Home / public opinions / The genius of the Constitution is a government of listeners, not lecturers

Image from SlideShare

Image from SlideShare

An intuition struck me after musing about President Duterte’s plan to shift from presidential form of government to federal form of government or parliamentary.

I suddenly remembered what actor Joe Pesci as Simon Wilder in the movie ‘With Honors’ said in that movie. I had always remembered those first few words of that line: the genius of the constitution.

So I took a peek at Google and here’s the very beautiful wisdom Joe Pesci said in that movie (turned out to be a poem). I have omitted some words that pertain to America so it makes relevant to what is going on in our country right now:

The genius of the Constitution
Is that it can always be changed.
The genius of the Constitution
Is that it makes no permanent rule
Other than its faith
In the wisdom of ordinary people
to govern themselves.

Our founding parents were
Pompous native revolutionists.
But they were also great men.
Because they knew one thing
that all great men should know.
That they didn’t know everything.
They knew they were going to make mistakes.
But they made sure to leave a way to correct them.
They didn’t think of themselves as leaders.
They wanted a government of citizens.
Not royalty.
A government of listeners.
Not lecturers.
A government that could change not stand still.
The President isn’t an elected King.
No matter how many bombs he can drop.
Because the crude Constitution doesn’t
Trust him.
He’s a servant of the people.
He’s a Bum.
He’s just a bum.

Simon Wilder means here is that the overall wisdom of a country’s constitution is the complete trust in the people’s judgement and beliefs, not on faith in lawmakers themselves. A road map, a guide to be able for citizens to govern themselves, and not the government governing them. Meaning, the government should listen to people’s outcry, sentiments, needs, wants. By truly giving the people their needs, you are already giving them freedom and justice.

In this movie, Simon Wilder is an alcoholic bum who became an accidental felon by burning a thesis paper of a Harvard student. Simon Wilder is a frequent visitor of Harvard’s library that made his mind preoccupied with new inputs and wisdom.

So he as a bum, in relation to the last line of his speech, a bum, is actually a leader should be, a servant, a listener, and a giver.

Watch the video below:

If you have your own interpretation of this wonderful speech by Joe Pesci as Simon Wilder in the movie ‘With Honors,’ please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!


About the author: Nonoy


A former musician who branched out his interest in creative writing and the World Wide Web.

He writes fiction on his spare time.


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