Who were your childhood heroes — sports legends, movie stars, comic book characters? I was thinking about mine the other day and realized I was a nerd in retrospect, but at the time I didn't think I was.
My heroes were political science intellectuals Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton and Madison, the brilliant minds that conceived the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. My present initiative empowering Carroll County citizens to write their own constitution makes me reference my knowledge of history.
When these brilliant men initiated the aforementioned documents, only a minority of the populous supported them and a strong vocal minority opposed them. It is no different today in my present battle to deliver independence to Carroll County. The same criticisms and insults are hurled now as back than. People don't change much, and human nature is what it is. I’ve been called an insolent child, a dictator, an idiot, a megalomaniac, nuts, certifiable, a Democrat, a liberal, and I am sure there are more that I cannot print — all because I understand the political science of the Constitution and its genius, which is guaranteed to all citizens, even ones here in our little conservative county. The name-calling, though immature, is both funny and reassuring to me that I already won the argument.
Our founding fathers knew from British colonial rule that executive and legislative power must be separate and the judiciary, independently, shall precede over their disputes. “Separation of powers” is the No. 1 tenet of our nation’s political science and commissioner government violates that principle, irrefutably. I know first-hand because I am a commissioner. This is no surprise considering the fact that commissioner government is the lone holdover from British colonial rule, still being used in our federalist system.
I ask myself, why are individuals so vehemently visceral in opposition to citizens having more control and autonomy over their county government? Why don’t they trust their fellow conservative brethren in writing a local constitution to place it before a popular vote up or down? Is that not what our great republic is all about? The only conclusion I can rationalize is arrogant condescension, manifesting into not trusting you to govern yourselves. They believe you will ruin the county. Pay attention to who leads the opposition and ask yourself, “Is that who I want to lead our county into the future?”
If these individuals lived in 1787 and held the same positions as today, they would be against the delegates going to Independence Hall to write the U.S. Constitution. Yelling about dictators and “If it ain't broke don't fix it.” History repeats itself in microcosms as well. This fight is no different in principle.
It takes courage and leadership to stand up and do the right thing. I like being on the side of political science geniuses — it gives me strength and peace of mind. I hope my message of independence, knowledge and opportunity inspires you to write your commissioners. Tell them you want the people to have the power to write their own form of government and to step aside as you declare your independence.
Ignorance is our enemy, and the light of knowledge sends it into the shadows of shame where it belongs.
You are an American, and it is your constitutionally guaranteed right to self-govern — seize the day!
Happy Fourth of July.
Christopher Eric Bouchat, a Republican, is the Carroll County commissioner for District 4.