It is the Fourth of July as I write, and though I should be taking the time off to relax and reflect, I am self-employed and work does not just turn off, even this, the writing of my weekly commentary.
My reflections go back a couple of weeks, noting the success I have had in my newest career as author, publisher, public relations manager and social network promoter. My book is all but done, with only the index to be completed before submission. I have been on or invited to be interviewed on three radio talk shows since June 25 to speak about the book. My upcoming interview on “Close to the Tee,” which will focus on golf, will allow me to promote the book.
My reflections also include the American experiment, the current (but not the first) divide between America's political camps. I like to remember those who are in the military and our veterans, with my father, a World War II Distinguished Flying Cross winner, who is my hero.
And to the wonderment of James Madison, who masterminded one of the greatest compromises in history, the American Constitution.
I am also concerned about what I am hearing from citizens on the street and such great minds as Pulitzer Prize winner George Will of the Washington Post, that the Constitution is not a living document, that the country (read: “Obama” and “liberals”) has fallen away from the Constitution, and Americans have lost their moral compass.
They are wrong.
Lesson One: The Constitution of the United States, at 223 years of age, is the oldest and by far the shortest in the modern world.
The Founders never imagined a country that would count 50 individual states spread over six time zones, nor the interstate highway system, the Internet or being able to travel between New York and Los Angeles in five hours. It took John Adams two weeks to travel from Bainbridge, Massachusetts to Philadelphia in the winter of 1776.
Our Constitution survived because its framework developed with the nation’s political, scientific, religious and social growth. It did so by argument, amendment, court decision and interpretation. A static document could never have survived these demands. It would have never permitted our national growth.
Lesson Two: During my interview on FireFoxNews-Online, host George Sinzer told me that his vote, and the votes of all Americans, does not count. This was a blanket statement, and it was the only time I became angry — controlled, but angry.
His argument was centered on the Electoral College, that the American people do not vote directly for the president, and, therefore, our votes do not count.
If you do not like the Electoral College, then change it. That means eliminating the language of Article II, Section 1, clauses 1 through 4 of the Constitution. To accomplish that feat requires a lot of hard work, which no one is willing to do. If you are not willing to change the Constitution through the Amendment process (see Article V), stop whining.
Lesson Three: Can someone, anyone, who believes that the country is going to hell in a handbag please explain to me how our current morals are any different than at any other time in our short history? Where did the Constitution give Jefferson the right to make the Louisiana Purchase or permit Secretary of State William H. Seward and President Andrew Jackson to purchase Alaska from Russia in 1867? How about John F. Kennedy’s power to bring the world to the brink of war without congressional consent? This list goes on and on.
We have survived wars, financial crises, periods of great unemployment and moral crises before, and we will again.
That is what the Fourth of July is really about: the hope for the future.
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at and InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.com.