Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Three Legged Stool

I always pictured the three legged stool as a fixture in Old Pa Wade's milk house. A couple of them were always available for milking time and other chores where sitting down was the habit in an old Dutch farmstead. I guess, when looking back, the tripod formed by three legs was more stable where the floor was rarely level.

Later in life, much later about retirement years, I learned about the three legged stool as it pertained to an important symbol for people close to old age. Three legged stands for the three pillars that are hopefully present when someone retires : (1) Social Security
(2) Pension (3) Savings. It is the stability of having sufficient amounts in each case that enables retirees to stop working and still live in a comfortable manner. Sadly, though, in this day and age, the stability of the three legged stool is being eroded, the floor is way out of level, even the milk bucket is prone to tip over.

The age old desires of a democratic society was : to be born, to grow, to learn, to be gainfully employed, to own a home, to vacation, to expect offspring to do even better, to retire, and to leave an inheritance in testimony to a fruitful life. Bowing to the scourge of war, to the greed of the moneyed class, and to the dysfunction of our government these dreams have been thwarted to a point where they maybe lost forever.

The three legged stool may also describe our system of government ; constitutionally made up of three equal branches : the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Though deemed equal by constitutional mandate each branch in recent years has been under siege from one or both of the other branches. The Legislative branch ( Senate and House) recently polled at a 9% public approval rating and just this week the Senate leader vowed to not accept any appointment of the President to  fill an open seat on the Supreme Court, even though, the President is mandated by The Constitution to appoint a successor with advise and consent of The Senate. Any wonder the public does not respect the Congress, especially its leaders. Founders, I'm sure, never expected any branch of government to play schoolyard chicken with another branch, the old "gotcha" game of bullying days.

Seems the legislators of our country especially need three legged stools since their chamber floors must be like an old milk shed's floor, bumpy and out of level. What we need in Washington DC. Is more representatives the likes of Old Pa Wade and less professional politicians, who believe they are entitled to the larges of our great but weakening country which they manipulate through vote benefiting only themselves.

Ronald C. Downie

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