Letters for November 26, 2019

Letters for November 26, 2019

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of  opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. 

The change of seasons

With the spell bound beauty of fall’s color, the horizons we view are nature’s canvas of deep reds, vibrant shades of orange with the mix of yellow splashing our mountains with such beauty, many are spellbound by the magnificence of what it is we see. It’s truly a picture worth a thousand words, but a thousand words are only a beginning of what we feel and can explain. 

Fall is the grand finale and a closing of the year’s end. This splendor of colors give way as each individual leaf falls and blankets the forest floor, and when the last and final leaf has fallen, it is then again that we can truly see the forest for what it is. Bareness of black and grays of both small and great timbers that sit patiently still in wait of another new season, in hopes of a renewed  life of growth, strength and warmth. 

Humanity’s beauty parallels itself in much the same ways, the various colors show themselves in areas of diverse unselfish and sacrificial love and kindness towards not only those closest to us, but many times the ones we have never known or know little of. The helping towards the elderly with the simplest task, tipping the fast food person who is spellbound when they receive it, being patient with those who try expressing themselves but have difficulty in doing so. 

Protecting the innocent from harm even when many turn a deaf ear to their cry.  In part, the beauty and color of what makes humanity the splendor of what we all should be is to be learned and passed on to others.   Philippians 4:8 says this well: “… fill your minds and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you have learned ….”  Learning to do and be right towards others comes by instilling these noble causes internally so it becomes what and who we are. If we could take this to heart and share all that is good, true, and noble, we would dispel the things that make humanity so vile and evil. 

But just as in the last leaf falling we ourselves are exposed to what we really are, darker and grayer in waiting for something better, but better never seems to come. We lose more of our strength in good, love and kindness, for it has always been easier to follow darkness than light, even when darkness seems not so dark. Faith is something we all share in, but there is a faith which is true, good, loving, kind and is built on someone, Christ, not something which changes as the seasons change. I know of nothing which brings humanity closer to humanity through faith in the one who gave himself for humanity. We have much to be thankful for and someone greater to be thankful to.

  Deni Shepard – nds13@frontier.com

 

Country’s condition no longer matches Constitution

You have doubtlessly heard the phrase, “United We Stand – Divided We Fall.”  The expression is attributed to the ancient Greek Storyteller Aesop, both directly in his fable, “The Four Oxen and the Lion,” and indirectly, “The Bundle of Sticks.”

Similarly, the Founders also deduced that economic inequality would destroy America’s democracy.  And now many of us are wondering, can the Constitution save us?

As numerous other writers have alluded, long before Donald Trump came on the scene, America was already mired in a constitutional crisis, one that crept up on us ever so stealthily, as historical transformations are prone to do.

The reason, as Ganesh Sitaraman (Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress) explains, “Our Constitution wasn’t built for a country with massive economic inequality and deeply entrenched political divisions.”  During America’s greatest crises, the Civil War, the Great Depression, perhaps the present moment (events the Founders could only dimly imagine), the social conditions within the country no longer matched the Constitution.

It is believed by many (including Sitaraman) that the Founders clearly understood that if severe economic inequality emerged, their democratic experiment would collapse.  The rich would gradually take over the government and pass laws benefitting themselves at the expense of everyone else.

When America’s wealthy began to “plunder the poor” (as a Virginia politician warned in 1814) it would be “slow and legal.”  Sooner or later, the masses would respond, but not through a violent uprising.  Instead, they would turn to a personage (a notable character perhaps), a celebrity, who would (instinctively and precisely) know how to manipulate their resentments.

As the wealthy rig the system in their favor, it gets harder to tax the rich, break up monopolies, help working families, and (importantly) reduce the influence of money in our politics. As social divisions become more entrenched, it becomes easier (as we are now experiencing) to keep everyone divided through fear mongering and scapegoating.  Our Constitution requires equality and solidarity and once those are destroyed, the Constitution contains no mechanism to restore them.

The foundations of participatory democracy must also be rebuilt by enabling more Americans to vote.  Only then can we hope (as Sitaraman puts it) “to rediscover a sense of common purpose that the Founding Fathers knew was a prerequisite for their experiment to succeed.”

Our greatest hope, ironically, may rest in the very savagery and viciousness of our political climate, which many of us have come to detest.  The American people might not think of what we’re experiencing as a “constitutional crisis,” but they surely understand what our leaders have failed to recognize (or at least won’t admit): The system does not work anymore.

Therefore, something radical has to happen.  This realization, this knowledge, above all, is perhaps the one thing that the majority of the citizens of our deeply divided country still have in common.

  

David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

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