When interviewed by a big city reporter who asked, “Why are you here?”, which great American replied, “Yes, I’m here to fight for truth and justice and the American way?”
Always being a good role model, he also let his fans know that he never drinks when he flies and he never lies. Pay attention to the Spanish translation in the following clip.
Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1933 while they were still in high school. Over the next five years, they struggled to find a publisher for their evolving character to no avail. Finally in 1938 they sold their rights to the Superman character to Detective Comics, Inc. for $130 and a contract to collaborate on new stories. Maybe a Superman scholar can tell us when Superman first got his voice as a universal force for Good.
In the preamble to Max Fleischer’s movie cartoon versions of Superman that ran in the early 1940’s, Superman fought a never-ending battle for truth and justice.
In 1942, radio’s theater of the mind told the boys and girls that Superman battled evil doers for “truth, justice, and the American way.” No one ever questioned what the American way was. We all knew that a wicked war was being waged to destroy the American way. By 1944 it was obvious that the American way would prevail in Europe and the Pacific so Superman turned his attention to fighting for tolerance.
After World War II, Superman’s foster Dad reminded his son that he must use his super powers “in the interest of truth, tolerance, and justice.”
The Adventures of Superman TV series that ran from 1952 to 1958 consoled the children who regularly hid under their desks to escape the A bomb that Superman would indeed continue to fight for “truth, justice, and the American way.” But by 1966, the TV cartoon version was reassuring the kids that Superman was back to fighting for “truth, justice, and freedom.”
In the 1978 movie, Superman himself declares to Lois why he is here: “Yes, I’m here to fight for truth and justice and the American way.” (The Spanish subtitle in the YouTube trailer translates “American way” as Liberty.) When Lois comments that Superman will end up fighting every politician in the country, Superman replies, “Surely you don’t really mean that.”
By 1993 in the “Lois & Clark” TV series, Superman was only willing to admit that he was here “to help” but when pressed by Lois he confirmed, “Well, truth and justice. That sounds good.”
In Superman Returns (2006), screenwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris are reported to have wanted to avoid outdated jingoism so Superman’s motto became “Truth, justice, and…all that other stuff.” After all Superman is an alien from Krypton who came to save the world, not just America. And Americans are not just from the USA. There are many fine Central and South Americans who need to be saved along with those other admirable North Americans, the Mexicans, and Canadians. It’s important to get the geography straight.
(As a side note, in a Action Comics #900 Superman announced that he would renounce his U.S. citizenship but there is no record of him, an illegal alien, or undocumented person, having become a naturalized citizen. Clark Kent is destined to have a problem with e-verify. )
All of the countries in the Americas declare their dedication to Liberty (the American Way- liberté, libertad, liberdade). Their constitutions declare liberty to be a founding principle. The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil ” in its preamble states that the Constitution ensures ” the exercise of social and individual rights, liberty, security, well-being, development, equality and justice.” Yet Brazil is a dangerous place to live, as are other South, Central, and North American nations. Liberty does not mean living behind tall walls and steel gates.
There is a side to liberty that is rarely discussed aside from the common declaration, “It’s a free country. I can do anything I like.” But personal liberty demands personal responsibility. Liberty and Responsibility go hand in hand. In countries where corruption runs rampant, it is is not just government officials and the police that are corrupt. Corruption is a abrogation of personal responsibility and when a majority of a nation’s citizens are personally corrupt, the whole nation suffers from corruption, and liberty is lost.
Individuals in all countries have to constantly fight for liberty and must demand that the conditions for liberty exist: adherence to the rule of law, and on a more personal level, honesty . In societies where the rule of law prevails, and personal integrity is high, trust among people allows those nations to cultivate large businesses and economic prosperity. (see: Fukuyama, Francis. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. New York: Free Press, 1995.)
In a perfect world, every individual would be a Superman dedicated to truth, justice, and liberty. But then everybody would have to have more than just a casual acquaintance with the concepts of Truth, Justice, and Liberty. We all think we know truth when we see it or hear it because we are all very discerning and not easily fooled, right?
We have all been taught to tell the truth. Lying is presumably the opposite of truth. Or maybe an untruth, falsehood, prevarication, or one of around 30 other synonyms for a lie in the English language. A really big lie is a whopper.
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! Remember that great line by Jack Nicholson in the movie “A Few Good Men” HERE
It all gets very complicated if we dig too deeply into the subject of truth so most of us opt out of exploring it too deeply. Nevertheless part of our coping skills involves recognizing what is real and false, what is true or a lie, what is balderdash! So lets explore the idea of truth.
Senator Knows the Truth
On January 17, 2018, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R.Arizona) delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate where he discussed his perception of truth, and specifically what he views as untruths, otherwise commonly called lies. As a preface to the comments that follow, it is fair to stipulate that Jeff Flake is an honorable man, a political conservative, patriot, lover of liberty, and man of faith. In other words, he is a good guy if you agree with what constitutes honor, patriotism, liberty, and faith for someone on the political right. We won’t argue whether that is true or not, or if Jeff Flake is a true conservative, or debate what Mr. Flake’s motives were for bothering with the speech. Two of his Democrat colleagues were in attendance, while a majority of Senators presumably had better things to do than sit through a 15-minute speech.
The political left generally disagrees with Senator Flake about almost everything except his criticism of President Trump and his support of the integrity of the press. Watch his speech, which however sincere and impassioned, will undoubtedly fade into the background noise of a world buried in speeches. For purposes of this discussion, the speech illustrates a conservative perception of truth and lies.
Senator Flake previously announced that he would not stand for reelection and his remarks have been widely viewed as a parting shot against what he considers are some of the shortcomings of President Trump. He discusses what he calls assaults on the truth and in his concluding remarks seems to accept that truth is an absolute: the sum of existence. This is not surprising because most people think they know the truth when they hear it. Yet over the centuries scientists and philosophers have debated what is meant by truth.
The many Theories of Truth.
Positing multiple theories of truth suggests that such a thing as truth may not actually exist in absolute terms, but may be a definition constructed by people using their common language. Giambattista Vico, an Enlightenment philosopher coined the phrase, verum esse ipsum factum, “truth itself is (socially) constructed. Vico also observed that humans make their own history.
In the 1990’s there was a lot of discussion about moral relativism, that “truth is in the eye of the beholder.” Accordingly, the opposite of truth, a lie is merely a different perception of the ideas presented. Other attributes are attached to truth and lies. Truth is good; lies are bad!
In the C programming language, true is represented by any numeric value not equal to 0 and false is represented by 0. Such a simple concept of true and false is useful. Did Donald Trump utter the phrase “Shit hole?” I didn’t hear it=0. Did he utter the phrase and then deny that he uttered the phrase? I heard neither the phrase nor the denial =0. Yet somebody claimed to hear it and complained to the press, none of whom heard it but all were eager to assign a value other than zero. Soon the press was breathlessly proclaiming that the president said something that third grade boys commonly say and that somehow it demonstrates that he hates black people.
A large percentage of the population accepts (believes) what the press proclaims while a substantial number probably also believe the Trump story to be true but don’t regard it as evil and criticize the press for saying it. If you ask the skeptic if she believes the president said “shit hole,” she will probably reply that there is a high but unmeasurable probability that he said it. The credibility of witnesses or a recording could establish it as a fact within the shaky parameters of what constitutes a fact of adequate quality to present in a court of law but it appears that few actually heard it and there were no recordings as far as the public knows. Alas, a tree fell in the forest and only Dick Durbin heard it!
Facts are commonly considered to be constructs that can be proven true or false. In this context there is an assumption that a fact is something absolute and provable, and remains a fact because it has been proven true. Recently politicians, including Flake, are fond of quoting Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” The line is usually advanced to demean an opponent’s opinions as not based in fact while the politician’s own opinions are righteously based in fact.
David Hume asserts at the beginning of Section IV of An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding: “All the objects of human reason or inquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas and Matters of Fact”. Relations of Ideas can be proven by logic, such as the principles of mathematics where many properties have been proven while many propositions still await proof. It is never necessary to rely on experience to support the relationships between ideas. A recent example of an elusive proof dealing with the properties of prime numbers was published in 2013. The story was published in Wired Magazine Online can be accessed HERE. Ideas are true simply because they relate to each other in a defined way: 2+2=4, the symbol for copper in the periodic table is Cu., and yes, there is some number N smaller than 70 million such that there are infinitely many pairs of primes that differ by N.
The German philosopher, Immanuel Kant called relations of ideas “analytic” and matters of fact “synthetic.”
Matters of fact (synthetic) deal with experience. Most people make judgements based on the facts as they see them through experience. Judgements, statements, or assertions are words often used interchangeably. Facts therefore are capable of being full of subjective value judgements/statements/assertions.
Simple (analytic) facts like temperature or pressure that can be easily measured by instruments are subject to the limits of the device used to make such measurements. At very low temperatures the classic laws of thermodynamics yield to quantum effects at the atomic level. So even measuring absolute zero cannot be done directly and the accepted value is a theoretical value based on extrapolating the ideal gas law, itself a good approximation of how a hypothetical ideal gas behaves under certain conditions.
The average temperature of the entire planet is increasing very slowly. Various theories try to account for the increase. Measurements of the increase are taken from points all around the world. All of the instruments are accurate within certain tolerances and subject to physical conditions at the time of the measurement. After years of data collection, scientists who measure such things have vast amounts of data that are difficult to handle. They use computers to help analyze the data. The computers are programed making assumptions that may or may not be “true”, being subject to “best guesses,” which empirically may be demonstrated to be close enough. Amid this complexity, world experts Michael Moore and Al Gore assure us that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is an established fact. The consensus among published climate scientists is widely reported to be between 90%-100%. If one were to ask many scientists if they believe if AGW is real, they will probably reply that it is true to a high degree of probability, but they can never say it is a fact or is proven because the very nature of the question is, as Hume phrased it, a matter of fact.
In a paper published in 2013 (opens in PDF), the authors examined 11,944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. Sixty-six percent of these papers expressed no opinion on AGW; 32.6% endorsed AGW; 0.7% rejected AGW; 0.3% were uncertain. Among papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus that humans are causing global warming. The authors recognize that the literature contains several sources of uncertainty, including the representativeness of the sample, lack of clarity in the abstracts and subjectivity in rating the abstracts.
During the 2017 hurricane season, computer projections of the paths of the hurricanes helped people plan the best ways to weather the storm. Of the two most popular programs, the program developed by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts proved to be the most accurate but not accurate enough to prevent people who evacuated from east Florida to west Florida from having to cope with the full impact of the storm when it veered to west Florida. Very complex systems will harbor surprises for scientists for many years to come.
Standard of Proof or Evidence
In the courtroom where juries and judges are called on to discover the truth, there are rules of evidence that allow the types of legal evidence that can be presented: testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence. The facts of the case are those assumptions that the parties do not dispute. After that everything is in question. Are witnesses telling the truth? Does documentary evidence exist and is it reliable? Does the physical evidence or scientific evidence support or refute the prosecution’s or defense’s hypothesis or theory?
Consider the case of Paul Revere. Did he make a heroic midnight ride to warn the patriots that the British were coming at the dawn of the Revolutionary War with England?
We know that Paul Revere was a real person whose birth date and death date are recorded as December 21, 1734 and May 10, 1818 respectively. Not that it really matters, but these dates are confused by the conversion between the Gregorian and Julian calendars. The British Empire changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 so Paul Revere’s December 21, 1734 birth date under the Old Style calendar becomes January 1, 1735 in our current calendar. Sometimes the truth requires an explanation.
Much about his life can be documented by letters, artifacts he created as a silversmith and proprietor of a shop at Clark’s Wharf in Boston’s north end, as well as deeds of properties he purchased. As was common in those days as a gold and silver smith, Revere made dental prostheses making him a dentist of sorts. As an copper engraver, he made the plates for some of the Massachusetts Commonwealth’s paper money. And he was regarded as a good horseman. Some of these things are well documented and are probably true. And the midnight ride for which he is so famous?
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, (1807 – 1882) began his famous poem with these lines:
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
Longfellow was correct in stating that “hardly a man is now alive.” In fact, the last know man alive at the time of the “ride” in 1775 had died a few years before the poem was written in 1860. Longfellow made no claim of historical accuracy. The poem was written on the verge of the War between the States and Longfellow’s warnings in the poem “In the hour of darkness and peril and need…” can arguably be a warning about the darkness and peril of the impending civil war.
In the years that followed the publication of the poem, it became the basis of history taught to generations of school children and accepted by most Americans as true history. Unread by most Americans in the early 20th century were the works of dozens of historians who debunked Longfellow’s version of what had become accepted history. The overriding consensus of writers at that time was that Revere was a man of solid substance and quite unconscious of the heroic figure which he was to become in history.
In 1923 an iconoclastic debunker asserted that the midnight ride never happened. That declaration prompted an indignant President of the United States, Warren Harding, to observe, “Somebody made that ride and stirred the minutemen in the colonies to fight the battle of Lexington… I love the story of Paul Revere, whether he rode it or not.” (Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere’s Ride. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.)
Documentary evidence shows that Revere was a team player and was indeed active at the beginning of the war. He made a ride to Lexington to warn the patriots but got captured by the British. His deposition to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress describing the events can be compared to a letter he wrote to Jeremy Belknap, circa 1798. Both detail an account of his activities that varies significantly from the version made famous by Longfellow’s poem.
Revere’s enhanced place in revolutionary history places him along side other doubtful stories like those of Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross. Such stories of revolutionary valor were popular as ways to inspire patriotism in the young country. Paul Revere contributed to historical inaccuracy when he created an engraving entitled, “Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in Kings Street in Boston.” In creating the engraving, he copied an image by a young artist named Henry Pelham, who stylized the picture as a propaganda piece to promote the war.
Fake History and Fake News
History is replete with examples of fake history and fake news. The most insidious form of fake news and fake history is that which contains some truth, which is then colored over by false information, and then purposely used to deceive. A particularly sneaky way of coloring the news is the use of adjectives and adverbs in reporting an event. Hopefully one could be aware of the personal biases of reporters but that is seldom possible. Instead, a skeptical observer can watch the ways a reporter modifies the story by paying attention to the modifiers – gratuitous adjectives and adverbs, which can reveal the reporter’s own personal prejudice.
“This just in from our reporter on capitol hill. The President has once again blindsided America’s closest allies with dangerous and irresponsible policy decisions destined to irretrievably damage the already remote possibility of a lasting peace between the Palestinians and the corrupt state of Israel.” This is a fake quote but it illustrates how a simple news story, “the Trump administration announced that the U.S. will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” has been characterized on numerous news outlets, which routinely pass off punditry for real news.
Fake news is not new. Only the velocity and volume of information, true, partially true, or dubious has increased because of electronic media.
- In 1835 the New York Sun ran a six part story about discovering life on the moon with a new type of telescope.
(Picture at right.)
- In 1782 Benjamin Franklin purposely published a fake issue of a Boston newspaper with a story claiming that the British were hiring native Americans to scalp colonists.
- Other revolutionary leaders published fake stories that King George was sending thousands of foreign mercenaries to slaughter American patriots.
- In 1844, anti-Catholic newspapers in Philadelphia falsely claimed that Irishmen were stealing bibles from public schools.
- The October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells story about the Martian invasion of earth caused mass hysteria.
- Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439 and for many years fake news predominated over real news.
Henry Ford paid for 500,000 copies of a bogus book written in 1902 called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was an antisemitic text used to stir up hatred against Jews. He distributed them across the U.S. in 1920. It was debunked in 1921 by the Times of London. The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas states in their 1988 charter that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion embodies the plan of the Zionists.
Old Folks, those over 30, have no good Advice.
Henry David Thoreau was an early American writer, philosopher, essayist, poet, and naturalist, among his many other varied interests. Best known for his work, Walden and on the Duty of Civil Disobedience, Thoreau is still taught in high schools around the country, although the emphasis now seems to be away from his ideas about transcendental philosophy to how his observations in nature may relate to global warming.
In Walden, Thoreau asserts that old folks have nothing important to offer in the way of advice:
“Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.”
Thoreau lived to be just shy of 45 years old. It is not known if his observation about valuable advice from old people changed before he died. Still it is an interesting assertion and leaves us to question its veracity.
We are taught to respect our elders and value their advice. Yet, is there any compelling evidence that as a distinct demographic old people are any wiser than young people? Undoubtedly there are individuals, both old and young, who are considered wise, intelligent, or thoughtful, whose counsel would be valuable in specific cases where such counsel is relevant. Skills can be learned and presumably an older person has had more time to accumulate knowledge and maybe even wisdom. Yet some young people because of life experience have been observed to be “wise beyond their years.”
One may make anything of a dead man’s writings to lend credibility to the conjectures of the living. Some things seem to be valid observations regardless of the era in which they are articulated and antiquity is no more authority than current observation. Thoreau was a thirty something, well educated young man when he made this observation in his book Walden:
“No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof.” This is certainly not an original philosophical observation, but is it true?
Trust without Proof?
It seems pretty straight forward. However closer examination reveals that most ways of (human) thinking, many of them ancient, are routinely trusted without proof. Make your own list: philosophy, religion, astrology, Karma, intuition, fate, elected leaders, spirits including humans, animals, and plants, extraterrestrial aliens, prophecy, folklore… .
People who deal in folklore recognize that proof has no place in their discipline: “In contrast, it is not that folklorists are naïve or don’t care about the truth, it’s just that by the very nature of folklore the folklorist does not need proof or skepticism.” (Untiedt, Kenneth L., Folklore: In All of Us, in All We Do, Denton Texas, Texas Folklore Society, p.4)
What do Scientists say about Trust and Proof?
“It seems paradoxical that scientific research, in many ways one of the most questioning and skeptical of human activities, should be dependent on personal trust. But the fact is that without trust the research enterprise could not function… . Research is a collegial activity that requires its practitioners to trust the integrity of their colleagues.” Arnold S. Relman
Stephen Hawking in his book, God Created the Integers, quotes Richard Dedekind (1831-1916) in the preface to Dedekind’s first edition of Essays on the Theory of Numbers: “In science nothing capable of proof ought to be accepted without proof. Though this demand seems so reasonable yet I cannot regard it as having been met in even the most recent methods of laying the foundations of the simplest of science; viz., that part of logic which deals with the theory of numbers.”
Philosophical and Scientific Proof
Philosophy is the study of the nature of knowledge, existence, and what some people call reality. People living in large cities live their lives surrounded only by things that people created and communicate with each other using languages that people invented. You could say that people have invented their own reality.
Philosophers and scientists studying the nature of things around them and in an attempt determine what is “true” have established rules to judge the credibility of evidence used to describe their discoveries. Philosophy never proves anything; it only debates which rules might be appropriately applied to science.
Well trained scientists maintain a healthy skepticism, even about their own research. We would like to think that all scientists are honest and only publish their results when there exists enough evidence that those results are valid according to accepted standards. Nevertheless scientists are human and it is not uncommon for a scientist to produce the result that those funding the study are seeking. Some because of the academic imperative to publish rush their work to publication often in obscure journals whose standards of peer review are inadequate.
The world has progressed in the last few hundred years to where science is substantially free from the constraints of prior belief. In 1633 the Roman Inquisition tried Galileo for heresy for claiming that the earth rotated around the sun. A few years later in 2000 the Pope apologized for the mistake. Nevertheless scientists still face condemnation, not from the church, but from others whose beliefs cause them to censure, ridicule, or deny funding to scientists whose inquiries lead them down paths that are considered politically incorrect. Science is a tough business (yes, a business) and ground breaking discoveries are rare. Knowledge is gained incrementally and ideas are published with volumes of date and statistical analysis only to be proven wrong. But that is how science works. Proof is subject to review and may not be proof after all.
Belief is enough to function
People cannot function well if the standards of proof are too rigorous for the material at hand. Most people only require enough supporting evidence to arrive at a belief rather than a strict knowledge. In many areas of human behavior, belief is sufficient for a society to maintain common bonds based on that belief. Religion is basic to many people’s understanding of the world and their lives in relation to the world. Some questions are notoriously difficult or impossible to prove with the tools we currently employ. A belief in God, a non-belief in a God, or a strong belief that there is no God are equally difficult to prove. Atheists and Religious people are equally obnoxious when they try to push their views on other people.
Common beliefs about political issues fall into the same category. Strong views about basic concepts such as individual liberty can be shared by persons on both the political left and political right. Disputes come when financial issues such as taxation and social programs are advocated by one side or another. It is difficult to prove that socialism doesn’t work when social democracies like Denmark, Finland.
Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland appear to function with good economies and high degrees of personal freedom. Others like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, and some states in the United States have dabbled in socialism and have experienced economic stress. Because economic experiments take a long time to play out it is very difficult to empirically demonstrate that socialism is not consistent with human behavior. There is little doubt that socialism may work in one country but not in another because of reasons that have nothing to do with the economic system. It may have a lot more to do with character traits such as honesty, trust, integrity, social cohesiveness, etc.
Back to Superman
We have discussed truth and to some extent the American Way. We have tried to make the case that the American Way is a universal quest for Liberty, particularly the kind of individual freedom that the constitutions of various governments, including our own attempt to guarantee.
Now it is time to comment on Justice. Very ancient people have already thought a lot about these things and we have very little to offer.
Our English word “justice” derives from the Latin “Ius (Jus), plural Iura,” which was not codified law but represented the natural rights of Roman citizens simply by virtue of being citizens. The Iura populi Romani were the collective rights of Roman citizens upon which laws (legis, singular lex) could promulgated and codified by whomever was in power at the time. Notions of justice as we now think were better described as aequum et bonum, “the just and the fair”, or what through reason could be interpreted as protecting the natural rights. As you can see, the ancient people thought a lot about these things, which by necessity gave rise to the legal profession.
According to Plato, the requirements of justice rest on an independent ethical reality. His philosophy of law is founded in his belief in absolute values and his faith in ideas as the basis of existence and true knowledge.
The Koran and Sharia law might be a modern example of Plato’s appeal to independent authority. Similarly, the Hebrew Bible’s ten commandments are the basis of our Judo-Christian ethic upon that we base our concepts of justice.
Protagoras, who said “man is the measure of all things,”taught that justice is a creation of human beings and makes no appeal to a higher authority, We could argue that Protagorean justice is democratic. Democracies are fragile and to say that Protagoren justice is democratic is to suggest that such justice may be fragile.
It is not surprising that our founding fathers made an appeal to natural law, law above that of people but not necessarily decreed by a god.
The Declaration of Independence is said to be based on Natural Law. Natural Law has nothing to do with the laws of nature. Natural law is a type of moral and legal theory that says that moral standards that govern human behavior are derived from the natural attributes of human beings. The Constitution and Bill of Rights emphasizes rights defined in conventional law, not Natural Law.
The quest for what we call justice means that citizens have equal access to and protection of the law. Experience teaches us that ” all men are equal, but some are more equal than others.” paraphrasing a line from the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) by Eric Arthur Blair writing under the pen name of George Orwell. Rather than advocate for democratic socialism as a remedy for inequality, as did George Orwell, Americans of all stripes should advocate for what has empirically brought more prosperity and justice than any other type of government, namely that of the United States.
The United States is a Federal Republic fundamentally governed by the Constitution, upon which has been piled almost innumerable laws and regulations that require constant vigilance to prevent them from impinging on Liberty. It may not always produce produce the results that everyone immediately demands. Elements of democracy both sustain it and endanger it. It is in a constant flux with each succeeding generation. Liberty and justice may wax and wane but the Republic has lasted for several hundred years.
May it endure forever!