The Checks And Balances Of Government

Last night I watched the County Commissioner meeting. The beginning of the meeting did not disappoint me. Madore and Mielke tag teamed Stuart to change the agenda to the meeting. All discussion concerning the appointment of Benton as environmental manager was moved to the end, and according to the paper, the meeting lasted to around 11pm. I did not watch it until the end. Stuart did say he was filing an ethics violation today.

President Obama gave the commencement address at Ohio State University and chose citizenship as his topic. President Obama rightly stated that citizenship is an awesome responsibility. Obama said, “the idea at the heart of our founding – that as Americans, we are blessed with God-given and inalienable rights, but with those rights come responsibilities – to ourselves, to one another, and to future generations.” In this statement we see both the privilege and responsibility that comes with being an American citizen. The interpretation that Roger Philon had of the Obama event is quite interesting.

In his article in the WSJ this morning he notes that President Obama’s purpose within his address was to emphasize the unbounded authority of government. Obama, according to Philon, dismissed individual ambition and replaced it with accomplishments that can only come through big government. Instead of having a government that administers justice in a manner that allows for both individual and collective attainment, Philon argues that Obama is declaring that the only way to press forward into the future is through large government actions. I did not hear Obama’s speech, so I cannot dismiss or agree with Philon’s comments, but in light of what Clark County just experienced, I understand why political process is in place.

Philon stated this morning that the founders “distrusted us, at least in our collective capacity. That’s why they wrote a constitution that set clear limits on what we , as citizens, could do through government.” The checks and balances designed within our federal government are critical to a system that protects the people of our country.  Similar county processes are designed in a manner to ensure governmental due process. The founders of this country recognized the fallen nature of humankind and our ability to mess things up. Thus the checks and balances at the federal level.  Similarly, county processes are in place to mitigate our human abilities to oppress the other for the elites benefit. Of the thirty people who spoke last night, 27 were against the Benton appointment and 3 were for.

Wow, so many lessons this week, just from one event. Yet, we can also see how the lessons are relevant at the national level too.

And that is my thought for the day!




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