This once-great nation was first established under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles called for a weak central government with a strong emphasis on states rights. It lasted about ten years before failing. The time came to replace the Articles of Confederation and the members of the Continental Congress looked at other governments around the world. They had the advantage of history to guide decisions they were making about the future…
When Alexander Hamilton was establishing the economy of the United States after the Constitution we all recognize today was created, he looked again to historical examples. He was able to pick and choose the parts that worked well and discard things that hadn’t been as successful…
These days, I find myself using the same techniques to try and divine the future and offer up some ideas that I think might help in the next iteration of the United States. If the inference is that the United States 1.0 has failed, I believe it. I can explain but that’s not what I’m on about today. For now, suffice to say there’s going to be trouble in the country. Big trouble. It’s a prediction of history. My concern, here, is that when it happens, I fear the uprising will throw the baby out with the bath water by which I mean they may decide that, because the Constitution failed, they should go in some other direction.
But I think our Constitution was very well done. It didn’t fail so much as it was “undone.” As it happens, it needs only a few tweaks here and there to correct the errors that allowed the selfish few to bring it down. The problem, as I see it, is one of those that have existed since time began: everyone thinks of themselves as ethical and upright. This means the Congress critters of the late 18th century were not concerned enough about instituting controls over themselves or certain protections which have proven necessary over time.
So I’ve looked outward and backward and attempted to pick and choose ideas that will help when it comes time to start again. I’ll give you an example. After years of study and consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that the loss of the independent media in America was the single most important victory for the privileged elite who mean to turn this country into their own personal fiefdoms. They managed it by simply buying most of the media outlets. Now we don’t get actual news anymore. Now we get “infotainment” and there’s nothing people can do about it…because of the First Amendment. You see, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech but freedom of speech includes freedom to lie.
I wouldn’t change that for individuals but accurate information is vital to the survival of a free society. Unethical individuals have proven, now, that the destruction of accuracy in media equates to the destruction of the Republic. It might seem as though the balance – individual freedom of speech vs a requirement for honesty in news – is too difficult to achieve but look at one small addition to the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Notwithstanding this guarantee, any organization that purports to be a news agency may not deliver false or misleading information.
One sentence. It’s not even MY sentence. I borrowed it from a successful model: Canada. It does nothing to stop the Rush Limbaughs of the world and it shouldn’t. Opinions are opinions and everyone has one but news…well, that’s important. When websites or Russians or whomever flood social media with “fake news” it would be nice to have a place to go for REAL news; actual journalism, investigative reporting, that kind of thing.
A rule that requires news organizations to be honest is a rule that protects the Republic. Yes, Fox “News” might have to change their name but not their content. OR, their content if not their name but that’s exactly the point. I hold that ANY source that pretends to be “news” but delivers misleading and/or outright false information is harmful to America.
I’ll tell you this: I’ve given this idea a great deal of thought. I know some will say it’s a bad idea but I can’t escape the notion that the people who will say so are the very same people who want to lie to you for their own benefit…
Am I wrong or am I right?