Water Cooler Talk

Here is my fantasy: This Monday morning, workers in an office building in Manhattan are not working. They are standing in front of the water cooler discussing what they saw on TV last night. They and their colleagues are all fired up thinking about what is going on in this country and particularly in regards to what has been done to the constitution that is supposed to be the legal means by which this country is governed.

Last night, they heard the congressman as well as John Kaminski and Ray McGovern discuss what has been going on in terms of the shredding of that document. They heard these three men speak in level tones about a topic most of them probably would not have spent two hours on a Sunday night thinking about had these not been the times we are actually living in rather than the times we wish we lived in.

I mean it is just before Christmas. It is a time of parties and anticipating the break from the normal schedule. Yet, these are also the times when it is necessary to stop and talk and think about the ways in which the constitution of the United States has been perverted and shredded by an administration and followed along by a Congress only too willing to throw it out in order to gain for themselves whatever personal advancement they are interested in.

However, my fantasy cohort of office workers is really angry and unnerved by what has been happening. They listened to Gore Vidal introduce the discussion with such sadness and contempt in his voice that they were primed to really think about what they could do.

The one thing that struck all of them was how no other candidate is taking the time to educate us on what the constitution says and what the framers of it meant when they wrote it. Rather than it just being a document that sits somewhere lifeless and unread, the document is quoted, the document even sits inside the jacket of the congressman and he is able at a moment’s notice to bring it out and show you just where the constitution describes, for example, what rights we have as citizens when it comes to our privacy. He can show you the 6 instances where impeachment is mentioned and how nowhere within the document is there any mention of God granting us these rights. This was human work for humans living in the early years of this country’s beginnings. The promise of this series of discussions is that at the end of it all, there will be a white paper giving the country the results of these discussions as well as suggestions for amendments.

For many of the office workers, they are playing a new game called, “Did you know”? For example, they ask each other a question about the constitution’s description of the separation of powers and the checks and balances that is supposed to ensure. When they think about it, they are amazed to think now about what happens in their daily reading of the papers. What is in fact a signing statement? Where is that allowed in the constitution? What is the FISA act and where is the warrant authorizing the government to eavesdrop on a citizen?

What is the law about torture? What is an international treaty and when we sign it, what are our legal obligations? The questions begin to outnumber the players of this game and yet, they keep spilling out of their mouths because they are just beginning to understand the serious discrediting of the laws the current administration is guilty of. Thoughts turn to impeachment and why this valid process for removing from office of persons who are lying to their country in order to start a war and to continue it is not being applied as the constitution warrants it should be.

This is the beginning of my fantasy of what could happen if more and more people would take the time to listen to the Constitutional Initiative that Congressman Kucinich has begun and will continue. Since it is free and available to anyone with an internet connection, it is a serious concern of mine that so few people tune in to listen to the discussions of these topics and how they are affecting the government that runs this country.

We need more than 500 people to tune in and to stay tuned in and to participate. We need everyone to care about and defend the constitution because if we don’t, who will and if we don’t, what will happen to it?

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