Imperfect as they were, the authors of the United States Constitution got it exactly right with phrasing that defined our democracy. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, , ,” epitomizes the spirit of constitutional law. Without an understanding of precisely what is meant by these words, and the cardinal precepts that follow, one cannot competently approach the letter of the law. Two thousand years before, Jesus accused the courts of his day saying they were “straining at gnats while swallowing camels.” He was referring to each whited sepulcher’s habit of setting aside the best interests of the people, in order to instead serve a club of self-righteous exclusivity comprised of a self-interested few.
Wholehearted and intelligent conformity to the kind of benevolence, that Jesus revealed as the Divine will, is the only way to build the kind of nation that is truly of, by, and for the people. The true consent of the governed is only achieved by insuring such consent is fully informed. The authenticity of any representative government will always be determined by the character and caliber of those who compose it. It depends upon the installation of true to their oath representatives, that are not inclined to hide anything; together with active engagement by an intelligent electorate. It is conditioned upon the practice of electing to public offices only those individuals who are intellectually and technically competent. They must be morally fit and possess a character that is loyal to society as a whole. This is the only way that government of the people, by the people, and for the people can be achieved and preserved.
Our strife-torn planet is replete with forms of liberty that are unintelligent, unconditioned, and uncontrolled. Any exercise of freedom that works to the detriment of others is not serving the long term best interests of any civilization. In fact, it is far more likely to result in abject bondage for someone. Reality based freedom and liberty is always mindful of the fact that every person on earth has a right to be the true arbiter of his or her own destiny.
We must recognize that imbalances within the global economy deprive some people of the right to be free. We also need to acknowledge that excessively burdensome access to food, housing, and healthcare are significant problems imposed as a result of systemic inequities. Such an imposition is typically brought about through the unmitigated selfishness of those at the commanding heights of the world’s economy. The idea of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial democracy terrifies them. They pay mere lip service to the values of those who are fervent advocates for the right of each person on earth to determine their future and that of their posterity. At the same time, they surreptitiously plot to undermine all that is true, beautiful, and good.
The potentate model of corporate and national governance is an awkward and outmoded relic of the past. It may hang on in a pathetic attempt to remain relevant. But, as Thomas Jefferson wrote; “We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” The new world has outgrown its relics. Leadership that can evolve to keep pace and operate in a way that is truly commensurate with the intellectual, sociological, and spiritual development of a great humanity is slowly but steadily emerging.
There are, of course, times when a leader must rise to the occasion and become the supreme authority. When the Fire Chief tells you to put a fourteen foot ladder against the North wall to help the hose brigade fight a raging fire that’s about to jump to the next building, it’s not an appropriate time to question his or her authority and engage in prolonged debate. A fire department that’s actively on scene is not a democracy. When the fire is out, and the game tape is being evaluated, the best departments become more collaborative, drawing upon the experience from each of their members.
Authentic corporations and democracies are like the collaborative team. They are composed of people associating for a common purpose and acting corporately to insure success. A loyal opposition is highly valued, like an opposable thumb, for both make it easier to grasp each and every problem that comes before us. Such opposition is described as loyal because, even though there may be disagreement on the best way to overcome obstacles to ultimate success, the objectives are shared. Our depth of understanding is enhanced precisely because we are blessed with two eyes. Think about how much more meaningful the world will become when we have finally learned to also see it through the experience of others.
We must also learn to properly evaluate the opposition we encounter on the basis of its loyalty to, and affinity for, the values of those working to achieve a more perfect union that serves the highest and best interests of We the People.