Miss Constitution has noticed an ad for a company in Alabama that grows cotton, spins yarn/thread from the cotton, weaves the fabric from the fiber, and creates sheets, towels and other products for sale to the public. In the ad one sees an enormous cotton-picking machine the cost of which must be enormous – an ongoing expense whether the cotton harvest is good or bad. It is also well-known that the cotton plant depletes the soil of its nutrients so that after three years the crop must be rotated and the soil from the previous three years, refreshed.
It is not often that we are allowed to see in an ad where things originate. Some people, for instance, go to the grocery store and think it the origin of food. So, too, our political system – the origins of the finished product represented by the US Constitution and other parts of our Rule of Law – are lost in neglect and disinterest by the public education system in America. To have excellence in fabric or in governance, one must know how it is created.
The origins of excellent cotton fabric begin with a high quality cotton plant. The origins of excellent governance begin with a type of philosophy. The higher the quality of plant and the higher the quality of philosophy, the better the fabric and the better the governance. Here is what it takes to produce the cotton pillowcase that cradled your head last night:
The cotton plant creates a nest for its seeds called a boll. When the boll splits open, one can see the fibers that protect the seeds. The bolls are then harvested and ready to be processed. Many countries around the world pick these bolls, in hot climates, as the cotton plant requires a warm climate to grow. The boll at this point is full of dust, trash, and debris. The boll is sent to a Blow Room to start the seed removal (Ginning) and the cleaning process. It is then Carded, straightening out the fibers so they are even, and then Winded, converting a Sliver of cotton into twisted yarn. Imagine, if you will, this process by hand.
The clean, strong yarn is then woven on a Loom (Warp opened for Weft) and made into fabric wound on a Cloth Beam. The fabric is graded for quality and made into the cool, crisp pillowcase that helped you sleep through the night. Trying their best to prevent a quality product from being produced lie fungus, bacteria, aphids, and worms, all of which attack the plant at different times to prevent the creation of a healthy boll. In the ad for Red Land Cotton, the farmer shows us a healthy boll. One can see he is very proud of slaying those elements of nature that would defeat him and ultimately you, the consumer. The seeds from Ginning are made into cooking oil, soap, lubricants, or sold for feed. Fuzz, the byproduct of Ginning, is used for upholstery and pillow fill. Nothing goes to waste.
And so, if a quality cotton plant is required for excellent cotton fabric, what philosophy is required for quality governance?
The answer is the philosophy that undergirds the American political system. It starts with a realistic understanding of human nature. The fungus, bacteria, aphids, and worms that prevent the creation of a healthy society are part of the fallen nature of man. Stop and take a look around you. Take a look at the mocking of God; take a look at the corruption of the public trust in some elected and appointed officials; take a look at public school teachers grooming children for debauchery; take a look at greed and what it does to the human heart; take a look at members of the cloth at the highest levels trying to make acceptable what is immoral; take a look at preoccupied parents indifferent to the development of their children’s souls; take a look at medical skills, once respected, now used to butcher the innocent, and take a look at those who knowingly assist these physicians in that process.
The Founders of America’s governance structure were fully aware of these characteristics. The pesticide and herbicide they used to slay destructive elements of human nature are reflected in America’s five Founding Documents – the Mayflower Compact, consent to be governed and to obey rightful law; the Declaration of Independence, the announcement of unalienable personal rights to Life and Liberty (personal choice) bestowed upon each human being by God; the Articles of Confederation, government by representatives of the population, particularly a law-making Congress, not a dictatorship or monarchy by one human being; the Northwest Ordinance, making manifest the goal of eliminating slavery and the elevation of the common person through public education; and the United States Constitution, providing the simple rules that help prevent societal putrification through splitting the atom of power in political leadership (Federalism) at the behest of the People themselves.
And yet, these Founding Documents would have no effect if the soil in which to nurture effective governance was poor and the plant weak. It is not just the great Patriots who have enriched America; it is the common person, as well. It is the man or woman who fears God; who understands duty; who toils without recognition and appreciation; who takes whatever conveyance is granted him or her and improves it for the next generation. America’s soil is rich with the unnoticed and unsung. No one should be allowed to enter the United States who would pollute this soil. All who enter should be vetted for impeccable character – the first element of soil that promotes growth, not decay.
America’s governance system was created in the philosophy of Optimism, not centuries-old Pessimism. The Founders rejected the notions of 17th century philosophers Thomas Hobbes and David Hume. They rejected the notion that life is short, brutish, and totally self-centered. Instead, the Founders decided that the healthiest plant to put into the rich soil of American culture is one steeped in the philosophy of Frances Hutcheson and Adam Smith. The two products of the Scottish Enlightenment articulated a hope and a belief that each human being, though flawed, possesses a moral light that can be identified, guided, and fertilized into a sense of rightness and generosity that, partnered with Liberty and the Rule of Law, can change the progress of humankind for the better.
Miss Constitution admires the farmer shown in the Red Land Cotton ads who takes obvious pride in a healthy boll of cotton; who risked all in a piece of expensive machinery; and who used an American manufacturing process to Blow, Gin, Card, Wind, and Weave products we take for granted every day. She would ask that you take note of what in our society constitutes the fungus, bacteria, aphids, and worms that would destroy a healthy plant – even one in rich soil. She would ask what each of you are doing to painstakingly take off each aphid that is killing our society. She would ask that you re-visit Frances Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and the remarkable Founders of the American governance system, and also familiarize yourselves with our Five Founding Documents and the Five Bundles of the Rule of Law.
Finally, she would ask that you remember that all starts with a recognition of the Divine and the precious reflection of the Divine in each human being. All that is needed is a healthy plant, rich soil, preventing or destroying the destructive, and remembering the requirement of Stewardship for future generations. A pillowcase of this quality guarantees your well-deserved current and eternal rest.