When the founders were working on their ideas for Constitutional government, a major problem was how to write in the checks and balances needed to guarantee liberty and the right to representation for all. A large concern was the recognition of self-interest in human nature and the tendency to form factions in support of that self interest. Our party system has evolved. Sometimes the self interest part of this equation has taken precedence over the larger good and the need to protect all the citizens irrespective of station in life. Even though the founders’ viewpoints were shaped by their landed positions of privilege, they had foresight in provision for change. Enfranchisement did come for slaves, for women, for the disadvantaged. They could not foresee all the changes that have taken place in over 200 years but their establishment of our Constitution has endured because of its built-in systems that allow the people to be heard and represented.
Our experiment continues, strong and vital. Now we are again allowed to exercise our precious right to vote; if you carefully consider what is in the best interest of all Americans, inclusive and all encompassing; if you weigh common good against self interest; if you examine candidates’ strengths, loyalties, factionalism; if you decide your party or candidate is the most dedicated to the rights of all, even the least able and most vulnerable in our society; then consult your conscience, your common sense, your fairness, make your selection, and vote.