Our Constitution in 2016: Part 1 – Principles Truth & Founders
This is the first in a 4-part series we are running this week. Our purpose is to help remind America where we came from, how and why we got our Constitutional government and why it is so important to keep it all together in these troubling times. Christians turn to the Bible when in personal or moral distress. As a nation we should turn to our Constitution, it is there we find the real answers to what we can all sense is going so wrong. This week we delve into what a Constitution is, why we got one and how it can guide us to solutions today.
Why do we keep hearing so much from politicians about what it means to be American? Do we need to be told by those we cannot trust? They go back to it again when trying to sell us on their latest shenanigans by saying this is who we are! We know who we are; they say such things while trying to convince us we are something else. Both sides do it. How can both speak of loyalty to our Constitution and principles when they profess to be opposites? Do these leaders still know what is in our Constitution or why? Sure, we know both parties head us in the same direction on different paths but what is the true gist of basic American principles? What were they and do we still treasure them?
Principles are emotional and ingrained, our Constitution is black and white written and recorded and there it is – you can see what is there. Did you learn what is there while in school? What about college or have you studied it yourself? Many good people pledge allegiance to our Constitution but do they truly know what is in it? How many Articles are there and which is which? Most can name 2 or 3 of the protected rights in the first 10 Amendments, freedom of speech and religion, the right to keep and bear arms – there are 8 more-what are they? Who ever taught us while we grew up in a school system managed by government regulations and paid for by tax dollars? I know a lot of people who think they’ve learned much from syndicated talk radio, the only media which regularly mentions it. Sad to say but they are all PARTY spin doctors who only mention the carefully selected sections that support what they are trying to sell you. They never get to the whole truth.
I truly believe withholding truth to sell a point is a sin of omission and more devious than misleading people by accident, and they do it on a routine basis.
No one can say they cherish our Constitution if they don’t know what one is in a legal sense. This is the first thing politicians want you to forget. Of the many types of government, a constitutional form is unique. We did not have the first and our Founders and Framers were highly educated people who knew of past examples and the variety of outcomes. They were not working blind and the details had been refined while writing the various state constitutions as America settled into existence. Americans of that era were so adamantly independent they had just challenged and defeated a superpower against impossible odds. Fresh off the battlefield, filled with pride and bursting with the confidence of victory no one was going to hand them a government of dogmatic powers and get away with it.
A kingdom or monarchy was discussed and dismissed; you can thank George Washington for making certain that failed. The next options were opposites, some style of statute government or a constitutional form. In a statute government, whoever manages to become a leader is part of an all powerful group – they decide everything, including who else joins them in power as replacements are needed. Laws are decided by them and given as statutes- laws of their choice when they choose. We have some statute law today. When a city installs a traffic light they don’t ask. They put it up and you get penalized for violating it. That is statute law but can you imagine our national government with that power for every issue? Our early Americans were alert and ready to reject such a form.
Constitutions were developed and implemented elsewhere long before and obviously provided the best solution. A constitutional government is not rule from the top down by a select, lucky few. With a constitution all critical matters of governance are to originate among the People and work their way UP through the system to be adopted by general consensus (agreement) as opposed to statute law which begins at the top and is forced down upon the People whether they like it or not. There you have it.
The most important thing to know about a constitution is that the People have the power to control what comes down from government and accept or reject it as they deem reasonable. That does not mean if the government allows them to reject, it means the People submit only while government behaves and keeps its place. More on this tomorrow.
Then as now, many citizens were ignoring the discussion just waiting to see what would happen and would go along to get along. There were also very astute watchdogs eyeing the process and when they first read our new Constitution red flags went up immediately.
They refused to accept it. They knew all about constitutions and they knew all about parties (which they called factions) which sprang up as a necessary evil within such systems. They had seen historical examples of how the parties always stretched the boundaries of power to gather more control unto themselves than laws of the system allowed. After all, if you are a party member and your party can seize the reins of government what stands in the way of you doing as you please? The wealth and power of a nation shifts to control by a few and that is absolute power – which corrupts absolutely.
Early Americans were fortunate to have strong, informed people who knew of this party danger and the risks posed to the fledgling nation they had just sacrificed so greatly to create. From across the 13 colonies the rejection was overwhelming. They would not agree to our new Constitution. If the assembly wanted our Articles of the Constitution accepted they must first add a Bill of Rights so there was codified power of the citizenry. Citizens demanded – and received – a Bill of Rights added as Amendments which protected their power to gather and share information, protest when unhappy, assemble for civil unrest and use any means necessary at any time to throw out any official, any party, any Congress or any President anytime they knew it was necessary. They insisted upon having the full weight and power of our Constitution behind them as they did so. Where have you heard any pundit, party hack or politician tell you THAT? You wont but it is pure historical and constitutional fact. No one can refute this. They got it for us and nothing has ever changed on paper. The laws and rights are there, people just got comfortable, misinformed and submissive and look what we now have for government.
Our early Americans demanded and got these Rights guaranteed because they had the brains and backbones to insist on it with leaders who knew full well those citizens would use them on a moments notice. Americans were not the sort of people any government was going to push around. They were defiant, educated and tough yet decent and civilized. It worked.
So what is the message here? We got a Constitution so government was run from the bottom up by People who would have it no other way. We got a Bill of Rights added to it because Americans were ready to throw it all out, replace the leaders and find others who got it right. America was born from the strength of informed citizens demanding a government that knew its place and stayed there. They were bold and defiant. Either they got the protected Rights to keep it all in line as they saw fit or they were ready to clean house and start all over. Leaders could not and did not try to push those folks around because they would rise up, kick ass and start over. THAT was the birth of American principles, our Constitution and our Bill of Rights which our early citizens decided they would not live in peace without.
When you hear politicians, complicit members of the press and others say we are stuck with two parties because they have all the money and power, then they pretend to uphold our founding principles, American values or constitutional government think of this. I do and this truth tells me every one of them is not informed or deliberately lying to protect the current abuses of power our Constitution and Bill of Rights is there to prevent.
Tomorrow, we’ll look under the hood of our Bill of Rights and into key points that apply today. We’ll dig into the powers of the government early Americans would accept but only if they had the authority to throw out every leader and any party at any time. When done we will be much closer to the real truth about our leaders, our elections, our Rights and American principles under our Constitution. After reading all 4 parts of this series you will be very well informed. but much more wary of the people who are asking for your votes this November. You will learn that elections are far from being our only solution to government and leaders ignoring or failing us. You will learn the parts they want us to forget, our True American Principles and our Rights to insist they serve with consent of the governed or get the hell out anytime we unite to demand it.
Next: Our Constitution in 2016- Part 2- The Immense Power of Citizens