Let Me Build It

A few years ago it seemed like every half-hour a television commercial appeared that told us how unsafe and messed up the foundations were on our houses. This company was THE expert on taking care of all foundation problems, making them good as new.

I never understood why so many foundations were obviously inadequate or inferior. It wasn’t for several years that I learned in the region in which I lived, pretty much all the soil was fairly shallow. Directly beneath the topsoil was clay — plain old red and slippery clay. And that clay was ten to fifteen feet deep. And clay is NOT supportive of anything — especially concrete. Therefore, concrete foundations — which are the staple of most homes in Louisiana — were susceptible to failing structurally because of the poor sub-foundation of clay.

But what’s the big deal of a few cracks from a shifting or settling foundation? The house is built on top of it so no one will ever see those cracks. Unfortunately, when a foundation cracks and settles, so do walls, and ceilings, and floors. Poor foundations directly impact the entirety of the house — even those parts that never directly touch the foundation. 

It doesn’t matter what we build, for it to be strong and last, it’s got to have as its start a good foundation — one that is firm, stable, and adequate to support what is built on top of it, and free of breaches and cracks. 

Foundations are really important: for everything on which we plan to build — even countries.

The United States of America

It’s a pretty safe bet that the U.S. needed (and received) pretty substantial foundation when its construction was initiated. How else could it still be the greatest and strongest nation on Earth 250 years after it was built? That speaks well for the foundation that has held this “building” intact for so long. But let’s not kid ourselves: the foundation of the U.S. has developed a few cracks. I doubt the cracks are products of foundation settling — the foundation was anchored not by clay, but by impenetrable rock. The cracks that are showing up are coming from above — from things that are weakening the foundation from the top. Let’s think through together what are some of those things cracking the foundation of the nation.

  • Creation and Perpetuation of Class. People always have been different. And the U.S. has been known for two centuries as the “Melting Pot” —  the country where people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and political perspectives are not just allowed but are welcome. Early Americans certainly recognized the differences in people. No, there never has been any legal requirement for one group of Americans to treat others a certain way. But our forefathers purposely made equality and fairness a critical and key element of our foundation. They ran from inequality and class that permeated Europe from which they fled. Today, however political elitists have picked up that class establishment mantra of the Europeans. And those elitists have grabbed the exclusive right to determine which classes of people there are, who are included in each class, and the rules and permissions for all those within each class. Elitists — primarily Democrats — have long prided themselves in having the corner on diversity and acceptance of all. They have made a 180-degree turn on that policy. This abrupt about-face in their policy created the first crack in the U.S. foundation and is one that will be difficult from which to recover.
  • The Rule of Law. Forget about it. One key reason for early settlers rush to leave Europe was to establish somewhere a new country in which government could and would be required to provide equal justice for all. They had for generations been victimized by a top-down legal system that was established and maintained by and for elitists on the backs of everyday citizens. Often those who enforced those laws arbitrarily chose to enforce or ignore enforcement, enforce them in ways contrary to what those laws stated, and often simply ignored some at will. In each case, enforcement or lack of enforcement were arbitrarily determined by elites. The European practice of authorities ignoring existing laws has found its way into American life. Both civil and criminal justice systems in the U.S. definitely favor those Americans who are politically connected at the expense of those who are poor and middle-class citizens. It’s sad to say this, but in my state of Louisiana, it is reasonable to say that if one has good political connections, it is possible to escape prosecution for murder! It may cost a significant amount of money, but it is VERY possible. The drastic changes in the rule of law have resulted in dramatic cracks in the nation’s foundation.
  • Truth and Journalistic Integrity. There’s no better way to describe this than to simply say: Journalistic integrity in the U.S. is GONE. The lines between news and gossip have been virtually obliterated. When American read, watch or listen to the “news,” they must step back from what they are seeing and hearing to make a determination of which of it if any is true. It is unfathomable to think this could ever happen in the U.S. For any country to be free, fair, with a government controlled by the people, communication between all members of that society MUST be honest at all times. However, today’s media have for the most part gone all-in on political perspective in reporting. Seldom are news stories anything other than editorial perspective. Editorial perspective IS important, but just to present alternate ideas about issues. Presenting those perspectives as realities that all should automatically believe are factual is dangerous. And the media doing so is severely cracking the nation’s foundation. News is so important as truth for citizens, our forefathers included in the Constitution a guarantee by the government that there will always be the ability for all to present facts AND opinions freely in the press. The difference today? Media are negligent in differentiating for Americans what is truthful and what is an opinion. Blurring what is presented in the media is an all-out attack against the tenets of truth in Journalism that are critical elements of our foundation.
  • Representative Republic. Yes, that’s what our government in D.C. is supposed to be and how we are supposed to be governed. That IS the way it was established. But through 200 years, it has morphed into being a group of lawmakers who do far more than just make laws — they “govern” us, picking and choosing how to govern often outside the principles and processes set by our forefathers. And they have the authority to do so. Where did that authority come from? They are our lawmakers; they make and change laws, rules, and regulations controlled by our government. We choose who they are going to be. What they do is regulated somewhat by the Constitution and existing laws. But they in Congress have unilateral power to change them if they don’t agree with them or to simply ignore them — which is most often what they do. Don’t get me wrong: members of Congress are certainly on the most part operating constitutionally in their legislative actions. But functioning 100% in the direct fulfillment of the wishes of their constituents simply does not exist. They have the legal ability to legislate however they choose once they take office. So they do! Often their doing so has little or nothing to do with their campaign promises. And if legal, there’s nothing constituents can do about it until the next election. So they have unfettered power in legislation for at least two years for members of the House of Representatives, six years for Senators. Personal enhancement in place of enhancement for the districts and states they represent is fairly common. How do I know that? Very few members of both Congressional chambers leave office not significantly more well-off than they were when they first took office. It’s a fact! That ability and the fact that they so readily take personal advantage of their political power has severely impacted the strength and voracity of the nation’s foundation.

Summary

We could tire you by continuing to illustrate the deficiencies in America’s foundation. Every day its weaknesses grow from these attacks and others. How long we can continue without a major overhaul is unknown. It’s true that historically most countries have disappeared because of weak foundations. Two hundred years has been the benchmark for successful countries to hit before imploding. We’re fifty years beyond that mark. Can we somehow right this ship before it’s too late? Fortunately, we as voters have the ability to take action — with our votes.

Louisiana’s current governor one year before being elected visited me with his wife at my office. We talked for over an hour. John Bel Edwards is a Democrat Party rising star: he gave the nomination speech for Barack Obama at the Democrat Party convention before the 2012 election. He is a dynamic speaker as is Obama. But in that speech and in my office he stated things and made promises that he has ignored. His doing so apparently is not a problem for him. Why? That’s what politics are about! “Saying what you mean and meaning what you say” apparently no longer have life in our political system. But they ARE effective at destroying the foundation of our country.

It matters not if Democrat or Republican, Americans need to hold our elected officials accountable — especially for those specific issues detailed above. But I challenge you to find some others for yourself. To repair our foundation and stop future attacks on it, educating ourselves on truth is critical. It’ll be a hard task, but we’re up to that task. We owe it to our children and grandchildren. But we owe it to each other and we need to pay that price TODAY.


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