The Signs of Failure

Alexis de Tocqueville was a mid-18th century French politician and historian who, in combination with his travels to America and observations of his own country’s political and social turmoil, composed various essays which chronicle his observations. As I recall, in his work entitled Democracy in America, he posed the following comment:

 “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

 I’ve always been struck by this comment and was reminded of the same when hearing Ted Kennedy, Jr. deliver the eulogy at his father’s funeral mass.  As near as I recall it, his words were as follows:

“…one of the great lessons I learned from my father was this; that even our most profound failures are ultimately survivable.”

 Profound in deed!

We all fail in one form or another and at various points along the roads we each travel. This is the human condition, these events are what give context and contrast to life (you might enjoy reading this post ); they become the markers by which we all measure grace and fortitude. As it is with all of us, it is not our failures that define us as human beings nor distinguishes us from the abundant forms existing in nature, it is the great quotient of our divine and innately inspired nobility that in the face of failures, ultimately, become our defining moments along the road to what becomes remarkable!  Another perspective of this comes from Don Miguel de Cervantes’ work, Don Quixote:

“…has won the battle with himself, and that according to what he’s told me, is the greatest victory anyone could want.”

 Let us then consider the current environment that seems to prevail about the Nation.  Here are just a few specific points, with associate commentary, that I believe are most indicative of the types of failure (government) to which I speak:

  • TSA recommendation that parents should tell their children that “pat down” procedures are just a game.

Comment: I find it curious that to date the TSA airport processes have yet to “vet” a single terror-suspect. Moreover the current process only indicates how government’s impulse response, which is to assault traveling civilians yet forgo the processes required to actually detect a threat, was even considered an option in the first place. Ignoring for the moment that the radiation does may be “…10 to 20 times the manufactures calculations .” let us consider on its own merit that the entire TSA concept, along with the public’s tolerance and with no apparent objections by elected officials and the courts, is representative of all things miss-guided and impotent in effect. To even consider the Orwellian notion of disabling a child’s objection to inappropriate groping is just barely short of demonic and the single greatest indication that the terrorists, who and whatever they may be, have succeeded in disabling at least three of the most significant provisions of the Bill of Rights. On a recent Fox News broadcast a “contributing” commentator actually stated that “…the U.S. Constitution does not grant you a right to fly.”  This statement, right up there with your right to drive is a “privilege”, indicates to me how few people understand what is meant by the term “unalienable right”.  Even more troubling was the fact that the Fox News host made no objection to the statement.


  • Wiki-Leaks release of government “cables” exposes naked truths.

Comment: The greatest check to the imbalances of oppressive government is the free-flowing exchange of information. Without the exposure of government excesses how do we ever expect to know of the damage done in the name of the People?


  • The Debt Commission Report ignores the most obvious.

Comment:  We know of the problem; why is the solution so elusive? Why is it that the process is unwilling to face the truth that a Political Response to a structural defect is no solution at all!


  • Post Mid-Term Elections and the hubris of politics.

Comment: Is anyone observing that the current political process (Tax Extensions and all that is attached along with it) is only passing the process on to become yet another source of political divisiveness in the 2012 Election Process? Yes, it has already begun; so much for the Tea Party solution.


  • Tax Cuts extension and the truth of a lie.

Comment: The belief that extending an overt failure as being the equivalent of success is similar in thought to expecting a chicken to fly based solely on the observation that it has wings. Despite the presence of wings, it is structurally impossible for a chicken to sustain flight, no matter how many times you toss it to the wind!


So with all of this as a prelude, I am prone to ask this question: When the signs of failure are so endemic, so egregious and so prevalent, can America “repair her faults”?  Is she willing to do what she must such that “…even our most profound failures are ultimately survivable?”  When the dust settles, will we be able to observe that “…he has won the battle with himself….”?

Stern questions deserving of personal reflection and commitment to an outcome such that when history recount the efforts of a People, the American People “…according to what he’s told me, is the greatest victory anyone could ever want!”

I believe in “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Remember, the U.S. Constitution does not grant you Rights! It’s specific purpose is to affect an agreement by the confederation of States ( in representation of The People) whereby they enjoin to a common administration (the U.S. Government) acting within the boundaries of “enumerated” issues subject to the “inalienable rights” of said People.  The fact that the Bill of Rights enumerates specifically protected rights should never be construed that one does not possess those not mentioned, in fact, via the 10th Amendment, it refers all remaining rights “not enumerated herein” to the States and the People themselves.  As I speak in public environs, more and more, I am stunned by how many folks are unaware of this fundamental fact.

In the end,  I am not ready to concede to the long held suspicion that “…freedom is largely wasted on the masses.” and neither should you!

Curtis C. Greco, Founder

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