By JAMES CREWS
More than 200 years ago, America's founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to construct our Constitution. Though it was not perfect, our constitution has endured and has given United States citizens the framework to pursue their own happiness in a nation dedicated to the idea that all people are equals before the law. Our founders were not so arrogant to believe that the constitution could endure for over two centuries without revisions, re-interpretations, and critical evaluation.
There are some who believe the constitution is an unchanging document and that we should only interpret it the ways the founding fathers would. What did Thomas Jefferson say about the influence of the Internet and technology? What were James Madison's views about unemployment, foreclosure, and debt? Benjamin Franklin, genius as he was, never spoke out about the problems of a society where 400 individuals own more wealthy than the bottom half combined. And indeed, none of these men addressed that 99 percent of American citizens should be exploited to satisfy the greed of the 1 percent.
They were not perfect men and the constitution is an imperfect document. However, they did make sure that it was strong enough to maintain a nation, but flexible enough to accommodate the passing of time. This is truly the founder's clearest success. To interpret the constitution based on the views of 1788 is both a disservice to American citizens and an insult to the intelligence of our founding fathers.
Some look at our movement and claim that we are un-American. What is more American than fighting to assert our rights? What is more patriotic than trying to clean up our corrupt system? Can any among you think of any better service we can perform for American citizens? Many of us, like myself, are unemployed. But we are not idle.
We are out there engaging our communities, rising against injustice, and taking one small step towards a brighter future. Let us take the streets, occupy areas of commerce, and force the corrupt politicians and greedy Wall Street fat cats to hear our grievances.
We are the 99 percent of people who make the economy work.! That 1 percent may have political and financial power, but we have strength in numbers. Exploitation is never sanctified in the constitution. Capitalism isn't named as our official economic system.
United, there is no reason why we cannot make the Constitution read in the words it was written in It is our destiny to help move our country towards a more perfect union. Our movement is establishing Justice in a peaceful manner, to ensure domestic tranquility. We shall provide for the common defense of the unemployed, the impoverished, and those just one stroke of bad luck away from homelessness.
We can no longer trust our politicians to promote the general welfare, so it is indeed on us to secure the blessings of liberty for everyone, not just the financial and political elites who benefit from keeping us in poverty.
Generations to come will not remember what we have said here, but they will remember what we did here and across the nation. Brothers, sisters, let us join hands in solidarity and change the course of history before corporations enslave us even further with debt, homelessness, unemployment, foreclosure, and war. Let us make sure that corporations and the rich no longer dictate the course of our United States so we can once again have government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Occupy, vote out the incumbents, and demand reform. This will be a long struggle, but since when have we turned down the opportunity to fight? Only this time, our fighting shall be done with ideas instead of violence. We shall not go gently into this good night. We will not stand by and see this country wrecked. We will leave the next generation a country to be proud of.
James Crews is a resident of Lehigh Acres.