Feedback: Did Lincoln's vision endure?
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:03 PM
So, you got a ticket (Editors column, March 31)! Welcome to the club of hapless Americans beset upon by an arm of government designed with the lofty intentions of promoting public safety and courtesy. Unfortunately it is a system with all the flaws of humanity that tends to degenerate into one with less lofty and more crass ambitions of ego and dollars. It's a story infinitely repeated in world history.
SR 20 is not the only road where the hazards of traffic safety are surpassed by the hazards with lights mounted on the top. How else did words like "speed trap" get into our lexicon? One should also beware of the back road into Anacortes where the posted speed limit unobtrusively plunges to an abnormal-for-conditions 30 mph when for reasons of safety it well could be considerably higher. Compounding the hazard there are the number of secretive hiding places for the red light gang.
By airing the feelings and thoughts so common to those of us in the criminal class, you have opened up a pandora's box of philosophical comment on the role of government that could go on and on without resolution. One such comment is that government in a democracy should be more advisory and helpful than dictatorial and punitive. Who could imagine such nonsense? From a citizen's point of view, government often appears like a sneaking lion stalking its prey.
Recently trucking took Barbara and I to the east coast where we found ourselves near Gettysburg for a weekend. We spent a day perusing the sacred grounds of one of our many national tragedies where literally thousands of innocent young Americans were conscripted into two days of slaughter. We couldn't help but imagine how easy it now is to walk those grounds compared to when the smell of rotting flesh, blinding clouds of black powder, and stickiness of coagulating blood made it so much more difficult. It is a place of profound sadness so descriptive of how far the lofty intent of government often degrades. But it also is where a tall, bumbling, and struggling man with an unusually clear vision of purpose spoke a "few remarks" that transformed the place into one of hope. This unappreciated visionary characterized the American ideal of government to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people" and declared its purpose was to find out if such a government could "long endure."
Al and Barbara Williams