In Recognition of Constitution Day, September 17th
Each year on September 17th, we celebrate Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution, one of the most important documents in our history. It is unfortunate that in today’s world, most Americans don’t understand or appreciate the significance of this document. They neither understand what it says nor why it should matter to them.
The men and women who fought for our country to gain its independence had to choose what sort of government they wanted to live with. They knew that they did not want a monarchy, as they had just fought a war to get rid of King George the Third’s tyrannical practices. They decided to establish a Republic, a government of the people and by the people and their representatives.
Unfortunately, there was a looming problem as the history of ancient republics like Rome and Greece had both failed and were replaced by the worst and most oppressive forms of tyranny. So, the problem was how to make a new republic last, and could they structure a constitution that would protect the new republic from problems like the social and political pathologies that caused the fall of ancient republics throughout history?
Our founding fathers thought they had the answers. Remember, these men risked everything when they declared America’s independence from England and yet they were willing to risk it all again to create a new and better type of republic. The solution lay in the creation of a government that put structural limits on power that could exercise governmental authority. In 1787, our founding fathers put together a national government divided into three separate branches. The Legislative branch (congress), the Executive branch (the President), and the Judicial branch (the courts).
The legislative branch would make the laws, the executive branch would execute the laws, and the judicial branch would settle disputes arising from the Constitution and laws of the United States. Having power divided into three divisions would stop power from being concentrated in any one branch, which would be a concept of checks and balances. This would limit the central government to the specific powers duly delegated to it, with no powers that were not specifically written into the Constitution. The balance of power would therefore lie with the states. This power reserved by the states was specifically intended to give public officials nearer to the people the opportunity and ability to be more responsive and accountable to the people.
To make sure that our rights were understood, a Bill of Rights was attached to the Constitution, including the 10th amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.” Whatever powers the Constitution does not specifically delegate to the national government belongs to the states and the people.
The powers of the states were also limited with constitutional prohibitions in certain areas, either because powers in these areas were delegated exclusively to the national government (such as the power to enter into international treaties) or because our forefathers didn’t want government at any level to have certain powers such as the power to confer titles of nobility.
Even though the framers took all of these actions into account, they knew their efforts would fail unless citizens were imbued with the spirit of Republicanism. This meant people who understood the principles of their constitution, valued self-government, and would be willing volunteers to do the work necessary to maintain this type of government. They knew a successful republic requires citizens who would not yield to demagogues who would promise prosperity, security, or anything else that would impair their liberties. It was James Madison who said that only a well-instructed people could be a free people, which meant a people well educated about our constitutional liberties and responsibilities.
It was at the end of the constitutional convention that a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of a government he and the other framers had proposed for the nation, and he said, “A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it”.
Much of this article came from a video prepared by Prager U and we would ask all who read this to take 5 minutes of your day to visit the PragerU website and listen to this important message.
It is unfortunate that too many Americans are unaware of the rights spelled out in our constitution either because they were never taught them or they never took the time to look them up. We live in the greatest country on this earth, and it is all because we have a set of rules to guide us and keep big government in check.
It is most unfortunate that far too many Americans have never read either our Constitution and Bill of Rights or our Declaration of Independence, and they have allowed their rights to be abrogated by both our state and federal governments. Our government was formed in a way that if the people understood what their rights were, the government could never become tyrannical as it did in both Rome and Greece. While our forefathers have given us the tools necessary to self-govern, it is still up to the people to take charge of this duty if we want our government to last.
Let’s be honest with ourselves folks, we have not been good stewards when it comes to being involved in government, and I’m not sure if it is because of the public education system that so many of us have been indoctrinated by over the past 60 years or that we have just gotten too lazy to do the job that we were expected to do.
Our country has been heading in the wrong direction for many years, and while many of us saw this happening, we never lifted a hand to say, “Hey wait a minute you can’t do that” to our government officials. Many people no longer take the time to find out about those who are running for government offices and those who have been voted into office to govern us. While most of us will spend hours on social media platforms during any given day looking at the most trivial items, we don’t seem to have the time to be selective and careful when it comes to knowing who we are voting for when we go to the polls. Heck, there are way too many of us who never even go to the polls to vote. This inattentive attitude is what has gotten us into the current troubles that our country is now facing. We have a nation that has become divided, a President who appears to be about as corrupt as a modern-day gangster, and our representatives of the people who are afraid to stand up and challenge the unconstitutional measures that are being dictated to us day after day by our federal and state bureaucracies they created.
We have federal and state officials and agencies infringing on our most important First and Second Amendment rights every day. We have governors who are declaring states of emergency and using them as pretexts to take our constitutional rights through edicts and proclamations, elected prosecutors who refuse to incarcerate criminals, and representatives in Congress who are bankrupting our country with their outlandish budgets. We are a nation under siege, and if we don’t wake up soon, we will no longer have the country that was envisioned and created by our forefathers.
It is up to “We the People” to rectify these problems, and we can only do it if we are engaged as our forefathers expected us to be and understand our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Those who which to participate in taking our country back need some basic knowledge that our forefathers gave to us, which you can find here: I recently wrote an article about being at a turning point in America, and if you cannot see that you are either blind or just plain stupid. All I can say is Wake up, America before the freedoms we love disappear and tyranny will rule.
“We Get the Government We Deserve.”
For those of you who wish to read our Constitution, here is a link to the full Constitution and all 27 amendments.