“So farewell—to the little good you bear me.
Farewell? A long farewell to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls as I do.”
Henry the VIII, William Shakespeare. Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, deposed as Lord Chancellor in 1529 when he could not get a Papal annulment for Henry to remarry.
Is this the state of our nation as well as the state of man? Greatness ripening only to be nipped at the root by a killing frost?
There is no end to the commentary and to the tomes predicting national demise that give credence to this notion. Any conversation, once engaged on the present state of affairs in America today, produces a universal shift in the body – a furtive and clipped look of disbelief – a lowering of the eyes – a silence – an empty verbal toolbox – a desire to move the conversation elsewhere – a small step backward in retreat.
The American people do not need any more descriptions of the problems – any relatively aware adult knows what they are and has no interest in hearing any more excuses, false narratives, outright untruths, generalized Utopian fantasies, cynical diatribes, or condemnations without answers.
The problem is where to begin. Wolsey was talking about HIS greatness – the killing frost that does him in is separate from himself. An excuse. There is no excuse for the American slide. The killing frost doing us in is an uninformed and non-engaged “We the People” – jointly and severally – not separate from the body politic, but the body politic itself.
Wolsey’s solution is a change in the dynamic that caused his demise. America’s solution is a decision by her People, together and individually, to push back on what amounts to a killing frost on American statecraft and culture. It will not come with a mere change in elected representatives.
For the believing Christian, each person has already been forgiven, one must simply accept that forgiveness, truly. Similarly, “We the People” have already been given the answer, we must simply learn what it is and act on it, firmly. It amounts to reclaiming the Rule of Law, established long ago. The Rule of Law includes the United States Constitution.
For instance, the US Constitution tells us, among other things:
- There is no such thing as misinformation regarding public policy. ALL views on public policy stated in a public forum are protected from government interference whether accurate or not and whether reasonable or not. Amendment I. (The public should demand this be extended to private public forums.) It is the debate between all views that strengthens final decisions on policy.
- Congress has plenary power regarding immigration and Congress requires that all immigrants desiring to enter the United States be thoroughly vetted. This individual vetting takes time. Article I. States may not deprive any person due process and equal protection of the law. This includes illegal aliens. All wishing to come here, therefore, must be vetted before touching the soil of the United States. Amendment XIV.
- Treaties made by the Executive that bind the United States must be presented to Congress for approval by two-thirds of the Senators present. Otherwise, the Agreement is not binding on the United States. Article II. (This will be true of the proposed Iranian Treaty. No secret treaties are legal.)
- Regular order in passing federal legislation requires public hearings and votes in both the House and Senate before a final vote. Massive legislation without public hearings violates Constitutional process. Article I.
- The national government promises each state government protection from invasion and domestic violence. If these protections are not forthcoming when requested by a state, pertinent national executives are subject to impeachment, trial, and removal from office. Article IV.
Honoring the Rule of Law includes holding those responsible to account. If public servants are not held to account their perfidy only grows deeper and more disguised. Journalists are crucial in objectively informing the Sovereign of the performance of her public servants.
The change America needs is an understanding that we must exercise decisive collective leadership to right the Ship of State. We need only the Will and the Resolve to firmly and decisively cut away the putrefied, dismiss the corrupt, and renew the solid.
We should be ever grateful that we are heirs to the very smart, the very wise, and the very courageous. They ask us now, on behalf of future generations of Americans, to be the responsible stewards every generation must be – not a “can’t be bothered” killing frost nipping the root of American greatness.