By Dr. Stan Cooke
Mark Twain once said that, “A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words… the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual…” My grandmother once said that “the words on a menu are not the same as the food on a plate…the words should exactly describe the food and the food once eaten will empower the words on the menu…” The Founding Fathers knew that “words” are power when placed in documents of government. Words have meaning, authority and intent. The following words formulate the ideas of the Founding Fathers as they penned the Constitution.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Preamble of the Constitution of the United States contains the “Fifty-Two” words that matter the most to our State and National future. These Fifty-Two words provide clarity, definition, purpose and the “mission statement” for the Constitution of the United States of America. These Fifty-Two words prove the intent and will of the Founding Fathers with respect to the formation of our Republic and our future political course.
The value, power and authority of the first three words – We the People – cannot be overlooked or underestimated. This phrase, We The People, emphatically states that the power of government is derived from the people and not from the States or any other source. We the People formed the States, the states adopted the Constitution, and the Constitution gave birth to the Nation.
We the People, the legal citizens of the States and Nation, are known by two political terms – taxpayer and voter. We the People are “taxed” to pay for the amount of government that we have and We the People “vote” for the elected officials that represent us in the various levels of government. We the People have been given the keys to the kingdom – the control of the greatest Republic to ever exist on Earth. This also means that We the People are the root-cause of our current condition and only We the People have the power and authority to repair the Nation.
This brings us to the politic rub, that problematic fact that We the People feel so powerless to change anything in our government while we are reminded by the writings of the Founding Fathers the we are the source of all power of the government. If this is so, why do we feel so powerless – or more importantly – how have we become powerless? There is a simple answer. We have surrendered our duty as voters at the ballot box.
Voter turnout over the last 30 years has averaged 54% on the national level which means that over 90 million Americans are not voting. Voter turnout for Alabama in non-presidential elections is just above 35% for the same time period. Almost 1 Million Alabamians did not vote in the last presidential election and 2.5 million Alabamians did not vote in the June 2014 primary elections. This embarrassing statistic reflects voter apathy and explains the frustration of the individuals running for political office.
Candidates, realizing that the voters are forsaking the election process, are scrambling to find new ways to get the attention of the few people that are voting. The void created by low voter turnout is now being filled by corporations and special interest groups – accompanied by their promises of large campaign donations and detailed voter list. Good candidates of high moral character with honest intentions are left with two choices – 1. Team up with the corporations and special interest groups with the hopes of getting elected so that they can do much good for the State or Nation; or, 2. Surrender to the corrupt politicians in a political defeat and never run for political office at all.
Elections are no longer about Republicans versus Democrats, but about We The People versus the Corporations. The focus is no longer on Conservatives versus Liberals, but on We The People versus the Special Interest groups. The elections in Alabama this November will reflect if the corporations and special interest groups are controlling this State; or, if We The People have found our voice and patriotic courage to be the government once again. One thing is for certain and it is this – that nothing will change unless the majority of We The People get involved in the election process and vote. My grandmother was correct, the words on a menu are not the same as the food on a plate… and this November we will discover what the “words” We The People really mean… as we are served our political meal that will last for four long years.
Dr. Cooke is a Christian, Constitutional Conservative and a member of the Republican Party. He is also a Pastor, small business owner and the Founder and President of a World Mission Organization that operates in the Middle East.