I was recently involuntarily sent a copy of the December 2019 House Intelligence Committee’s report on its investigation into Donald Trump and the Ukraine which I immediately prepared to put in the trash as being outdated in 2021.
However, I noticed the six-page foreword had been written by McCallie School and Sewanee graduate Jon Meacham who also happens to be a Pulitzer Prize author as a historian.
I decided to review said short excerpt from an American history perspective as to what Jon thought might be important to mention from the 1787 summer sessions in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention in Independence Hall and its application in 2020-2021.
Although the ex-president’s impeachment is now only a continuing blip on the political radar what Jon Meacham says in his short foreword is still relevant in the 2019-2021 era and the future of America.
Because of fear of abuse by both the Executive (president) Branch and the Legislative (government) Branch, a system of checks and balances was created with the Judicial Branch (Supreme Court) as an intended control over both as an independent interpreter and referee over the actions of both.
The forefathers, James Madison, George Mason, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and Daniel Webster, are all briefly quoted by Meacham to express ex-President Jefferson’s intentions as how in 1810 the combined energy of the nation can produce a “union of the powers as a whole” that is balanced among the three branches of government.
Meacham mentions concerns of the forefathers and himself about the following:
1) Foreign interference in elections; (Madison)
2) Concern over corruption by the president by enacting impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate in a trial; (Madison)
3) Total political warfare between parties, groups, and individuals; (Meacham)
4) Gerrymandering of election districts that has produced few swing congressional seats (Meacham); and
5) “The allure of realityTV programming that has blurred lines between entertainment and government!” (Meacham)
It is this last concern that many non-partisan citizens believe has harmed American democracy the most.
Over protective of the freedoms of speech and press that makes America unique throughout the world, it has turned our country into a death grip of misrepresentations, lies, and untruths by the progressive and conservative movements and self-serving individuals, networks and every form of media that is forced upon the viewing public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The informative foreword also quotes former president Harry Truman who once said “the people have often made mistakes but given time and the facts, they will make the corrections.”
What followed in the Impeachment Report on President Trump, and the evidence and resulting trial has not resolved any policy differences.
Meacham succinctly expressed hope that Truman’s words, the 2020 election and events up and through the 2022 and 2024 elections will heal the nation rather than further destroy it. (The 2020 election results did not!)
Only time will tell what will come about!
(P.S. I didn’t read the report!)
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Jerry, you and I did not graduate from McCallie. The outstanding educations we received from both Central and City did give us the ability to read and analyze for ourselves, however. I therefore submit this for consideration.
I would respectfully disagree with the distinguished Mr Meacham. The profound comments by learned statesmen he cited contributed to but are not the main reason we are having the troubles we are experiencing in America today.
The main reason stems back to a statement by Ben Franklin about the future of this new experiment called the American republic. Franklin said, “ when people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
The Great Society and all the vile progressive fruit from that poisonous tree is choking the Tree of Liberty referred to by Thomas Jefferson. Politicians are voting themselves money on a scale never seen before in this nation. Then they hand it out in a way creating a vast populace of dependents that crosses all socio-economic and racial lines.
All that is related to securing power to vote that money including lying, cheating, foreign alliances and other mischief is the poisonous fruit stemming from the weeds of the Great Society. Our foreign competitors and enemies know that and take advantage of it whenever they can.
Franklin was right and we are seeing the result every time we elect another progressive.
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So Meacham is now wondering why we have such a divided country and so much skepticism about "Reality," TV. Well it could very well be because of so called journalists like Meacham himself.
He spent the entire 2020 campaign posing as an objective journalist on MSNBC, or as a wag once described it, MSDNC. Lo and behold, the day after the election we discovered he was not only a consultant to the Biden campaign but also wrote speeches for him. And even worse he complimented his own speech in at least one instance. I guess Jon slept through the Journalistic Ethics course at Sewanee.
Ralph Miller hit the nail on the head with his Franklin quote. I would add another by de Tocqueville: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
The American Republic died on Nov. 22, 1963, when the Democrats became the party of parasites.