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Category: Culture and Art

A Trifle: Does the “right wing” really control EVERYTHING?

I don’t like the current administration and its boosters any more than you do, but really? In what country are you living where they control “nearly every element of our government and society?”

It seems to me — and much to their obvious chagrin — that there are vast swaths of society — and even significant portions of government — over which they exercise very little control at all…

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The West Wing

Last summer Bernie Weinraub wrote an article in The New York Times on ratings problems at The West Wing, the popular television show about a fictional Democratic president and his administration. The article covered all the expected problems with a show late in its run, with characters and ideas getting stale and audiences tuning out in favor of more exciting and novel fare. But, in the discussion of why ratings were suffering, I thought he left out one critical frustration factor that affects my viewing more than any other.

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Liberty’s Kids and Liberty

The fact that complexities were over-simplified is part of the format and a necessary evil. However, at the end one of the characters, as a closing remark on the Constitution, read from its preamble. Nice touch — except that they left part of it (many would say the most important part) out. What they read was:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, …. , promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to us and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America.

What was left out, of course, were two of the primary purposes of government, ones which provide the necessary specifics for fulfilling what the Declaration of Independence considered the very reason for government to exist — the protection of individual rights. The missing phrases were:

… to ensure domestic tranquility, to provide for the common defense, ….

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