Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Schoolhouse Rock Moment...

Just to preface this post, this is post is no way reflective of a political leaning in either direction.  I usually don't discuss politics in this format.  This is instead a reflection of a childhood memory and how it impacts me today.

I remember as a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons.  While some of the cartoon characters stick in my mind, what I remember most are the shorts under the Schoolhouse Rock umbrella.  They were a catchy way to remember english, history, science, and math.  The one that I have been thinking about the most is the short that taught about the formation of our country and the preamble for the United States Constitution.  This is something that I think that politicians these days have really lost sight of.

As a reminder, the preamble says this....

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

In my opinion, the United States was established as a union of colonies that aligned themselves against British rule.  Taxation and religious freedom issues were key issues for early colonists.  Early Statesmen understood that aligning resources towards a common goal was the best recipe for success.  At the end of the day, while there may have been much discussion and dissent they understood that their goal was to "form a more perfect union".  The "how" they would form a more perfect union lay among the rest of the preamble as these were the basics for the remainder of the constitution.  Government's purpose was to:

  • Establish justice
  • Insure domestic tranquility
  • Provide for the common defense
  • promote the general welfare
  • secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves
  • posterity for all colonists
To understand what our forefathers were attempting to establish as their goal was something much different than what was occurring on the European continent.  In Europe, remember that each country could easily be considered a state.  Thus the creation of the United States of America was a union of colonies united together to form that more perfect union of states on the North American continent.

Over the past 224 years since George Washington was first inaugurated as our country's first President government has been transformed based upon interpretations of the constitution.  At the end of the day, what has been at the root cause is the interpretation of states rights versus the role of the Federal government in the lives of the citizenry.  Government in the beginning served to create a common law of the newly formed nation and provide defense against those who threatened the union of states. 

In my opinion, regardless of political affiliation, we as Americans need to get back to the basics of how we came together as the United States of America.  The role of government in the affairs of the citizens needs to be reexamined.  Our government, defined as all three branches of government, are not meeting the constitutional expectations as outlined in the preamble of the constitution.

In business, if organizations are not meeting customer needs, or the needs of their shareholders, leadership changes occur.  In our government, there are far too many in the legislative branch, regardless of party affiliation, who do not have real accountability back to their electorate.

Just some food for thought for the week.... Take look back at the Schoolhouse Rock series.

Have a great week!


  1. I agree with you. I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons, but more than anything I remember School House Rock. My favorite was interjections. I think I even have a video of that one. :-)

  2. I remember having to memorize and recite the preamble during elementary school and not knowing what half of the words actually meant. Its really interesting to think back to what it must have been like during the very first years of the United States and how far we've come and how far we still have to go.

  3. School House Rock was a staple on Saturday morning cartoons. I know many of these lessons were used in school.I agree with you that we as Americans need to stop fighting and start working together. Great post. :-)

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  5. Am not Swedish so the cartoon mentioned is not part of my childhood.

    Personally believe that Benjamin Franklin played a larger part in the founding of the United States than he gets credit for today. He really wa an exceptionally intelligent man.

  6. The most important role of a national government is to protect personal property which promotes constructive development... the rest is up for debate :)