I heard one commentator, who thought the reading was a silly and expensive exercise, state that legislators are elected to tell us what is going on. This gave me pause. What do I think the legislators should be doing? How can I judge my representatives’ performance if I don’t know what their job description is, and is not?
I wonder what Abigail Adams would think of my ignorance?
She wrote in a letter in 1775:
“I am more and more convinced that Man is a dangerous creature, and that power whether vested in many or a few is ever grasping, and like the grave cries give, give. The great fish swallow up the small, and he who is most strenuous for the Rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of Government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which Humane Nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.” (Abagail Adams)
It may have been a stunt, but it is one that reminds me how careless I am of so costly a gift: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the freedom to express my opinions – and yours to read.