With the recent hysterics from all political positions regarding the Supreme Court, perhaps it is time to take a breath and look at the larger issue of our on-going constitutional meltdown.
I speak as an ex-management consultant who for over 15 years performed top-to-bottom re-organizations of all types of companies. It seems that many people have forgotten (or never learned) that all systems, regardless of their nature or complexity are designed to operate in a certain manner. If they are to function properly, they MUST be operated in accordance with their designs. If not, it ultimately leads to system failure and collapse. This is not a left or right political opinion, it is a factual statement.
Our entire constitutional organization is truly a remarkable system. Whether by divine Hand or individual insight, ours is a system of government which has no match in the history of the planet. Others around the world would be wise to emulate its basic design and philosophy.
But we have no God-given right to live this way. Our almost limitless freedoms, astounding economic success, and enduring political stability didn’t just happen. They are the result of a system of profound elegance. But much damage is being done to this system by those who ignore its operating design. If they want to change the system, do just that, change the design of the system. Don’t simply ignore the present design and think that any and all actions can succeed. They can’t.
One can’t have systems “simply” evolving. It will not work, especially in complex systems. To be effective there must be thought, planning, and most importantly integration with all other parts in any successful system modification. These must always be driven by an agreed upon larger system goal. Whether it is the judicial, legislative, or executive branch – all are part of a larger system and must operate as designed if the system is to continue functioning.
The purpose of the Supreme Court in our present system is to interpret the law – not make the law. This isn’t rocket science. If the law is lacking, then it should be changed in the political process. Courts making law, whether right or left-leaning, is a bastardization of the system and certain to breed chaos.
As Sam Rayburn aptly noted, “Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.” And it doesn’t really matter if the jackasses are even trying to do that. Once the damage is done, it takes a tremendous amount of thought and energy to attempt to repair the damage. A more likely course of events is that the system becomes more and more distorted as each part reacts to these small and not so small system transgressions until the entire system fails and chaos prevails. Since there is no single reason for this failure, solutions are not obvious and are very difficult to achieve. Almost every issue in the culture wars, past and present, can be traced back to courts violating our basic constitutional system design. We ignorantly disregard the elegant design of this great system at our own peril.
John Conlin is founder and CEO of E.I.C. Enterprises, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a science and fact-based education to the poor and disadvantaged here and throughout the world.