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Why 400 Years of Knowledge is Better Than 20

Reagan's presidency began a deliberate erosion of the public's right to a trial by jury. 20 years later his political heirs continue to feed the myth of "tort reform" and ignore the Constitution in favor of corporate interests.
 
 
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Michael Townes Watson of DMI's blog TortDeform.com has a great post today in light of the current rash of Reagan worship and Jamestown's anniversary. (He wrote the following)
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Being, as I am proud to admit, an addict of the history of our American history, I have visited Jamestown, Virginia on multiple occasions. Consequently, I am on the mailing list for promotional information from their public relations department. I have recently received news of the planned events for the weekends of May 4-6 and May 11-13, when Colonial Williamsburg will host “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip” to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding. The reason for the timing of these spectacles is that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.

If you have ever spent any time in Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia, you have undoubtedly stood on that ground and pondered where we would be if it were not for the perseverance, strength of purpose and desire for liberty displayed by those settlers, by the colonists who first met at the House of Burgesses to declare our independence, and by the citizen delegates who later demanded the ten Constitutional Amendments that we know as the Bill of Rights. How can one ponder those events and not wonder at the same time whether we have the will, perseverance and dedication to resist the influence of the forces that are now attempting to whittle away at the very rights for which the settlers, colonists and delegates died and fought.

At the same time as I am celebrating the news of the 400th anniversary of our nation, I am lamenting the hype of the debate being held among the ten Republican Presidential hopefuls at the Ronald Reagan library in California. Although the media commentators are regaling Reagan as the libertarian whom all the candidates should emulate, it was Reagan who, twenty years ago, began the intentional and contrived decimation of one of the precious liberties for which our colonists fought--the right to a jury of one’s peers in a court of law. Reagan began the assault which has endured for 20 years when he proclaimed that the “excesses of the courts have taken their toll.”

Elana is Communications Manager at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and runs the DMIBlog.com