Govt 101 – Exceptionalism
--By Ben Gilmore
How do you answer, when someone asks, “What is so exceptional about America?”
For several generations the answer has not been taught. Today, few can give a sound answer. Rather, we have emphasized that America is just another nation in the family of nations.
My previous three posts to this column have presented “Separation of Powers”, “Democracy” (should have been named “Representation”), “Federalism”. None of those forms of government are unique to America. Each had been tried before with varying results.
Our founding fathers exhibited astounding wisdom and creativity by incorporating the advantages of each – while seeking to impede the defects of each. Amont the most unique attributes of American government –
For the first time in human history –
· Separation of Powers
Were incorporated into a single governmental structure.
Our Constitution creates three Departments, Executive, Legislative, Judicial. Each is intended to be independent of the other two. Separation of Powers.
Our Constitution specifically requires that National and State governments must be “republics” i.e. by representation (as opposed to “majority rule” i.e. “democracy”.) Representation.
Our Constitution creates a vertical (national) and horizontal (state) relationship among our citizens. Federalism.
Our founders understood that there will always be a conflict between individual will (I want my space – back off) and corporate will (We have to go along to get along). “Internal vs. External.” “A conflict within and without.” [Neander – 1852]
The positive results of that combination of principles speaks for itself. The exponential shift away from those results is attributable to our failure to understand what our founders understood. We have permitted the external forces for ever more centralized power to overcome individual internal liberty.
Government created by “We the People” for the purpose of protecting our individual internal and external liberty is now challenging it!
By the way – Beside being sound history and reason, these principles are also Biblical!
The bottom line –
“Liberty is as evangelical as it is political!!!”
[Rosalie Slater – Co-founder,
Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE)]Ben Gilmore