to office who understand federalism, the philosophy of this country, how law is to be made, how law is to be interpreted, and the limited role of government in our lives. To be a responsible citizenry, each and every one of us must make sure that our votes are counted and that we vote to maximize freedom and minimize conflict.
When going into a voting booth, it makes no difference whether a candidate believes in Mormonism or is an Atheist if that person's world view includes perspective and tolerance and if the end goal of that person's campaign is to maximize freedom and minimize conflict.
Ask yourself, what is the end goal for the Founders, the Framers, and the citizenry? Are we forming a more perfect union? Do we understand what we stand for? Do we understand why? Do we understand the alternative? What is the end game? How will we get there?
Nancy Salvato is the President and Director of Education and the Constitutional Literacy Program for Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (C) (3) research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country. She also serves as a Senior Editor for The New Media Journal.