This social experiment that is American Democracy is more than 200 years old. As a community, we were once citizens of the British Empire. Over time, the discontent towards that government festered and grew until the voices of a few melded together into a single declaration of our freedom. We revolted, fought and earned an opportunity to sever ourselves from an establishment we understood never benefitted our community. We formed a government unlike that of what we left behind in England. We created the U.S. Constitution upon which our laws are based. A living document we can choose to amend, because in these more than 200 years, we still don’t have it right.
We, as people, are fallible. We make mistakes. We make rash decisions and lose focus on that which is most important. Determining what is most important, unfortunately, is limited by our own individual perspective. And, each of our perspectives differ so greatly. How does it impact my wallet? How does it impact my life now? What is it going to do for me? In 1776, 56 men announced their treasonous intent to King George III with complete understanding it would slash into their livelihoods, likely get them killed and throw the colonies deeper into war. Today, we are benefactors of the actions they took on faith the community would ultimately thrive from their bravery.
Faith is a universal attribute within us all, without which we cease to function. It’s not a matter of religion, it’s a matter of possessing confidence in a process. Believing that a good deed is returned in kind. Knowing that those who choose to step upon the pulpit are pure at heart. Understanding elected officials serve the people. As you read this paper, the votes for the New York state primaries have been tallied, and we likely know who the Empire State wants to represent each of the two major parties this November. But, the faith in the process has received a terrible blow.
We live in a post-Watergate world, where men conspire to win elections and the phrase “follow the money” continues to hold relevance. We’re the survivors of Nicole Brown Simpson, who can no longer trust the police. Even after Y2K, we can’t even trust our technology to count votes correctly. Our country stands as a beacon to foreign countries that aspire to be democratic, but our own people lack confidence in the system it is built upon. In these few months, we’ve had Senator Bernie Sanders accusing the Democratic party of conspiring against his campaign. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is claiming the same, despite his popularity. And, delegates promising to back one candidate, when it goes against the votes of the general public.
We, as people, are fallible in nature. Our Constitution is open for amending because this is true. It enables us to have faith in the system, above the flaws of the men and women who created it. But, that system needs fixing. Of course, we have a choice— We could work to restore our confidence in our primaries, so we can believe in it again. Or, the alternative involves audaciously stepping up and declaring it a failure, and presenting a solution. Both requires faith. Without faith, there is nothing.