The greatest shift of power in the history of the world, that momentous move from blood monarchies to the power of the people, arose with the establishment of our republic, the United States of America, in 1789. For the first time men and women were truly free, kings and queens in their own right — as the thrones of Europe and other continents toppled in favor of constitutionalism and the recognition of given rights.
In those early decades of our republic, even up to the first 175 years of our existence as a nation, people spread out from the eastern seaboard and deep south, to the vast, wild lands of the West; it was an imperfect union fraught with the old ideas of race, gender and class warfare. To a great extent that fraught condition still exists in some communities in America. There is racism, sexism, classism and every other kind of -ism you can imagine, though much can be said about the freedoms and blessings we enjoy that many others across the world do not.
For that, we can thank our founding fathers and the concept of direct representation at the federal, state and local levels as it relates to elections. Without a representative form of government, in its purest form, I believe we would devolve into the chaotic anarchy that we see gripping societies in so many other places in the world.
In 1789, when the constitution was written, I believe it was penned in the language of the people. It was constructed in a way that the common American could understand, with clarity and concise revelation, the freedoms recognized (not given) by the document. I also believe in the words of the late William Cooper, a world-renowned talk radio host and expert on originalism, when he said, “I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America, without interpretation...”
Because of that deeply held belief, I am one of the strongest proponents of every American citizen’s right to vote with their conscience and for leaders at every level aside from president, which is an office that is constitutionally selected by an act of the Electoral College, as specified in the Twelfth Amendment.
The constitution recognizes our God-given right to representation in the halls of government. While much can be said about the toxic crony capitalist and oligarchic culture of Washington, D.C., thankfully you can’t say that about Moab City Hall.
We have but four days left to cast our votes for a mayor and two city council members, as well as in the 3rd Congressional District special election. No matter your political stripes, this is your opportunity to utilize your right to a free, fair and secret vote to select those that will guide the fortunes and future of our city and region of Southeastern Utah. It’s a future that involves questions of development, natural resources and taxation and, in the final analysis, the balance between our freedoms and the inherent failings of any governmental body.
Maybe it could be said best this way: The absence of government does not necessarily equate to an absence of tyranny. What would the world look like if only the right-leaning or left-leaning pundits were allowed to control the nature of government? What will Moab look like in four years, or eight years, or twelve? Will we be ruled by one extreme or the other? By voting for the candidate you think best exemplifies our present needs, you may be able to help shape the future of our little slice of heaven on the Colorado River.
Greg Knight is the editor of The Times-Independent. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 435-259-7525.