To The Daily Sun,
Who has the answer to the (following) age-old question: Who will provide the best outcome for the greatest number? Since our nation declared its independence, its citizens have striven for equality. There is ample evidence that may have not achieved it. What, then, is the main impediment to equality?
It should certainly not be our Constitution but there is some evidence that rule of law set for in is not evenly applied. Rights contained in the bill at the end of the Constitution have to be earned, its true, but who interprets when and if they are earned? What do you have to do to earn the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Are those unalienable rights? It says so right there in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence that they are guaranteed. It also says that those elected to govern get their powers from the consent of the governed.
So, then, if the Constitution was created to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty, why don't we have all that for every citizen equally? We all know the answer to that, don't we?
As one who has studied what went on back then, I think I have the answer. The first thing the framers of the document did was to rig the system, so to speak. They created a legislature at the federal level and prescribed how it would be formed and the powers it would have. In other words, the put humans in charge of other humans and expected, even had the hope that everyone would get along peacefully even though some were slaves at the time. Many others were heading off into the wilderness where survival was the top priority rather than the finer points of constitutional law.
Fast forward with me to 2016 and our present conditions under that same Constitution. We have gotten rid of slavery but some work for wages that border on indentured servitude. True, they have freedom, sort of. The citizens are grouped into two opposing camps called conservatives and liberals. For those of us that don't feel allegiance to either of the extremes, there is an amorphous grouping called independents. An interesting title for those in the middle, isn't it? We used to be called moderates but, alas, that implied cooperation in the act of governance. Can't have that can we?
The moderates, a weak minority, must stand idly by except at election time. Then we are asked to help the extremes to the right or the left to tip the balance on way of the other. The contest for the votes of the independents becomes rancorous. The needs of the citizens become secondary to party dominance.
Those who write letters to the editors compete for the title of "most nasty." They even call into question the editors right to put certain letters in the paper as written. If I remember correctly, that is censorship. Back when I was considerably younger, a senator tried that and failed. He did ruin a few reputations including his own. Let's not go there again. Maybe we could, instead, keep some terms out of our letters so they only take sides instead of abusing the integrity of those of opposing views.
Here are some terms that I found on Page 6 of The Laconia Daily Sun of Sept. 6. Just a small basket full of loaded words. They are all taken from a single letter apparently written in response to another. Snippets as follows:
— "rude, crude and utterly tasteless"
— "his corrosive and divisive letters"
— "horribly patronizing"
— "oblivious to how nasty and low-brow they are"
—"the best way to combat the socialist disease"
— "a disease that appears to have affected their mental acuity"
If those weren't enough to chill your independent bones; how about this set about the "mainstream media." As follows:
— "corrupt and complicit media that no longer acts in search of the truth"
— "mainstream media has fallen from literary grace"
As far as I could see, no concrete evidence was offered for either of the list of horrid sins.
In closing, let me state that neither of extremes gets a pass for speaking the truth or being completely honest. Both fail that test. Rancor is expected when emotions get involved. Abuse and character assassination and outright lies should be set aside as we begin the last few weeks before the election by both the letter writers and the candidates.
If both parties — left and right — can "moderate" their language when they offer their vision for the future, maybe they can garner some of the treasured votes of those of independent mind. It is probably too much to ask, but the independents would like to see more cooperation of both parties after the election. You know; solve problems, guarantee freedom for all and equal protection under the law established under the Constitution.