Whether you agree or disagree with his statements, it's worth noting that a sense of classical civility is returning to Washington DC.
|Majesty of Law|
In front of a congressional building in Washington, there are two statues. One is entitled Majesty of Law, the other Spirit of Justice. Majesty of Law is a Moses-like figure, with a sword in one hand pointed downward and a book in the other emblazoned with the United States Seal. The sword and the book represent the idea that the law has power and wisdom, requiring a healthy respect for the rules necessary for an orderly society.
Facing the statue is Spirit of Justice, a woman holding an oil lamp with a flame. Within her touch is a naked child. The woman and the lamp symbolize vigilance and protection, and the child represents human vulnerability. The fullness of the law, built on the nurturing, protective ideal of justice, stands guard.
The rule of law is under attack in unprecedented fashion. It's time for all Americans to demand justice from our government and all elected officials, and for all Americans. No one should be above the law. There cannot be one set of laws for the politically connected, and another set of laws
These statues often get overlooked as lobbyists scurry in and out, members of Congress race in and out, and school groups rush in and out. Few ever look up. When we lose our sense of wonder about a common narrative as a people, when we forget the purpose of the law, when Washington lurches—“day trading in policy”—not thinking about the long-term dynamics for stability and wellbeing, it fosters the conditions in which our country becomes increasingly anxious. Busyness cannot replace authentic business.
Good points. Washington DC's political culture of corruption and cronyism must fade away first. We cannot allow the treasured principles of our country, our culture, and our Constitution get washed away with the corrosive lack of principle endemic to daily scrounging for pre-eminence and power.
Let's hope that Congressman Fortenberry lives up to his own eloquent standards.
Add into this tumult an incessant, rancorous media, which stokes and exploits the drama for maximum profit. Naturally, this does not excuse the harsh, often vindictive, partisanship besetting our current political environment, which gives the media plenty of fodder to drive their ratings ever higher. Nevertheless, as the corporate media manipulate emotion, we become diverted from a long and more hopeful view of our country’s unique trajectory.
Finally, someone is calling out the rampant emotionalism and sensationalized corruption of the increasingly marginalized media. We need to remember that the press has gotten away with printing distortions, lies, and outright frauds for decades, if not since their inception as a corporate medium. The American people deserve a new, true media which provides exacting insight into what is actually happening. Whatever the perceived bias of any media organ, most press agents hewed as close as possible to simply reporting what happened.
Not anymore. At least he major media conglomerates have been exposed, and more readers recognize bias in many sources.
Amidst all this, good things still happen. In the same building where a secret meeting was held with a top leader at the Justice Department about the special investigation into Russia, right nearby school children learned about our nation, innocently following parents and chaperones throughout the cavernous halls. While the President of Colombia updated us on the latest peace process to end years of a guerrilla war, the walls of the Capitol were being prepared to hang the artwork of Zoë Sjuts from Nebraska. As a congressional art contest winner, Zoe depicted her father fishing, in a Nebraska shirt, with a big old bass in his hand and as big a smile on his face. As Congress continues to debate the proper way forward on healthcare, children at Faith Lutheran in Blair wrote to me about their concern for people around the world.
Which top leader? I wonder ... I doubt he is talking about Trump, since there is no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. He's probably referring to Maxine Waters or Nancy Pelosi.
I once asked a professor to give me the philosophical arguments for the immortality of the soul. He kindly invited me to his forthcoming lecture series. I politely declined given other demands of my schedule. He responded: "You asked me a question about immortality, but you do not have the time?" I ended up going to the lecture.
Wow! That's pretty impressive. At least some constituents can force their representatives to do things of note and merit.
Governance is hard work. It must apply reason and logic to the hard questions of the day. It must avoid short-sightedness and fight off the temptation for small petty political victories. It must have a gentle side, welcoming the children and families who depend upon protective care. And, finally, it must be reflective, upholding honored tradition for the sake of stability across generations.
Above all, governance demands adherence to principle and truth. Would that more elected officials understood and stood for the founding principles of our great country.
If we look up and ponder Majesty of Law and Spirit of Justice, perhaps we can go beyond the immediate drama and trauma to find what is creative, wise, and true—if we have the time.
Philosophical musings are just as important as the daily interactions within the halls of Congress. We need all our representatives to pay attention to doing what is just and good, what is lawful and consistent with our Constitution, and not just focusing on what will get them re-elected in the next cycle.
Let the musings of Congressman Fortenberry motivate your views on the more perfect union of our federal government.