The Compact Between Americans
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
It is said the USA has more of it’s citizens incarcerated, imprisoned, than any other nation on earth.
heard this some time ago on TV. I wondered what reaction the person
making the statement hoped to elicit from me, and others, who heard it.
My own reaction was… so what?
I mean, only a person having no understanding of the foundation of this country could be surprised by such a fact.
Now… for those of you who still think that is an awful thing to say about a nation… hold on a minute!
the US is a nation founded on laws, on a written constitution, and a
code of laws founded on that constitution, Old English Common Law, the
laws of the Judeo-Christian religion, commonly known as the Ten
Commandments, and a few other lesser known codes of laws. The US is a
“nation of laws”.
Now, here is the “kicker”! Citizens of the US
are free people… so long as they/we remain within the boundaries
proscribed by the laws, which are made by their/our fellow citizens who
have been vested with the power to create those laws.
America asks very little of her citizens. All she asks is that they/we obey the law(s) made by the citizens of the country.
a US citizens, or anyone residing within the US decides, for whatever
reason, to live outside those laws, or to ignore, or in any other way,
break those laws, then the wrath of their fellow citizens, the people of
the 50 states as a whole, will come down on them like a ton of bricks!
And in a system such as ours… that is a good thing.
that we have so many of our citizens in jail says nothing derogatory
about our system of government. It DOES say a lot about how our family
structure, our educational system, and our religious community, has
failed and failed miserably.
The “American Family” is as close to
non-existent as it has ever been. We can’t even decide what a family
is, anymore! “The Church” has abrogated its position as the “setter of
societal standards” and has, instead, adopted the aberrant behavior of
many in our society as accepted… and even praiseworthy. No longer can a
functioning American family point it’s young children to The Church for
moral guidance. The Church has failed us miserably. As a result the
American family has all but disappeared.
Our educational system
has also failed… not only it’s students, but the parents of those
students who entrusted their young into the hands of an educational
system which no longer educates, but indoctrinates the innocent among
Those of you astonished when you hear statements about how many of our US citizens are in prison… remember this: Those
imprisoned broke the compact, the covenant, with their fellow Americans
to live by the laws of our land. They knew, before hand, their fellow
citizens would require their freedom as payment for their
So, do not even try to use the number of imprisoned Americans as a maul to hammer shame onto American society. It won’t work. Each American lives within a self-imposed covenant, or compact, of laws he has forged with his fellow Americans. This American Compact
has managed to hold off the blackness of chaos and anarchy since the
country was founded and it has allowed the US to become the preeminent
power on the planet.
To those who would run our system of law down, we say: Do not speak of that which you do not know… and do not understand. Look first to your own government’s failure! If you are an American citizen and do not already know this… then the shame is on YOU!
© J. D. Longstreet