Tomorrow is the birthday of our Republic. Our beautiful Republic. The United States and France share the same form of government, a Republic. A rare form of government in this sad world. We have presidents, not monarchs, Imams, or dictators. We are individual States united by a common thread, a federal government with limited powers. Power comes from the people, the Congress represents the people. The Executive carries out the will of Congress, or should.
The unity of these States was made stronger in response to the American Civil War or War of Rebellion as Yankees like to call it. Many Southerners like to call it the War between the States.
All of my ancestors who fought in the Civil War fought for the Union. Members of State Militias and religious people, they fought to end slavery in all the States, north, south and west. Although the cry of “The Union Forever,” was in the air, the cause of ending slavery became the overriding issue for most people toward the end of the war.
According to records I uncovered researching my family tree, one of them, Lorenzo, the brother of my great-great grand mother, Ellen, was an officer in command of “Colored Troops.” Ellen named her third child, born after the war, for her hero brother. Ellen’s Father and Grandfather fought in the American War of Independence from Britain. This War ended British Imperialism and created the Republic we celebrate tomorrow.
Today, many people, and I, a former federal employee, am one of them, believe the federal or central government has grown too large and needs downsizing or “right-sizing.” On the other hand, there are those who think the federal government is not big enough…apparently. But bigger is not better.
Every program has its merits according to one interest group or another. And every existing program has its defenders and detractors. But too many programs overlap.
Also, there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. Congressional intention is sometimes perverted by the regulations developed in the Executive Branch in response to a law. On the other hand, interest groups with large amounts of influence (measured in dollars) prevail in Washington and too often influence Congressional leaders, or worse, the President.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently drafting regulations that would close loop holes that allow large agribusinesses (which cross state lines and thus fall under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution), such as Purdue, Smithfield, and others, to dump their untreated effluvia into rivers in Virginia and other States. For many of us, this is a clear violation of the intent of the Clean Water Act which was designed to deal with rivers and other interstate bodies of water.
Yesterday, a couple of youngsters, a girl and a boy in their late teens or early twenties, came to our door asking us to sign a petition and make a donation to their interest group Environment Virginia. This group is sending signatures to the EPA to support the new regulations. Although, I had not heard of the group, after checking their site online, and asking the kids to come back later, we did as they wished, making a small contribution to their effort and signing their petition.
David and I agree, that although it could be a scam, we liked the idea that the kids were so enthusiastic about their cause. Canvassing your fellow citizens on behalf of an issue you care about, is part of being a good citizen. Caring about something so passionately you are willing to go door to door in 95 degree heat and ask people to sign a petition is especially noteworthy. I am happy there are youngsters who are willing to take up the good fight. Happy Fourth of July!