Glenn Cassidy, Springfield
Title: In Men We Trust
Narrative: John Adams wrote “A government of laws and not of men” in the preamble to the Constitution of the State of Massachusetts. The US Constitution reflects this philosophy as well-the citizens should be ruled by law, not by decree. Unfortunately, we have seen over the past two decades that the functioning of the US government and even the state governments depends to a great degree on behavioral norms. Now, we have a president who has proposed violating freedom of religion and freedom of the press and who threatens to make the US government a subsidiary of his business empire. Checks on his power depend on enforcement of the law by the president’s own appointees to law-enforcement agencies, his own appointees to the courts, and members of Congress showing the will to challenge their own party’s president. We trust in behavioral norms many times a day inside and outside government and don’t appreciate how much we invest in that trust until our trust is violated.