July 19, 2020


In America, the System Trends Toward Justice (Jarrett Stepman, July 19, 2020, Daily Signal)

Despite the fact that slavery existed at the time of the founding, the institution held an untenable position in a country based on the words of the Declaration of Independence, crafted by a slave owner, that "all men are created equal" and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights.

The Constitution, which intentionally never mentions slavery by name, provided the means by which liberty, justice, and eventually emancipation could be realized. And they were.

The American system may look messy, especially to outsiders, but it has an incredible way of succeeding through the muck of ordinary politics and the failures of fallen human beings.

Out of a deeply imperfect world, Americans have forged a more perfect union, as Abraham Lincoln called it. This was carried out through our system of limited self-government. It was embedded in the culture that produced a Washington, a man who was tireless in devotion to his country and, like Cincinnatus, humbly returned to civilian life when his duty was done.

It was a system built on the rule of law, debate, and deliberation.

There are some who would say that perhaps it is time to stop celebrating our imperfect past and its imperfect heroes.

But America was not built by abstractions or gods. It was created by men and women created in the image of God, but fallen from grace. America became great, and not simply because of the Constitution and the Declaration, as much of a cornerstone to this country as they are. 

No, it was built from that foundation by generations of men and women committed to government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It was sustained by countless Americans who stepped into the arena, who have clung to, defended, and advanced what began in 1776.

The fact that our Founders, like Washington and Jefferson, were imperfect men who owned slaves should not lead to damnation of their life's work, but hope.

Their country, through time, abolished an unjust institution that it was born with.

Flawed people can be great, and so can flawed nations.

Once in our history that system broke down. We were fortunate enough to have a president committed both to ending slavery and ultimately to restoring both the union and the Constitution.

As countless other revolutions devolved into anarchy, violence, and then tyranny, the American republic rose and gained strength. It transformed from a colonial backwater at the edge of the world to a mighty empire of liberty. It became a place where people--of almost all races and backgrounds-strive to get in rather than claw to get out.

The history of human affairs is not a place where one finds lasting liberty and justice for all. Cruelty and deprivation are the norms of life on this earth. We are all the descendants of slavers and the enslaved.

But in America, we've managed to escape the wheel of history, we've managed to create a system that "bends toward justice" rather than toward the more natural human condition of depravity.

..."So much done, so much yet to do."

Posted by at July 19, 2020 6:41 PM