Newton’s Third Law of Motion is beginning to be realized in western states politics. For every action of gun control, big union power grab, and anti-fracking, there is an equal and opposite reaction from liberty. State legislators are being successfully recalled by their constituent voters. Citizens and parents are regaining control of their local school boards. And a large gathering of contiguous counties of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas are exploring the idea of forming a 51st state.
If all goes well for the denizens of Weld County, Colo., come November, there will be an item on their ballots asking them to vote on a new brewing issue: seceding with eight other Northern counties from the state of Colorado and forming America’s 51st state, Northern Colorado.
Apparently, they’re not bluffing. On Tuesday, Weld County's commissioners raised the issue quite seriously at a bi-annual meeting of the state's county commissioners. Sean Conway, one of Weld's five commissioners, said the idea had first been raised about two to three months ago by a group of concerned citizens.
Precisely 100 years after Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), representatives from the original thirteen states convened in Philadelphia for the adoption of the United States Constitution. What the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had in common with Isaac Newton was the goal of codifying natural laws.
Newton was addressing the matter of physics with his Laws of Motion. The state delegates were addressing the matter of self-governance with the Laws of Nature.
The United States Constitution was written as the supreme law in reflection of the discoveries pronounced in the Declaration of Independence eleven years earlier. Rather than promoting some desired utopian outcome, the delegates were attempting to capture an understanding of the Laws of Nature. Their guidance came from the postulate concepts in the nation’s founding document, that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Newton’s Laws of Motion are (1) an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity unless acted upon by a force, (2) the acceleration of a body is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as, the force acting on the body, and (3) when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.
MIT’s magnificent physics professor Walter Lewin effectively explains the foundation of these principles with, “Can Newton’s Law be proven? The answer is ‘No...’ Do we believe in this? Yes, we do. We believe in it since it is consistent within the uncertainty of the measurements which all experiments that have been done.”
Similarly, Newton’s greatest admirer, Thomas Jefferson, provided the basis for constitutional law with his own founding principle, “We hold these truths to be self evident.” Jefferson’s approach to building the new nation reflected the science of those who had experimented before him, Francis Bacon, John Locke and Isaac Newton. In ordering a bust to be made of these icons, Jefferson wrote, “I consider them as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception, and as having laid the foundations of those superstructures which have been raised in the Physical & Moral sciences, I would wish to form them into a knot on the same canvas, that they may not be confounded at all with the herd of other great men.”
The reason that Americans have enjoyed such enduring success is that its cornerstone was fixed on the intended design for humanity as could best be understood from the cumulative experiences of history in the 18th Century. And the reason that the experiment seems to be rapidly failing in the 21st Century is that we have elected leaders who hold utopian ambitions rather than humble wisdom.
The people can look at 200 years of liberty to see the unprecedented results of Locke’s theories put into practice by Jefferson. And they can observe 50 years of Soros’ and Bloomberg’s theories put into practice in Detroit, California and Chicago by the Democratic Party, the AFL/CIO, the ACLU, and some well-placed judges.
One approach envisions the pursuit of happiness while the other envisions controlled perfection. The two hypotheses are in conflict. And only one is proven.