A special message to all of the struggling entrepreneurs out there. The path less taken is hard!
I am, by nature, an idealist — by which I mean that I’m motivated by abstract concepts that represent a nearly-attainable state of goodness. That’s how I think about the United States: We wrote down and agreed to a set of ideas that, when applied evenly and consistently, will result in a civil society in which the citizens can have good lives and promote goodness in general. Of course, we continually fall short of these ideals, but to me, the striving is the important part. Off the top of my head, these are the ideals that define America to me –
- rule of law (<–especially this one!), and specifically the constitution
- equality of all people
- separation of powers across governmental branches
- laws govern the people in government (see #1)
- the citizens’ right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
- freedom from tyranny
- separation of church & state
- trial by jury
- no taxation without representation
My newest favorite principle is habeas corpus. From Wikipedia:
A writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a court order addressed to a prison official (or other custodian) ordering that a prisoner be brought before the court so that the court can determine whether that person is serving a lawful sentence or should be released from custody. …
Albert Venn Dicey wrote that the Habeas Corpus Acts “declare no principle and define no rights, but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty.”
I love practical things that help us live up to our ideals.
Another ideal that I’m pondering is something on the order of “we’re good guys” or “don’t be evil.” But that doesn’t really show up anywhere in the declaration or the constitution (or, if it does, I haven’t found it). Is it an American ideal to be good guys (or THE good guys)? Is that part of what the framers had in mind? I’m no longer sure. I hope so.
My greatest fear for this country is that we stop striving for these ideals. If that were to happen, then the concept of America would end.
Now is the time to talk about ideals, to renew our commitment to principles that we jointly believe in, and to subordinate powerful people to the laws that govern our government.
“The Electoral College is an anachronism” says Dianne Feinstein, my hometown senator. She’s introducing legislation to abolish it. It’s a ballsy move that probably won’t go anywhere. But who cares? The dems aren’t going to win much in the next few years, so forget compromise and maneuvering. Be bold, tell the truth, and define a strong, progressive platform. If you do I’ll give you money.
The election came down to a few hundred thousand provisional ballots in a swing state.
Ohio state secretary Blackwell was Bush’s state campaign chair.
All of the provisional ballots were punchcards.
It was so similar to 2000. At least we’re spared the weeks of anxiety.
As I’m heading to bed, I hear that Fox News has called Ohio for Bush. I expect to wake up and hear that we’ll have another four years of debt, erosion of the constitution, and shameful foreign policy. I’m not one to embrace the shrill hyperbole of the far left. But I am for the first time in my life truly disappointed by my country. How can we have arrived at this sad place?
So many terrible things can happen in the next four years. Supreme court justices will be appointed. The right to choose could fall. The right to marry is certainly not going anywhere soon. The religious right, which lauds Bush for his faith-based administration, will have a firm hold on all three branches of government. They’ve made a big mess, and they’re being rewarded for it. I’m so, so sorry.