On July 4th, 1776, a new nation was created based on the idea of rule by the people. This was radical and the start point of a great experiment in social contracting wherein rules led citizens not rulers.
We have seen over the past week our vision of democracy at work, providing the world a grand view on how a three-branch system of government, conceived to protect our citizenry from absolute power, was made manifest through rulings of the Supreme Court.
Whether you agree or disagree with the high court on the issues it has reviewed, you must acknowledge it has succeeded in performing its particular duties by evaluating laws passed by the Congress and signed by the President and examining how our Constitution works when presented with modern societal concerns.
Those who crafted our constitution were keenly aware that what they were about to develop and eventually launch had been discussed for years – with no motivation to actually attempt a true democratic state anywhere else in the world. Why? Because giving people the ability to rule would cause problems, mostly due to our inability to agree, put aside our own immediate interests and our seemingly natural instinct to fight one another.
Our founding fathers had great courage to try to implement a new system of government; one where conflict could occur but through rationale processing be dealt with and eventually accepted by one-side or the other.
As the inheritors of this democracy, we each have a fundamental duty to participate, whether through the exchange of our vote on Election Day, or, as is more common today, signing an online petition. We must be present.
And we should never take for granted our ability to be involved in the political process.
Before our constitution was adopted, the Articles of Confederation called us a League of Friendship. We have grown to become an American family where we may disagree at times but know how to stay together at the end of the day.
As a collective, a Tabula Rasa – we are authors of our own character, or to put it another way, we are equals. And as equals we must continue to press forward to keep this experiment alive in order to prove to the world, what was once considered impossible, that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth and will continue to thrive here at home and across the globe.
Happy Fourth of July!
Garcia is a resident of Montebello.