We have a special cultural glue in this country that goes beyond the laws, the Constitution, even the Bill of Rights. It’s called “The American Way.”
It’s about fair play and having your day in court and getting your chance to speak and make your choice when you vote. It’s about being able to trust that in the open and fair battle of ideas we can make our government what it should be. But the American Way is under assault. Trust is giving way to cynicism.
One reason is that the Federal Election Commission, a partisan organization itself, is allowing the Commission on Presidential Debates to turn those debates into a partisan tool. Gore and Bush are invited and no other candidates are allowed. Polls show 47 percent of voters want the option to vote for an independent for president this November. A majority wants to see more than just Bush and Gore on the national podium.
And yet the government is working in a partisan fashion against our democratic interests. Republican Alan Keyes warns that the partisan lock-out feeds a sense that [quote] “our elections are a sham, that have no significance, but are in fact a manipulated outcome dictated in the end by those who already have the power . . . That sense of cynicism will destroy our political system no, it is destroying it.”
Great civilizations fade when they abandon their fundamental strengths. It will happen to us, too, if we abandon the American Way.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.