Saturday, December 22, 2007

Why I Harp On The Constitution

I am often asked why I harp so much on the Constitution in all of my writings. That question leaves me at a loss for words, and most of you by now realize that I am not normally at a loss for things to say. I am left speechless not because I cannot explain why I constantly refer to the Constitution, but that someone could actually not understand why for themselves. It seems to me that people these days consider the Constitution as some sort of historical relic, whose sole purpose is to be viewed in some museum. That is what leaves me speechless. It seems that far too many people just do not understand the importance of the words contained within that document.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines Constitution as:
1: an established law or custom : ordinance
2 a: the physical makeup of the individual especially with respect to the health, strength, and appearance of the body a [hearty constitution] b: the structure, composition, physical makeup, or nature of something the constitution of society
3: the act of establishing, making, or setting up
4: the mode in which a state or society is organized; especially : the manner in which sovereign power is distributed
5 a: the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it b: a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization

The 'Lectric Law Library', an online reference for all things legal, we find the following definition for the Constitution:
"The fundamental law of the state, containing the principles upon which the government is founded and regulating the divisions of the sovereign powers, directing to what persons each of these powers is to be confided and the manner it is to be exercised. E.g., the Constitution of the United States."

Not only is the Constitution the supreme law of the land, Article 6, but it is the document that establishes our government and clearly defines what it can and cannot do. If it were not for the Constitution we would have no legal form of government, unless of course you wish to live under dictatorial rule.

The Constitution, although it might have been written by just a few men, was written to establish a form of government that was as minimally intrusive upon our personal liberties as possible, yet strong enough to take care of our nations needs. If you read Article 1 of the Constitution you will find that there are only about 17 clearly defined powers that our government has. Nowhere in that document does it say that the government has the right or authorization to run or give us ‘universal health care’, or to establish a department of education which determines a national curriculum, or to tax your earnings and give it to other people, or nations, in the form of subsidies or federal aid. Yet far too many Americans have come to believe that those are all within the powers and that they are the responsibilities of our federal government. Those of us who speak out against these usurpations of federal power are labeled as extremists by people who obviously are not aware that we are in fact fully aware of what the Constitution says our government can and cannot do. People have been brainwashed into believing that they are right and we are nutcases. All because they have not taken the time to read that document for themselves.

I cannot, and I will not, sit idly by while our government continues to assume powers it does not have, and while it tramples upon our rights and liberties that the Constitution was designed to protect. That is why I continue to hammer away at people with references to the Constitution.

George Washington once said, “But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.” If Washington said that it was sacredly obligatory to all unless changed by an act of the people, (as per the amendment process contained in Article 5), that means that until we say so, the government ONLY has the powers that are clearly defined in Article 1.

Martin Van Buren, a president who is not often quoted, once said, “For myself, therefore, I desire to declare that the principle that will govern me in the high duty to which my country calls me is a strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the Constitution as it was designed by those who framed it.”

Abraham Lincoln, a president whose name most people should recognize, said, “Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. “

That is why I continually refer to the Constitution in my writings, as Lincoln said, ‘Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution...’. Until people realize the importance of understanding our Constitution, and requiring that our government function strictly within it, I can only pray, as Millard Fillmore did, “May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.”

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