Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 9, 2012

We the People: Illusions we live with

By Bob Hoyt
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Forever is an illusion we live with. Not everyone would agree, but if we all believed the same things, there would be no need for democracy or denominations.  It is not an illusion that if we don’t face facts and make compromises, our democracy is threatened no matter who is elected. 

The major candidates told us repeatedly that we are all created equal, or that if we work hard, we can be anything we want. It sounds good, but it’s another illusion we live with. Total equality isn’t real, either intellectually or physically.  Working hard is a worthy attribute, but many of those who talk most about hard work have never worked hard enough to entitle them to give advice to a fellow citizen who does grinding work every day — a stone worker shaping a slab of sandstone or a maintenance worker in a garbage dump spreading trash and discouraging scavengers. We may say we admire such efforts (whether artful or tedious), but not everyone can do such work day after day, no matter how honorable and necessary it is to the community. 

There is no more or less glory, honor or purpose for our country than doing our part and doing it right, even if the work is knee deep in other people’s trash or leads to gnarled fingers from breaking and lifting stone so others can construct magnificent buildings. A college education is valuable, but not always essential.

We the People are the people. The important thing is to work together honestly at what we do best. We do not all believe the same things or know the same things, but we are the government. Rich or poor, we have no more room for sorry leaders and bad choices. It is past time for us to make peace at home and stop making unnecessary war abroad.

We don’t need to learn to hug all our enemies, foreign and domestic, and go to prayer meetings together.

The idea that the entire world wants democracy, though, is another illusion. We cannot borrow forever to make endless war on people in caves halfway around the world. Enough is enough. Don’t we have better places for our money and our children?

It’s high noon for Congress. It’s time for Congressional noses to point toward statesmanship instead of constantly sniffing the Washington winds for the biggest pile of campaign money. No honest American citizen wants four more years of bickering and obstruction from ideologues. 

Members of Congress come and go, but the People go on. Most of us know right from wrong. We are the government. And it’s choosing time again. It’s time to show our common sense and our faith that We the People are still capable of governing ourselves. We do that by voting for statesmen (or stateswomen) and by kicking out one-party addicts who are filling their already deep pockets at the lobby machines. We are not for sale, but we must prove that we won’t be bought or sold against our will or snookered by political illusions passed off as straight talk.

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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. "We the People" is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in "We the People" columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at jwund@frontiernet.net.