Most of us would like to believe it would be difficult to graduate high school or be granted citizenship, without a thorough understanding of the three branches of the United States government and the foundational documents from which they are derived. Specifically, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the amendments. No country can long survive without a majority of its citizens possessing a clear understanding of what constitutes good civics.
I can, to this day, hear the voice of my high school teacher who taught the required U.S. Government course. Politicians and political parties, he would say, come and go, but the U.S. Constitution and its accompanying Bill of Rights favors no political party. These documents served to protect all of our citizens. The concepts that we have the right, as Americans, to walk freely in public places, choose our religion or have none, defend ourselves, our homes, our property, the right to due process, were truly revolutionary. The world had never seen anything like it, and more than a few thought we wouldn’t be able to keep it.
The last time I checked, there were over 600 movies and television shows that depict in one form or another America’s demise. Everything from alien invasion, terrorists, hostile nations, climate change, or agents of chaos in our midst. Of all of them, I think the most likely is agents of chaos. America excels at meeting challenges, but deceitfulness is sly.
All elected officials take oaths to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. It is not a Republican or Democrat, male or female, black or white, or any other color, oath. It is an oath that protects all of us and when you are entrusted with an elected position, that oath binds your word to us. Like it or not, we do have the means to remove you, should you break your word.
On the Ides of March of this year (March 15, 2019) Gov. Jared Polis signed into law SB19-042, the National Popular Vote bill. This law eliminates Colorado from using the Electoral College system of electing the President and Vice President of the United States. The Electoral College is embedded in the Constitution. It is a mechanism that provided balance between large and small states, urban and rural populations. A republic, which is what the Founding Fathers crafted, protects against mob rule. This should be common knowledge by any voting citizen. So, the question becomes how could any legislator, especially representatives with rural constituents, vote in favor of abolishing that system?
Agents of chaos need certain elements to be present in order to achieve their objectives.
- Money. The lessons of Watergate apply here. Follow the money trail.
- Massive propaganda dissemination. Hello, social media platforms, cable news outlets, and technology.
- Breakdown of trust in government. Almost everyone I know has a story to tell about governmental overreach, a sense that the status quo has rigged the system.
- Willful ignorance and apathy. Evil rises when good people do not act to stop it. Get informed, get involved. All of these elements are present today. As the Grateful Dead song says, “there is danger at your door”.
I am a believer that vigorous debate and intellectual honesty, which are currently almost non-existent, are vital to a strong democracy. The over-powering urge to win at any cost and just stick to talking points is strangling our political system.
There is a petition being drafted to have a ballot initiative to correct the actions of the extreme Democrats in the Colorado Legislature. I would urge registered voters of all political persuasions to sign it and vote for its passage. The petition will be available to sign at the Cortez Library on April 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will also be at the Gun Show at the fairgrounds.
For those who might question my motivations, I would tell you that if Republicans had been this reckless, my position would be the same. Not on my watch, and hopefully not on yours.
None of us should sit back and look the other way. I would like for that teacher I had back in high school to be able to stop turning over in his grave.
Valerie Maez writes from Lewis, Colo.