We the People
"What a difference a day makes … twenty-four little hours …"
Scott Brown…Wow! What better way to start this Opinion piece. As a candidate for Edward M. Kennedy’s U. S. Senate seat, vacated in 2009, Brown became the idol of Massachusetts' Republicans and Independents, and the scourge of the Democratic Party. At first, the voters saw a glimmer and then a glow, which soon burst into flame, attracting a decisive majority who had yearned for a return of common sense in our Federal Government. Now, one election, and one man has stopped the Health Care Reform Bill cold in its tracks!
While Brown now carries the torch, it was the people, descendants from the founders and activists of that We the People gang, that actually brought about the change of direction in Washington. Brown’s election to the U.S. Senate was on the 19th day of the month, bringing to mind that other memorable 19th day in Massachusetts history: the 19th of June, 1775, certainly the beginning of a momentous change.
The coincidence of those dates caused me to peruse my collection of old magazines and pamphlets, one of which is a 1998 booklet published by the Cato Institute, which contains commentary on, along with, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Each one of my grandchildren has been given a copy. I quote from it below, as it is said so well:
“Because the principles the Founders articulated transcend both time and technology, they will serve us well as we move through the 21st century, if only we understand them correctly and apply them well.
“In the end, however, no constitution can be self-enforcing. Government officials must respect their oaths to uphold the constitution; and we the people must be vigilant in seeing that they do. The Founders drafted an extraordinarily thoughtful plan of government, but it is up to us, to each generation, to preserve and protect it for future generations. For the Constitution will live only if it is alive in the hearts and minds of the American people. That, perhaps, is the most enduring lesson of our experiment in ordered liberty.”
As our governments — Federal, State, County, City, and Town — grow in size and scope, and the Public sector which supports all of them diminishes, a tipping point approaches. Even now, governments are spending far more than they currently take in, therefore they all are scrambling for new income sources. It would be far better that they reduce spending.
Locally, an effort has been made by town and school budget committees to hold down spending increases, but private enterprise projects needs to be encouraged in Rye to help stimulate the Seacoast economy: the Saunders development, the Wentworth swim club, several RCDs, and work-force housing, all of which would provide real construction jobs and an increased tax base.
Regarding work-force housing: before you vote for WF-1, read it completely and carefully, and question if it will encourage sensible housing or simply ensure the stagnant status quo? Revisit last month's Opinion for one developer's thoughts about it, and the November, 2008 Primer on the State Law requiring it. If you don't see WF-1 as a positive force, defeat it and bring in a positive bylaw, rather than more lawsuits from developers.. Is there a Scott Brown in Rye who will step forth? (visit The Hungry Horse any time!)
In Washington: Senator Brown; you have your work cut out for you. Let’s hope there are many more of you around the country to step up to the plate and do what has to be done.
Author's note: Subsequent to submitting this opinion article on January 27, much more has been said about the transition of public sentiment relative to our liberty, brought forth by Scott Brown and his family, as well as the governance of our country, that I want to add this link for additional clarity regarding the title of this Opinion, We the People. Also note in this issue's Rye Crisp that the Saunders project is moving ahead. Hooray!
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