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  • Writer's pictureBill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday - November 6, 2020

“In framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty is this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” ― James Madison

“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” ― James Madison, Federalist Papers Nos. 10 and 51

Gratitude Friday. Grateful for the wisdom and dedication of wise people who formed our nation. They were not perfect, far from it. Terrible compromises were made in the formation of our country that have created huge problems that we feel even today. We have a very long way to go in the formation of a more perfect union. It was a radical declaration of defiance to the crown. Several were killed fighting for our independence or had their possessions looted and lost to the revolutionary war. At this juncture much is in question about how history will look back at our contributions to the grand experiment called the United States of America.

Yet we should not forget that when they forged this nation they were walking on fresh earth; no people had ever had the radical idea of self-governance in the manner that they established for us nearly 250 years ago.

I am grateful for the many tensions and checks and balances that our founders built into our government which are delineated in our governing document the Constitution. We are a nation governed by laws, not people. What they understood was that power over others is a drug and that those entrusted with governing us must have significant checks and balances to protect us against greed and avarice.

What they did is pit ambition against ambition and to try and create a system that was transparent. We have terrible inequities, the norms and values, long respected on all political “sides” are tattered and torn. Yet we know have another chance to build something better for those who come after us. Grateful for their inherent wisdom. Grateful for the opportunity and faith that they had in us. Grateful for their sacrifice, bravery and belief that we could do this.

What are you grateful for today?

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