Wednesday, March 02, 2016

For the People, by the People: Not in Berrien County

America’s first principles are inscribed not only in the Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution, but also in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. President Lincoln said at Gettysburg that “this nation… Shall have a new birth of freedom, justice and the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Unfortunately, in Berrien County, Michigan, Judge Sterling Schrock, Prosecutor Mike Sepic, County Clerk Sharon Tyler, Election Clerk Carolyn Toliver, Sheriff Paul Bailey and their best friend Gail Freehling the juror, do not believe in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. Berrien County is the most corrupt county in the nation, and it is led by the Whirlpool Corporation. 
The radical concept that is government of the people, by the people, for the people is corrupt. It means, of course, that not only will the government consist of our citizens, elected by our citizens, but that its mission shall be to serve our citizens. Unfortunately, Berrien County’s leaders Judge Sterling Schrock and Prosecutor Mike Sepic have no respect for the citizens of Berrien County.
If our government in Berrien County were for the people, wouldn’t our children receive the best education in the world? Wouldn’t the people have the greatest justice system in the world, wouldn’t the people be able to send corrupt elected officials to prison?
We should take a good look at “for the people” and ask ourselves, if we have decided to be the generation to repudiate Lincoln’s words. President Rutherford B. Hayes once lamented that we were becoming a government “of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.” So what’s new?
The great issue of our time is not taxes, a balanced budget, Social Security or Medicare. Those are all elaborate red herrings. The great issue or question that confronts us, as it confronted Jefferson’s generation and Lincoln’s generation, and every generation to some degree, is this: Is America to be ruled by all of us and for all of us, or has the American government in fact become a government of, by, and for, the few.
In a society where selfishness and greed have become the accepted ethos, a commitment to social justice is a rebellious mode of being. What is happening in America today is that there is not enough spirit of true rebellion. The government, obsessed with corporate mentality, lords over us like a new ruling class. One cannot dream the American Dream as long as one is sleeping. In order to dream the American Dream, the dreamer must be AWAKE!

Rev. Pinkney