Tonawanda News — If a society has the technological wherewithal to pull it off, a system such as this can be admirable, and perhaps better than that set-up we occasionally (and only momentarily) admire of societies allegedly less further advanced than ours (i.e., some Third World arrangement, or what we were like, four or more generations ago), of using it up, wearing it out, making it do or going without.
Are ideas like that, appropriate for places and situations but not exactly transferable in time? Of course they are.
Chris Matthews, he of the “my questions are better than their answers” political talk show on television, has recently written a book about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, two master politicians of the 1980s with opposing views on pretty much everything but somehow assured that Washington got things done. The book is evidently an homage to the good old days when old coots in a closed room arranged to paper over a lot of political discontent, over drinks, and get legislation passed and signed.
And boy, apparently, do we need that now, I guess.
The essayist Gerald Early has noted that, in 2,000 years, America will be remembered for three things: baseball, jazz and its Constitution. A clever line, to be sure, but all three manage to hang on without much direct interest from the public these days. The U.S. Constitution is not the first of its kind and won’t be the last, and it is even no longer the model for aspiring free societies these days, the aforementioned strivers typically preferring Canada’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a starting point.
As far as constitutions go (federal, municipal, that of the local garden club), they reach the end of their usable lives when all the loopholes have been found.