Our Constitutional Responsibility: Theory Versus Reality

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Opinions & Commentary, Progress & Solutions

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo

Our Constitutional Responsibility: Theory Versus Reality

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Opinions & Commentary, Progress & Solutions

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo
We abdicate responsibility to the degree and react to the actions or inactions of how well the people we elect perform, or how we think they perform, OUR expectations. This is a very simple way of looking at it, maybe too simple...

I’ve been taking a look at our actual system of how we run the country versus how we think we run the country.

We think we run it through a system laid out in the Constitution.

The way we, as a people in general look at it, is that there are problems—we all have a different look at how big a particular problem is—and that we are going to find someone or someones to handle that for us.

We vote in someone who most closely matches our viewpoint of a person who will address this problem and make it go away, or lessen it.

We abdicate responsibility to that degree and react to their actions or inactions based on how well they perform, or we think they perform, OUR expectations.

Vote ’em in and vote ’em out.

This is a very simple way of looking at it, maybe too simple, but that is a founding precept on which the entire system is built. That’s the thing we think we are doing in order to make a “more perfect union.”

But it relies entirely on the idea that you can hand this off to someone else. And it leads to not only handing off your thoughts and viewpoints but, in actual practice, you hand off—long before you vote—your responsibility to alignments with others and the big group agreements that also do our thinking for us. These are influenced by groups and individuals who attempt and often succeed in driving in someone to believe in or an idea as the solution or reinforcement of something that you have already surrendered your responsibility to.

And ultimately it just gets down to symbolic representations and a country becomes a flag or an anthem and someone is being pushed heavily by all these forces of agreement. Thus I, as a person, think something like, “This symbol or person makes me feel things, stirs me, so it must be right.”

No looking at all anymore, completely subjugated to all these clever forces of alignment. No questioning or desire to examine source, which is, in some part, always yourself.

And now the entire game runs on, not the original intents of the framework, but on these forces in alignments that reduce our responsibility. Sides.

I caught an article yesterday about what “Biden was doing about” the border. And it struck me that this was a perfect illustration of how things are actually played. He is in that seat and many consider that anything that happens, anything that is done or not done is somehow his responsibility. It is, in some measure so, but only in the same measure that it is ours. And not because we voted for him or against him, but because this is our planet too, our country. Those people are our people and we are theirs.

What is “going on at the border” is ours just as it is his and it can’t be “handed off” to someone. The idea that it can be “handed off” that someone will “take care of this” is the underlying fallacy. Because we no longer “hand it off” as the system was intended, we “hand it off” a thousand times before we cast that vote and in doing so rely on manipulated communications that do not want the problems solved in many cases.

So much of what passes for how we learn about these crises is given to us through a lens of alignment to a viewpoint that we have surrendered to. We no longer look but simply expect someone to handle it for us. Kind of like he’s Superman or something. And the “he” in this case can be the President, or Senator or House member or whoever you choose to get your information from on media or social media or other. Superman or woman status given to all in the chain.

It’s really silly if you consider that in one’s own immediate sphere of direct influence there are ongoing situations that are nearly infinitely less complex that are forever being “solved” or “fixed” and never quite getting there.

Peter Kjenaas

Peter Kjenaas

Peter Kjenaas is an author, screenwriter, theater director, producer, chef, AirBnB host, parent and caregiver extraordinaire. And now he adds travel writer to his resumé as he sets off across the country in a 1971 VW camper bus. But first and foremost he is a caring and productive human who has graciously allowed us to post some of his writings to this site. See his latest book at PeterKjenaas.com, and his travel adventures at Riders on the Storm Bus.


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