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The American Experiment is One of Balance

November 27, 2017

Yes, Thanksgiving is upon us. A day when families all get together and give thanks for blessings afforded us as Americans.
I personally have much to be thankful for, but that’s not what I mean about giving thanks.
Although it is often overused by us on the right - I’m thankful to be an American. It sounds cheesy and jingoistic. It may be, but that doesn’t make it any less true, particularly when you know American history and what our forefathers had to go through to achieve it. And no, this will not be a history lesson. Not much of one anyway.
I wish I could travel back in time, not to change anything, but just to thank the founders for what they did - thank them for their foresight. Assure them that they did the right thing - that they didn’t go through all that for nothing. That hundreds of years later we are still talking about it, still quoting them and trying to live their ideal.
I would assure them that all the hardship they had to endure was not in vain - that they made a profound difference - and not just for us, but for the entire world. If it wasn’t for them, Earth could be awash in anarchy, despotism, and dictatorships.
Our founders knew this all too well. They lived under a monarchy. The King and Parliament decreed - and you did. It was that simple. And they, England, could pretty much demand anything and the colonies were expected to comply.
Therein lay the American conundrum – when developing the blueprint for a new nation: how to strike the perfect balance between no government – anarchy, not enough government - as in the Articles of Confederation, and too much government – despotism.
This is the balancing act that America must navigate for as long as we exist.
The founders understood the need for just enough government to protect our God-given rights - just enough government to keep both the anarchist mob and the dictator at bay.
It’s why the American experiment is so unique. So unique that even after hundreds of years, no one else has been capable of duplicating it.
This is America - an experiment of balance - but a balancing act that can never be sustained forever. Thomas Jefferson understood this fully, which is why he wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Today, this seems like an absurd notion, considering the sheer size and scope of our government. Anyone these days who promotes or even suggests such a thing must be some sort of anarchist or ultra-right wing whack job. Well, some are, like the idiots of Antifa, who think that anything that isn’t anarchy is fascist.
This is what Jefferson meant in the above paragraph - that the balancing act between anarchy and despotism can’t be achieved forever. Even America will eventually succumb to one or the other and have to reset. It’s nobody’s fault necessarily. It’s just human nature. There’s no denying and no escaping it.
The job of American citizens is to recognize when we as a nation have passed the point of being able to correct things – past the point of no return, and figure out a way to reset the system without burning it to the ground like the anarchists wish to do.
Am I saying that this is the cross-road we’re at right now? No – at least I don’t think so.
I’m saying that it will happen - if not now then eventually. It’s like predicting the next huge California earthquake. It will happen - it’s not a matter of 'if,' but when. And no one can tell us when. We just have to be aware and continue to look for signs.

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Brent Smith, "The Common Constitutionalist," offers not just conservative commentary and analysis, but a blend of politics, history, arts, science, and humor. Whoever said conservatives aren’t funny? Yeah, I know…most people. Brent is a contributing writer for numerous online publications. When he is not burning the midnight oil writing his insightful commentaries, he is raising his two teenage sons to be patriots and Conservatives.
Visit Brent Smith's website at www.commonconstitutionalist.com