Thursday, November 12, 2015

Who Do We Think We Are?

Everyone knows, based on the old cliche, that the inmates cannot be allowed to run the asylum, right? I think we are forgetting what a republic is supposed to be and we are losing perspective on what leaders are.

I think when Jefferson, et al, said that "all men are created equal," they meant that all people are created with an equal starting point. But I don't think that they thought that, in the end, all people end up equal, in intellectual or even physical ability.

Could "all men are created equal" possibly mean that everyone is on the intellectual level of Thomas Jefferson or Einstein or Shakespeare? Could it mean that all are at athletic at Michael Jordan or Ted Williams or Jim Thorpe or Rhonda Rowsey? -- as talented as Beethoven or Ravel or Jimmy Hendrix or Segovia?

Of course not. There are people in our (and in every country) who are either unintelligent or uninformed or downright misguided. Those people shouldn't be running the asylum and our forefathers knew that.

To that end, a government was created in America that allows the people to contribute their preferences for elected officials and then stand back and let them work. This is not to say that the general populace should have not input, but that, the way to fix things is speak up, write articles or to elect someone else when those in office not longer fit the bill.

And in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was careful to point out that the idea of revolution is one that should be carefully stepped into:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes..."

Now, it seems to me, we common people in the everyday world have come to the impression that we make all the decisions; that we can pick up the pitchforks and torches whenever we want and demand anything we want; that the things we don't like are cause for lighting fires and burning them down. 

Everything is not cause for a walkout or a riot or a protest; though many things are. And after the mass protest -- whatever it is -- someone has to be in charge.

I just heard that one of the demands of the protesters at the University of Missouri, after the requested resignations happened, was that the protesters were demanding a say in the hiring of the next university president.

Sure. That's a great idea. We should let people from their teens into their low twenties decide who is the right person to run their university. Great idea. Because we all know how crystal clear our intellectual processes were at that age. And, it is common knowledge that the average college student knows perfectly well what it takes to successfully run an institution of higher learning. (Of course, some will try to argue that the ridiculous tuitions at the average university give students the right to choose their president. Not really, if you ask me.)

Who the heck, exactly, do we think we are? All men are created equal, but they don't all wind up equal and they certainly are not born with the qualifications to decide everything. We can make noise; we can protest; we can vote, but it may be prudent to acknowledge that we might not all be up to the job of being the rulers of the universe. 


  1. Will Missouri end up with what Groucho Marx spoke up for in "Horse Feathers": a college that the football team can be proud of?

    1. Ha! Perhaps. Strange, too that you should bring up Groucho -- I have been on a Groucho Marx kick for a week or so...

  2. I think that what Jefferson (et al) meant is that no man is inherently better than another; no one is a superior being simply because he was born into royalty, riches, or a particular occupation. I think it stemmed directly from the social class system they wanted to leave behind at the time. Although, I agree that what you describe here is the subtext.