Monday, February 1, 2010

A Constitutional Review...

For those of you that do not know me, I was lucky enough to find a good woman willing to put up with my BS. Two years ago we were married. One small catch... she lived in China at the time. She immigrated to  the US (legally) and we were married. After two years and several trips back to China, she finally convinced her parents to come to visit us for several months. They arrived in LA where my wife and I picked them up, and then drove them down to San Diego for a few days prior to coming back to AZ where we live.

What does this have to do with the US constitution you ask? On the second day of their having been in the US and having spent the day in Sea World and various places about San Diego, they were amazed at how different we are here in the US verses what it is like in China. The differences in behavior and social practices... even to the type of clothing we wear and the type of vehicles we drive. This led to a fascinating discussion back at the hotel that night about things. All the while, I found myself examining the American culture from a non-American perspective, and trying to come up with explanations as to why Americans do what they do.

A recurring theme began to emerge to me that I never before had every really seen. I found a blanket statement became more and more prevalent with each subject addressed. In the end, I came to this conclusion.... "America is a country built on beliefs, not truths." Once home, I began to review our constitution again, and realized just how poignant an idea this was. You see... to me, the constitution was the underly "truth" that this country was built on. But under closer review, I found myself realizing that in fact there is nothing true about the constitution unless you believe it to be true. Our constitution would no more hold up to anyone else as a truth in they did not believe in what it said. Which makes me question how a country can every hope to sustain itself on beliefs, and not concrete truths. To me... it would be far more likely for a country to survive if the founders gathered around a commonly held collection of hardened truths that would provide an undeniable backbone to the blossoming country. Truths that, when presented to any man, could not be denied. Only then would it survive the barrage of any foreign attack.

More to come... would love to hear your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, we live in a shared delusion.

    In point of fact, all societies are groups of people who - in the majority - share delusions.

    I discuss this in my essay The United Federation of Planets. It's the last of the "Rights" posts on the sidebar.