What is better than what we have?

Kayla Aliese Carter was hired to be the Racial Equity Officer for College Park, Maryland, and she has a solution for the nation — “burn it to the ground and let my ideology rise from the ashes.”

She’s not alone.

Michelle Obama said she was not proud of the United States until her husband Barack became the Democratic nominee for president in 2008.

College-aged students are also pushing to replace the Constitution, claiming it to be outdated since they did not have a hand in creating it.

Poor leadership from both parties seek political power by convincing their followers that the other side is the enemy of the state and must be eliminated, something that didn’t happen 30 years ago. As a matter of fact, decorum between the parties led them to refer to the one with fewer members as the “loyal” opposition, and even though they didn’t have the votes to govern, we are Americans all.

If not our current form of government, then what? If we want to “burn the current system to the ground,” what would be put in its place?

What are the principles we currently hold as sacred?

We can start with the Declaration of Independence which gives us the best clarity and moral compass for who we will be as a people.

How do you replace, “all men are created equal?” What is better than that? Would it be, “Some men are created equal?” 

What really replaces the single most important phrase in human existence when it comes to how people are viewed by one another?

The only way to replace that edict would be to make it worse.

What about the phrase “that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights …?”

That statement insures that there are rights that no one can take from you. 

Would that be replaced by saying we do not have unalienable rights, that our rights can be taken away? Or would it say that government grants rights instead of a higher power?

Again, the only direction from perfection would be to diminish what was written, not enhance it.

There are several more statements in the Declaration that protect the people from oppressive government, but let’s take a look at the Bill of Rights.

How would you improve on keeping the government out of religion? Would you put government in charge of religion? Would you ban religion altogether?

Again, you can’t improve on separating the ability of the government from the freedom of the people to worship how they see fit.

Congress is also prevented from making any law that would abridge the freedom of speech. Would some speech be outlawed? And if so, which speech would that be? Who determines what speech would be acceptable, and what speech isn’t?  If the politicians decide that, then the one party would surely outlaw the speech of the other, and freedom is lost.

If you are willing to be the one to give up your speech, then I suppose that’s fine. If you aren’t, and you shouldn’t, then making sure all people have the right to free speech is again a move toward perfection — not that some speech isn’t hateful or mean spirited, but it comes with its own consequence that doesn’t require government involvement.

If you burn down the system as it is, how do you rebuild the ability to peaceably assemble, or to be critical of the government? Those are both protected right now, but do away with that, and many of the advancements made in the past 248 years never would have taken place, because those who protested the behavior of government would have been jailed. Those willing to march for civil rights, women’s rights, for and against the right to life, against police brutality and a myriad of other issues were able to do so because of the protections we have. Let the government decide, and it won’t be good.

We should all realize our ability to even discuss what is good and what is bad in our country is because we can have those conversations. And we can make change within the system.

If there are suggestions on improvement, make them. Our system allows for such.

There were some at the Constitutional Convention who weren’t sure if another convention would be able to improve on the proposal.

Benjamin Franklin addressed it by saying, “I consent, Sir, to this Constitution, because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best.”

From that moment forward, America has improved each and every day, and it has become a better version of itself because the documents that established the nation allow for such improvements. 

Our system isn’t perfect. No system is. But ours allows for improvement like no other. 

If we want to keep our freedom, we expand it within our system, or we lose it altogether.

Editor | watt@kaninfo.com

Earl Watt is the owner and publisher of the Leader & Times in Liberal, Kansas. Watt started his career in journalism in 1991 at the Southwest Daily Times. During his career, the newspaper has won a total of 17 Sweepstakes awards from the Kansas Press Association for editorial content and 18 Sweepstakes awards for advertising. Watt has been recognized with more than 70 first place awards for writing in categories from sports and column to best front pages, best sports pages and best opinion pages. Watt is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and is the descendant of several patriots who fought for America's freedom and independence.

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