As it is time for recess and 435 eager children bursting out into their respective communities throughout the country to earn nickels, dimes, and maybe a quarter or two with their lemonade stands, I began to reflect on the school year to this point. Looking into the classroom one can see a number of things left broken and beyond repair, other objects may have lost their shine and wobble but they can be repaired by simply tightening the nuts and bolts and employing a little elbow grease to renew the luster. As one continues to study the room, several projects partially completed are observed. One wonders if they remain in that partial state of completion or will they be finished at some point? Perhaps more astonishing is that there are several unopened boxes marked urgent, open immediately, in the middle of the room. These urgent materials are in full view of everyone and not hidden away in some remote corner. Why have they been avoided and disregarded?
As one looks at this room where so many projects lie broken, wasted, unfinished, not even started, and neglected without even a trace of remorse, you can hear the sounds of the 435 children outside as they scurry about to leave the schoolyard for their other homes. Someone, a neighbor perhaps, walks up and asks what they did in the classroom this term. A minute spark, a flicker of hope, lights inside as you peer out the window hoping to see any sign that the children will return to fix the broken objects and complete the numerous tasks left behind. Will they at least acknowledge their lack of work and accept responsibility? The children, however, raise their noses into the air and point. Over there, they say, talk to the man in the white house. Why, the neighbor asks? They respond loudly in unison, it’s his job to clean up and then restock the classroom for when we come back from recess. The spark of hope which flickered inside has consumed all of its fuel and extinguishes itself. On the horizon, the lanterns illuminating a piece of parchment with the words We the People begin to dim. Hopefully in the fading light some of these children will not spill their lemonade and smudge these words beyond repair. The inquiring neighbor, you, and I are just like the man in the white house. We only have permission to clean and restock the classroom, but not to complete the unfinished and neglected projects. Our permissions are both limited and granted by the same piece of parchment even though fewer and fewer want to read it.
The link provides a listing of the bills which have passed the 112thCongress and made it to the President’s desk to be enacted into law.