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The American system of government is easily the most innovative and successful applications of democracy and the republic in the history of the world. Our government takes a lot of criticism because sometimes the process we go through to bring new leaders into the government becomes contentious. But the genius that went into the organization and fundamental principles of how our government works was nothing short of revolutionary.
Sometimes it’s good to step back far enough from the day in, day out fussing and debate that goes on in politics to marvel at what a wonderful organization system America has to serve its people. It’s ironic that the dialog we conduct is what makes how our government works so well. It is constantly being held accountable by the people.
Americans do not see their government as something that rules over them. Instead, the citizens of this country rule over the government and see it in its proper role of servant of the people. In other words, our elected leaders, from the local school board to the presidency of the nation, works for us and we are not afraid to remind them of that any time anyone gets the wrong idea.
Is it a system full of fire and emotion? You bet it is. Is it a system where there is a constant struggle to find the right course? It is that and so much more. But instead of seeing the natural push and shove of politics as something evil and unwanted, this is the true glory of what makes the American way of life so unique, valuable and envied by peoples all across the globe.
One of the most amazing things about how America works is that we fully expect our governmental system to undergo constant change. In governments of the past, change took place through violence. A revolution meant that those who were overthrown were probably executed or at least thrown out of the country. And this was the natural order of things. It was the way people expected the government to evolve and change to keep up with what the country needed next.
The genius that the founding fathers built into the American system of governing is not that they outlawed revolution. Quite the opposite, they made it the law of the land. Revolution is so central to the way our government works that it is organized and scheduled every four years. We quite literally have the chance to kick everybody out of government once every four years if that is what is needed, and we don’t have to kill anyone. On the contrary, we honor those who have served in leadership and whose time is done as the responsibility for leadership is passed to the next leaders.
Our leaders are not kings or royalty to be revered, worshipped and obeyed without question. Our leaders are ourselves. America may not have invented the system of citizen leadership, but we took it to new levels never dreamed of before. Does that mean we have never had an assignation in our history? We all know better than that. But that is not the expected method of changing government. And because we are experts at planning the revolution, we do not have bloody military take overs or sudden coups where leaders disappear in the night. We change our government by the law, not by the gun and the sword.
Americans have taken what is good in the many past systems of government and created a new method that keeps the values of those systems but hands the decision making to the people. We have the founding fathers to thank for that and our nation continuously is careful to make sure each generation of leadership follows the founding father’s design to the letter. The result is a nation that is the strongest on earth and the strongest and most prosperous of any nation in the history of civilization.
So if you feel inclined to take out your picture of Thomas Jefferson and give them a salute and a hearty “thank you”, go right ahead and do it. The founding fathers gave us a treasure that is unlike any other and one for which we will be eternally grateful.