Moose on Assignment: “Restoring Honor: 8/28″

2010 August 27

by Michael R Parmele

I am coming to this rally with empathy. 

I am coming to attempt to actually understand the argument. 

I am not coming to make fun, to belittle, or berate, or make anyone look stupid. 

I am coming to this rally to take the people I meet at their word.  I am granting that they have sincere beliefs that have been rationally and logically thought out with evidence, as I have sincere beliefs that have been rationally and logically thought out with evidence. 

I want to talk to them about that. 

They have named their rally, “Restoring Honor.” What can be more honorable than a group of citizens in a democracy, coming together on the village green of our nation, to discuss, argue, and debate the great issues facing our nation?  What is more American?  What is more honorable than that?

The Constitutional Convention was one of the most contentious debates in all of history.  As the Convention began, neither the delegates, nor the States were quite sure what the outcome would be.  This convention had been called to deal with structural flaws in the Articles of Confederation.  Flaws which threatened to tear apart the once unified, fledgling nation.  However, a decade out from war, the States were passing out of their unifying revolutionary mindset, having accomplished independence.  The structure created at the conclusion of the war had been shown to be faulty and what were once seams in the Articles of Confederation has grown, first into cracks, then fissures threatening the noble experiment that was our undertaking.  But we succeeded and what was formed was a beautiful, yet flawed, document that has guided and protected the nation ever since.  The Constitution is our owner’s manual.  It is the structure to which the spirit unleashed in the Declaration of Independence clings.  Critical to the success of that second forging, that second American Revolution, was the notion that We, the People, participate in our nation’s affairs.  Not by merely being parts of voting blocks, but by being informed, reasoned, and active in the debate. 

 So that is my goal: to have a reasonable, sincere, discussion.  I am not going to be trying to change anyone’s mind.  I will challenge people’s opinions, I will ask for evidence, and I will point out things I know to be false, when I have evidence to support it.  Because it’s wrong to assume that this is some monolithic group of people who all echo the talking points.  Stereotypes are useful at times because there is always a little truth in every stereotype.  But we can no longer succumb to the stereotypes.  We can no longer be voting blocks.  At this point in our history, it is time to speak as individuals again; to speak as countrymen again.

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