I’m Charles Bursell and I am running to be your next President. I announced my candidacy last week on my podcast and presented a few of my most important issues, namely: the abolition of guns, cops, the military, borders, and money. But it is not only about what we’re going to abolish. It’s really what we are going to build – together.
We’ll get into more detail on policy issues as the campaign progresses. But today, let me take a step back and give you a broader view of what we hope to achieve. Namely: liberty and justice for all.
Now you might be surprised to hear that, for a radical, I have a great admiration for our Nation’s founding documents. Yes, they were written by white, slave-holding, property-owning men who did not recognize anyone else’s power but their own. But they did the damnedest thing. Borrowing heavily from the Iroquois Confederacy, they wrote a really good constitution.
Of course it had to be amended a few times, and still does. But that’s part of its beauty. The amendment process is built right in. Most of it is quite good, especially the idea of representative government with separation of powers and built-in checks and balances. Of course we’ve now lost all of that – that’s the bad news. The good news is we can restore the idea and make it work in full service to all Americans.
Justice is the yin to liberty’s yang. They work together. In fact, they only work together. Justice without liberty is tyranny. Liberty without justice is anarchy.
Let’s look at that phrase, “liberty and justice for all,” the closing words of the Pledge of Allegiance, as written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. This short axiom says it all.
Liberty: freedom, the inalienable rights of the individual. Of course we honor this, reverently. But there are those who stop there, not realizing it is only half of the equation. The right wingers, the libertarians, for them it is all about liberty. Justice be damned. And while they recognize only liberty, they accuse their lefty counterparts of using the heavy boot of “justice” to squash individual liberty, as though liberty and justice were somehow incompatible. It seems to me that self-proclaimed “patriots” should have a better understanding or our founding and of or our system of government.
Justice: equality under the law, protection from those who would do you harm, assurance of the basic human rights of life, health, education, etc. Social justice, economic justice, environmental justice. It is not “liberty OR justice,” it is “liberty AND justice.” Justice is the yin to liberty’s yang. They work together. In fact, they only work together. Justice without liberty is tyranny. Liberty without justice is anarchy.
For All: And finally, in that fateful phrase “liberty and justice for all” is “for all.” Not for some. Not for the rich. Not for the thrifty. Not for the lucky. Not for the talented. Not for the blessed. Not even for the hard-working. Not even for the “deserving.” No. It is liberty and justice for ALL.
Charles Bursell has been heard nationally on SiriusXM, National Public Radio, and The Pacifica Radio Network. He currently hosts the weekly podcast The Log.