As we listen to the political debate this fall it is difficult not to get caught up in the emotion that follows the poll results, the television and radio commercials, and now the debates.
Eventually, conservative, liberal and independent all starts to sound the same. Why must it all occupy so much of our time and our media?
Maybe the answer is because we are a democracy and maybe I will take the time today to thank God I am alive, filled with grace and that I live in a country that allows me to hear this healthy debate.
How does education play into all of this? Perhaps we should all remind ourselves that if we work in education that we not only have the right to express our opinions, we have the obligation to urge our students to enjoy and participate in the debate, no matter which side of the pendulum we swing too.
September 17th was constitution day. A day when most educational institutions spend some time conveying the importance and the gift we all received on this day.
No matter how much we argue about the details of its meaning today, in the opinion of many, the Constitution signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 represents the greatest expression of statesmanship and compromise ever written. In just four hand-written pages, the Constitution gives us no less than the owners’ manual to the greatest form of government the world has ever known.
The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected–directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.
Let’s take a few more moments as we head into this frenzy of modern day politics to appreciate our gift and get involved. You might just make history.
Keith A. Fossen