Those who disagree with these modern innovations wield the Constitution as their principal weapon while their proponents strive to reinterpret it into oblivion. The unspoken right over which they fight, is the right to fail.
Both sides have begun employing violent language in their war of words, and civility is the most recent casualty of the conflict. Hateful words appear in Internet discussion threads with alarming frequency, especially in those attached to news stories. They echo in our homes, our communities, and our houses of government. Unfortunately, these words are heard too often from those who have stepped forward to lead us. They substitute ideology for reason, and rather than accept the simple fact that people of good will may disagree, they attack their opponents rather than their ideas. They accuse those who disagree with them of being liars, cheats, and frauds.
There was a time when those were fighting words. American Heritage magazine published an excellent article in its current issue describing “American Politics at Ten Paces.
Dueling was common among American politicians up until the Civil War. It was a time when business of all kinds was conducted with a handshake and a person who could not be trusted at their word would lose their livelihood for want of the ability to enter into commercial contracts. To impugn a person's honor was to commit virtual homicide, thus explaining the rush to regain one's honor by risking death on the field of honor.
If today's politicians cannot hear President Eisenhower's words spoken from recent history, maybe we should revert to dueling. If nothing else, it would probably dissuade the faint of heart from mounting soap boxes and, possibly, help cull out the surplus population of politicians and pundits that clutter the media these days.
I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I hear the differences between them as candidates, but fail to see the differences between them as incumbents. That is why I harken back to past leaders who I wish we could resurrect to help lead us through these troubled times. Although they are no longer with us, their words remain to help guide us.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it – Thomas Jefferson