Haircuts and the Constitution

I want to express my shock and dismay at something – but I also want to ask a question of our readers.

I’ve been running from pillar to post for work since a week’s worth of negotiations in New York City in the first week of January and as a result, I just haven’t been in one place long enough to take care of some mundane duties – like getting a haircut. I had time today and since I am becoming increasingly follically challenged, I usually run to Great Clips here in Park City because I can get in and out quickly and efficiently.

So I go in today and get my usual 5-7 week shearing and when the young barberette pulled up my information on the computer, she noticed that I had my last trim in Vancouver, British Columbia. That became a subject of conversation because I have a pretty solid Mississippi accent (accentuated by my last couple of weeks in Houston), I was in Utah and the computer tagged me as having been in Canada. About 5 minutes into the conversation, she asked me, “Where is Vancouver?”

I was momentarily taken aback by the question because I couldn’t imagine anyone this day and age reaching adulthood without knowing some basic geographic facts like where the largest city on Canada’s west coast was. I probed a bit just to get a feel for her intellect and basic knowledge and found out that she was 23 years-old – we were talking about snowstorms and she volunteered that her parents told her about the tough winter we had in 1993 because she was born in 1992. I found out that she had graduated from a local county high school and had some community college as well.

She was cheerful, bright and delightful. She was certainly not stupid or a moron, she spoke well and fluently about things she cared about – her family, her horses, her new apartment and her work.

After I left, it hit me. Could it be that people like her are the reason the Founders created a representative republic based on enumerated national powers and a federalist arrangement to reserve all other power to the various states and the people?

This young lady was clearly sound of mind and capable of reason. She is single and managing her own affairs and life. She didn’t know where Vancouver was because what happens in Vancouver doesn’t affect her – she did know the most about the local things that do.

It occurred to me that for her to decide what is best for herself did not require her to know where Vancouver was – because she already knew what was important to her. I think she was sound enough of judgement to choose the people she wanted to represent her at the state level and even at the national level – IF the duties of the federal government were pared down to those enumerated in the Constitution.

We talk disparagingly about LIV’s (low information voters) but could it be that we simply are expecting too much? Could it be that people like those we call LIVs have always been with us and it is not their fault that we ask too much of them? Through the bastardization of the Constitution, have we created a model of governance that simply requires too much? Why would a young lady who lives a satisfied life in rural Utah be required to understand geopolitical issues? Is fluency in esoteric subject matter really necessary for her to manage her own governance?

Just because someone can make an intelligent choice for school board or even governor does not mean that they will do the same for a president. National elections have become beauty contests. I would propose that they are thus due to the “remote” nature of the issues they are run on. It is easy for a candidate to mount a marketing campaign at the national level because so much can be hidden – that isn’t true if the candidate lives close to you in Kamas, Utah where the population is around 1300 people.

If I may inquire, what sayeth ye?

12 thoughts on “Haircuts and the Constitution

  1. You hit it on the head with “beauty contest” and “marketing campaign”. Unfortunately, most of this selling job is done by the main stream media, and they are owned by the side that is 180 degrees from where I stand. I spend a lot of time doing what I can to make the LIVs see the truth, but looking at 2008 & 2012, it’s obvious that I can’t do enough.

  2. Utah,

    We are not expecting too much from low information voters. Freedom carries a responsibility. We have a duty to know certain things, and to uphold the principles and ideals upon which our nation was founded. If we do not know and understand these principles, then we cannot perform our duty. The founders did not write this into anything because they lived in a time when people naturally sought knowledge. De Tocqueville commented on it when he visited in the 1830’s. It amazed him that he found copies of the classics in nearly every home — even those on the edges of the frontier. He also commented on how anyone in the local tavern could speak intelligently on and defend the Constitution. This requires the individual educate himself — something the forces opposing liberty have been working against since at least the time of Wilson and Dewey.

    So, no, I do not think the separation of powers had much to do with individual education — or a lack thereof. In fact, I think it was just assumed by the founders that the general education of the people would be maintained — as we just assume we will continue to use computers. You do not see stipulations to the use of computers in any major piece of legislation or proclamation today. It is just assumed. Well, likewise, the founders just assumed the People would continue to embrace both their founding faith and education.

    • These generations of Americans are so far apart that it is hard to even imagine that they are only a couple hundred years apart. Of course, the generation that the founders were seeing were not given the choice of either learning and working for a living or getting a seat on the government gravy train. The youngsters now days are so different from even mine, I am 63, that it amazes me. I would bet that a majority of my graduation class signed up for duty in one of the armed forces. That was when the Vietnam War was in full swing, so some did it to keep from getting drafted. I don’t know of even one youngster that enlisted after graduating with my son (33). It’s a totally different world in just one generation.

      • There are a LOT in Texas that did/do. But my oldest is 21. And one gal in their class went to Annapolis.

  3. I need to resolve my own problem first.. At times I get frustrated with indifference and “vacant” minds that I give up.

  4. Have to agree with Joe.

    In the 1740s-1790s what we call “International issues” and what we would call “National issues” were known to most. The colonists were well aware of what what going on in Europe and its affect on them. They were also well aware of what went on in the various Colonies ( States) and in fact one of the EARLIEST decisions was for the Southern and Mid-Atlantic Colonies to support “The Massachusetts’ Men” when they were attacked by the 18th Century Totalitarians ( doing Business Popularly as English Redcoats and Parliamentarians).

    Today we are living the consequence of a Dumbed-down population. That does NOT mean that gals like the one you mention are themselves DUMB…..simply that they have been TAUGHT to only consider themselves and their local interests as the only valid sphere to be knowledgeable of and interested in. Notice she was curious about Vancouver. But her innate curiosity and most importantly her ABILITY to explore and find out about things outside her immediate sphere of influence has been squelched primarily by the Education System and the Teachers Unions. But also by the negative reinforcement in the Entertainment industry which makes “heroes” out of common folk who don’t express interests or Knowledge outside their immediate sphere or what is popular in that SAME Entertainment world.

    • Don,

      The cage has been gilded by immediate gratification, entitlement, the removal of guilt for immoral acts and all of which is reinforced by an over-exposure to social/entertainment media.

      I bet, if we all turned off those tv’s, phones and computers, the ‘powers that be’ would lose control over us in less than a month — and we would discover we can still be the people our founders hoped we would become.

      • I agree. The Computer/phones are important now for Info and Communication……but turning off Social Media and “Entertainment” and all TV would be a devastating blow to TPTB.

    • Don: The world was a much smaller place then. At the time of the Declaration, the total population of the colonies was around 2.5 million and it took 3 months for a letter to travel from London to Boston. Today, America holds 320 million people and an email can go anywhere in the world in fractions of a second.

      My question is basically this: is a formal education required to understand natural rights and natural laws?

      My position is that it is not.

      There is a reason that the Declaration and the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) contains only 4,543 words and the Declaration has 1,458. If you figure an average of 500 words to an 8.5 X 11 page, that’s 9 pages for the former and 3 for the latter. The key foundational documents for creation and governance of our Republic total 12 pages, easily read and understood by almost anyone.

      • Utah,

        Romans 1-2 tells us a formal education is not required. HOWEVER, a willingness to acknowledge and submit to God IS! You know the connection, and I know you know it because I know you know Romans as well as John Locke (who said he got his treatise on government from Romans).

        Now, set aside our education system for a moment. Do you see the necessary requirement to recognize Natural Law in our society today? And, if not, does that not vindicate the founders who told us religion is required to remain free and self-governing?

      • Things are relative. For the 18th Century person the world looked more complex than it had ever been. The concept of Ruling Colonies from such a distance was almost brand new for instance. The Greek colonies were in a relative pond ( in the Mediterranean Sea ) for instance. And the Colonists were aware of the fact. So to them the world looked pretty Complex, not the least of which was the Political realm.

        We tend to diminish the past in relation to our own time…..each generation ( era) does this to some extent. As also we tend to create “Golden Eras” were the folks of the time would not have seen it so.

        Having said all that….. Yes I agree 100% that a formal education is NOT required to understand natural rights and natural laws. That was my point that the young gal you met was NOT dumb, but “disadvantaged” by education and conditioning.

  5. I can’t say anything; I just now figured out where the girl from Ipanema is from.

    Seriously, I wonder if young people aren’t influenced by their family. I was, then I went full-libtard in school. And then I saw the light.

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