When a system is in an economic, political, or social crisis and dilemma – which is the case with the American system at this moment – experts and leaders have to resort to the founding documents or texts of the system. And if there is no consensus on the interpretation of the founding documents and texts amongst contemporary experts and leaders of the system, what follows is recourse to what is known as “Founder’s Intent.” Moreover, once the original founders of a system are long gone, all that is left is interpretation of the founding documents and texts amongst their posterity. But interpretations differ amongst different individuals, which is why the most viable resolution to a systemic crisis like the one the United States is going through at the moment is recourse to the intent of the founders.
As I have mentioned before, the American system is not necessarily about the people in power. Rather, the American system is defined by the principles which define the system. And in the case of the American system, the core or defining principle is individual liberty. James Madison best defined the term “liberty,” which equates to a fine balance between the freedom to self-govern on one hand, and the execution of moral and religious duties on the other hand. By maintaining this fine balance between these two dimensions of liberty, what follows is the preservation of liberty in American society.
The ‘Founding Fathers’ also believed and demonstrated through action that education or self-education is deeply intertwined with liberty. Benjamin Rush said: “Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights, and where learning is confined to a few people, liberty can be neither equal nor universal.”
As a result, the deprivation of universal education – along with the deprivation of universal health care and universal basic income – is perhaps by design in America today. If people were to attain these basic rights – which are guaranteed by the UN Charter – then people would be able to self-govern. And when people are able to self-govern – which is also a right that is guaranteed by the UN Charter – then there would no longer be a need for a couple of extractive and exploitative institutions which are run by a handful of corrupt individuals in Washington.
There is also the issue of voting rights, which has attracted a lot of attention these days. All adults – regardless of race and religion – are supposed to be guaranteed the right to vote. But what also matters is the kind of candidate that people get to vote for. If voting means having no other choice but a candidate which could not even win fourth place in Iowa and New Hampshire, then there is no point in voting. When voters have no choice but to mechanically vote for a senile and corrupt shill who could not even win fourth place in Iowa and New Hampshire, then the right to vote is empty, hollow, and superficial. Thus, an open discourse and discussion in the public sphere between all Americans – regardless of race and religion – is vital in order to overcome the emptiness, hollowness, and superficiality that has consumed a very sacred practice and tradition in American society, namely, the right to choose and vote for leaders and representatives we want for ourselves.