WHY DO WE NEED A CONSTITUTION ?
 

By Lorne Blackman from Walla Walla, WA - December 16, 2000

Every aspect and institution of human civilization requires some form of government to prevent injustice and maintain order. People need boundaries. The healthiest, happiest children are those with clear boundaries. Citizens are subject to the laws of the land in which they reside. Property is secured with boundaries. Armies and business organizations are subject to internal and external rules of  order and discipline.

 

Madison said “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, no controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government of men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to  control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself” Just as we have civil laws to restrain men in society, so we have constitutional laws to restrain men in power.

 

Flawed human nature and unrestrained power are a dangerous combination. Just this century while 34,000,000 have been tragically killed by wars, 120,000,000 have been killed by their own oppressive governments.

 

A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” 

Prov. 27.12

 

Our founders were prudent men who foresaw the evils of unrestrained government. They were students of world history and civil affairs, they searched the annals of history for the answers that would keep America from experiencing the snares and pitfalls that had claimed all other great civilizations. They called America the great experiment.

 

They gave us the Constitution as the fundamental law for our national government and the written authorization, by the people, for its existence. They gave us an extensive system of checks and balances, separation of powers and a Bill of Rights. They gave us an Electoral college to help protect small and rural states against the and power of the big states and population centers and the democratic rule of the mob. It still comes in handy from time to time.

 

They gave us a federal system, that is a limited central government responsible for a mere handful of functions involving defense, and interstate and international affairs such as trade and foreign relations, and postal service. They both implicitly and explicitly reserved the all other areas to the states and to the people. They saw centralized one size fits all policies as oppressive, dangerous and contrary to the love of liberty and the genius of the American people.

 

Perhaps most importantly, our forefathers recognized the separate and distinct roles of the state the church and the family, and they gave us a limited system that minimized reliance on the state while maximizing reliance on the more organic spheres of the church and of the family. When man trusts in God, he looks  beyond government for his needs. A self governing society results with strong families, churches, communities, and charitable institutions. The need for civil government is minimized and personal liberty is maximized. This was the thinking and worldview that gave us our national motto: “In God we trust.

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”      James Madison

But every generation has its social planners who try to make the civil sphere do more than it was designed to do. They hate constitutional federalism because it limits their ability to reshape society through the power of office. In their minds federalism was designed for a different time, a different nation. Government shouldn't be feared: it's the answer for everything.

 

Their vision for America is not for a federal system but for a national system. In the name of security and compassion, they push for national education programs, national welfare, national social security, national health care, national gun control, law enforcement, and a host of other areas prohibited by the Constitution. Our limited federal system is giving way to an unlimited national socialist system that provides for every conceivable human need. Their motto is not “in God we trust” but rather “On government we depend.”

 

In George Washington's Farewell Address the political dialogue focused on national security, foreign policy, constitutional integrity, government frugality, duty and national morality: Today the national political dialogue focuses of social security, health care, prescription drug benefits, education, patients Bills of rights, product safety and government daycare. America has undergone a fundamental transformation: Americans love of  liberty has been replaced by the love of security.

 

LIBERTY OR SECURITY?

 

But Jefferson said: He who trades liberty for security, deserves neither and will loose both. Likewise, B. Franklin said “He who gives up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.”

 

Liberty and risk are two sides of the same coin. Security and servitude are the two sides of another coin.

 

One cannot enjoy the blessings of liberty without enduring risk; likewise one cannot enjoy the comforts of government provided security without giving up liberty. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

 

The price has been staggering...

 

Our appetite for social programs has seen the richest nation amasses more debt than all the rest of the world combined; taxing future generations without their representation.

 

Pyramid schemes are illegal yet today federal government forces participation in what amounts to one grand pyramid scheme, in the name of social security, something is gravely wrong.

 

Once upon the time talk of a federal income tax would have dissolved the union.

 

Today the conservative candidate boasts that no American will pay more than 1/3 of his income to DC.

 

There is something wrong with this picture. Had our founders known that these things would result they never would have formed the union.

 

THE OATH OF OFFICE

 

US Constitution Article II, & VI requires the president, the senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, before taking office to be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution;

 

Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter: So help you God?"           

 

Response: I do

 

In 1828 Webster defined  OATH as follows:

A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath, implies that the person  imprecates his vengeance and renounces his favor if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it. A false oath is called perjury. The Founders felt so strongly about strict constitutional integrity that they intentionally made it a sacred duty to God.

Without the anchor of absolutes there is no stability for society. Flexible boundaries are no boundaries. If you can take a single step over the line, there's nothing to keep you from taking two steps or a thousand. Thomas Jefferson: “To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus… drawn… is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer [subject] to any definition.

 

Thomas Jefferson said “Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction”. “On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifest in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

 

A mans attitude toward the constitution reveals much about his attitudes toward government, authority, human history and even human nature itself. Listen very closely when Al Gore and co say that we have a living constitution, that each generation must breath new meaning into.  What he's really saying is “we make it into whatever suits us at the time”;  another translation is “We will not be bound by its limitations.” Their attitudes reveal the same spirit of lawlessness and contempt for boundaries that has plagued mankind throughout history. Their attitudes are precisely why our forefathers wrote the Constitution in the first place.

 

In the Biblical time of the judges, the people brought misery on themselves because they would not respect boundaries. “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Just as it was in the time of the judges, so it is today in America: Every politician does what is right in his own eyes, ignoring the experience of past generations,  ignoring their constitutional grants of authority and reducing government to a relativistic do as you please approach. --

 

The approach of Jefferson and the founders is clearly not evolutionary but fixed and conservative. The Constitution is inherently a conservative document designed to maintain a conservative government. It's the conservatives best friend, if he will learn to use it and if he is willing to apply it consistently and impartially.

 

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

 

Without the anchor of absolutes there is no stability for society.

 

Article 1 Sec 32 of the Washington State Constitution declares: “A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual right and the perpetuity of free government.”

 

America has lost its perspective. Materialism, affluence, and  the dumbing down of the electorate have led to a fundamental shift in political philosophy. We are forgetting what set us apart and made us free, prosperous and a light to the world. We desperately need to begin talking about fundamental principles if we are going to preserve liberty and free government. Just as we need to restore basics to education so we need to restore basics to the political dialogue. We ourselves must become advocates and spokesmen for the principles and values that made America.

 

He who controls the debate the thought processes  controls the future of the nation. Superficial political solutions that merely tweak the system are useless so long as the ideas of socialism remain lodged in the political and spiritual thought processes that drive public policy.

 

We must decide as a people: whether we are a republic or democracy; is our system national or federal; Do we want liberty or security?

 

Are constitutional boundaries firm or flexible and evolutionary;  is it a “living evolving document” that must be interpreted by the courts or does it mean what it says? Will we vote for those who swear an oath as mere formality and lip service with no intention of genuinely honoring it.

 

On a higher level, Are rights Creator endowed rights or government defined? Is man flawed and in need of salvation, or is he evolving with time and experience into an enlightened superman; Is man created in the image of God endowed with "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," or is he simply human resource to be educated, aborted, or socially engineered to fit the current needs of government and society;

 

Do absolutes even exist, are we accountable to higher law & authority—constitutional and ultimately divine, -or is everything relative: to be worked out as circumstances and conditions warrant?

 

Ideas have consequences and the answers to these questions carry exceedingly vast ramifications not only for government, but for all of society. How society answers them will determine the form of government that we will live under. If we are to be successful, we must bring these fundamental principles—consistently, systematically and optimistically back to the forefront of the political debate. He who controls the ideological forces controls the political forces.

 

Conservatives must begin acting rather than reacting. The voice of conservatism must be heard as more than just a voice of protest in time of crisis. For to long conservatives have accepted loosing ground as inevitable and stalemate as victory while their humanist socialist opponents accept nothing less than steady gains.

 

You cannot “conserve” what has already been lost. Conservatives must abandon the defensive mindset inherent with traditional conservatism and take the initiative because no one can win a defensive wars. It is time that conservatives become “progressive” in their thinking and their strategy to reclaim their nation.

 

Karl Marx said: “A nation without a heritage is easily persuaded.” Any genuine solution must involve helping the American people rediscover who they are and what set them apart as a people and as a nation. Our goal must be nothing less than to generate another great awakening in America, much like the first one, as remembered in the poem “Awaken” by Lawrence Tribble:

One man awake, awakens another.
The second awakens his next door brother.
The three awake can rouse a town,
By turning the whole place upside down.

The many awake can make such a fuss,
It finally awakens the rest of us.
One man up with dawn in his eyes,
Surely then multiplies

Above all may we not be so proud as to think that we, through our feeble efforts, can successfully redirect the course of our nation. In all likelihood as a country, we have progressed beyond the point of no return. We must place our hopes entirely in God's willingness to intervene for His people remembering that “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Mat 19.26. 

 

Likewise our attitude must reflect the simple truth expressed by John Quincy Adams: “Duty is ours, the results are God's.

 

Check out NumbersUSA.org and Rush H. Limbaugh Jr Speech - "Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor"

     

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