Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Efficiency of the Inefficient American Constitution.

The Efficiency of the Inefficient American Constitution.

It has been said the Democracy isn't efficient.

It may all depend on your vantage point. 

I'd like to make the case that our form of Representative Democracy with its checks and balances is the most efficient model out there that furthers a nations chances of becoming successful.  It does this by limiting the power any one person or branch of government can have.  In the long term it has served America well.  In the short term I agree that by limiting the power of a President for example it can become extremely hard to pass and enact a law which that President “knows” is right and in which he believes “everyone else” “knows” is “right” too.

The main theory which makes the Constitution unique was that the Founding Fathers believed when power is too concentrated in too few hands, that power will corrupt those who hold it.  They believed in that as a basic human nature.  Therefore they wrote the Constitution and created a government model that separated the power among three branches of government.  To do this they in effect put the three branches at odds with one another. 

That is why our government sometimes seems so inefficient with “grid-lock” all over the place.
This “inefficiency” however has kept us from falling prey to the popular spur of the moment uprisings from both the liberal and conservative antagonists or just the mass greediness of our human natures.  Our country does not for example in a fit of self-righteousness be-head those who don’t agree with whoever is the current President.  Nor does it blindly follow a popular uprising in the US House or Senate.  In the past it was only after much debate and a battle of give and take we would create legislation and the President would sign it.

History is full of governments who for the best of reasons ran off unchecked into the nightmare of mass killings and tyrannical oppression of the people they were trying to “better” and the countries they were trying to make great.  The Chinese under Mao, the Communists under Stalin were very efficient at mass killings for what they alone deemed was the common good.  To them what they did was so obviously good that it was beyond debate.  When I hear the phrases, “everyone knows”, “we all believe”, “no one would disagree”, or “we are beyond debate”, I start to get worried.

If it were not so inefficient we would have the trains running on time as Mussolini claimed he was doing in Italy before murdering thousands who stood in his way, or how about those wonderful sounding 5 year plans the Communists in Russia and China had.  Or the totally efficiency of a one Party State we found in Nazi Germany which managed through trial and error to kill millions of people not of their own kind in the most efficient way.
The reason I’m writing this is because of an interview I listened to through Rudaw, an internet newspaper coming out of the Kurdistan Regional Government. 
If you read my blog you will note that I’m one of their biggest fans in their fight for independence from Iraq and in forming a homeland around their Kurdish communities.  Their problem is that they have to take land from not only Iraq, but Iran, Turkey and Syria to form this country.  

Watching the interview, it soon became apparent that while the Kurds for the most part are great friends with America and they say they want a secular government modeled after the US Constitution the interviewer really had a very limited knowledge of what makes our Constitution unique.  They are fighting for their very lives, so it is understandable why they seem to put a high price on efficiency.  Why they want a strong leader to lead them with the powers to make the hard decisions quickly is again understandable.  

Looking back on our Revolution, we too almost fell into that trap.  We knew George Washington was an honorable man and a good leader, why not keep electing him President?  That would have probably happened if Washington had not after his second term set the precedent and stepped down.  A peaceful transition went forward and has ever since.  A point to this is discussion is to show how it took an honorable man with a vision firmly in mind for his country and all its people to ensure the US Constitution and its underpinning logic was cemented in place through his actions.  

What America and its leaders did was to sacrifice their personal goals and ambitions to create a Constitution and then abide by it long enough for that government to follow them and take on a life of its own.

I truly hope the leaders of Kurdistan forget not that lesson.
I just read a George Will article which mirrors the Rudaw interview and of course he does it far better than I or them.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative