Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma

Why do Our Leaders Ignore the Constitution?

In the preamble it is written that “We the People” establish the Constitution to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to “ourselves and our Posterity.” Pretty words. And yet we fail to heed them.

One of the most important concerns of the Founding Fathers was the elimination of corruption in government. Does anyone believe our politicians are not corrupt? Sure, a few of them live up to the standards we expect from our leaders, but they stand out as exceptions to the rule.

Most of our politicians are professionals, schooled in how to get elected and stay elected, experts in the craft of politicking but not much else. They know how to turn a phrase and work their base into a frenzy, but they absolutely refuse to do or say anything that might lend credence to an idea propounded by the other side.

They see compromise as surrender.

So they stick to their guns, absolutely convinced that their ideas are the only ones worth pursuing. They align themselves with people who think like they do and relentlessly attack all those with a differing point of view. It doesn’t matter if only a small percentage of the country’s citizens agree with them as long as their constituents (those with money who pay to help them attain or stay in office) do.

Another major concern of the Founding Fathers was a standing army. That’s why they created the Second Amendment, to provide for a militia to do the fighting while the standing army merely held firm until the militia could arrive. Today, the standing army (including all the branches of service) is a megalithic monstrosity driven by corrupt politicians held in thrall to the special interests of the military-industrial complex.

The largest lobbyist, WPP, employs 150,000 people and bills more than $70 billion per year. Many of its employees are former congressional employees, either elected officials or staff members. How many of us have even heard of WPP?

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say we should go off to foreign nations and work for regime change. Nowhere does it say we should preemptively attack a country because it might decide to attack us at some future moment. Nowhere does it say we should be the world’s police officer. Yet we have taken responsibility for all these actions and done things to “save” ourselves that have only created enemies. We helped overthrow the democratically elected government in Iran and replaced it with the Shah, who was later overthrown by the people, who then, SURPRISINGLY, saw us as monsters.

We prop up the corrupt regime in Saudi Arabia because it guarantees us oil, but we help take down Muammar Gaddafi because of his distaste for America. We encourage Osama bin Laden to become a zealous freedom fighter with a religious bent while meddling in the Middle East, antagonizing him by our actions.

We send in drones to kill hostiles who shelter among innocents and justify the murder as necessary for the greater good. If a foreign government were to launch a drone to kill a murderer at a wedding in Nebraska and incidentally caused the “collateral damage” of a dozen lost lives, including women and children, would we be incensed? Damn right! Yet we wonder why our preemptive military actions cause anger around the world.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that our government can listen in on our every conversation, yet the NSA aspires to that goal. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that our government can track our every movement with ubiquitous cameras and facial recognition software, but the NSA aspires to that goal as well. Things are so secretive that even our corrupt politicians don’t know all the technology we’re using to spy on ourselves.

We have become a nation that follows the Constitution only when it suits our purposes. Otherwise we do what is expedient, what we believe is best for us, never mind our posterity, never mind the future at all. The present is the only thing that matters. If our actions today create an enemy tomorrow – oh, well – too bad. We justify it by saying if we don’t save the present, there won’t be a future, but how does corruption and military aggression save the present?

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