By Paul Gable
Two hundred forty years ago the Continental Congress was preparing to declare the American colonies’ independence from Great Britain.
Recently, the Donald Trump campaign for president sent an email to members of the British Parliament soliciting donations to his campaign war chest.
Forget for a moment that it is illegal to solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals for a presidential campaign. In 1776, the American colonies couldn’t wait to get rid of the British government. Now Trump wants financial donations from Members of Parliament to help get him elected.
I’m sure the Trump campaign emails were just a very foolish mistake by a bunch of neophytes attempting to be professional political consultants.
But, they demonstrate just how far American politics has moved from the serious thinkers who founded the country as part of the Continental Congress to the sound-biters and other intellectual dwarfs who now populate the political scene.
When the Founding Fathers considered ratification of the Declaration of Independence, they waited a month until they could get unanimous approval (actually 12 yes and an abstention by New York) of the document.
Now, our Congress can’t even get unanimous approval on a motion to adjourn.
If any of our current members of Congress were around in 1776, I doubt they would have been allowed to refill inkwells on the delegates’ desks for fear they would screw it up.
The blame for the gridlock of an ineffective government doesn’t stop with our elected officials, however.
Locked into the electronic social networking groups that now pass for most interpersonal relationships, the American people gravitate to those who think most nearly the same as they do.
This means, the opposite view is never considered or debated, just disparaged. No one is right all the time, although I believe the converse of that is not necessarily true.
We get the evil of two lessers in most of our elections.
I doubt our Founding Fathers would be very happy with what the American government has evolved into and I’m not just talking about its size.
As we prepare for the 240th birthday of our nation, take time to consider what the general election of 2016 means to the country.