Is there still any argument for our country continuing to follow an old document like our Constitution?
50 years ago, this question wouldn’t need to be asked. Citizens of these United States were taught regularly about the importance of this document, why it was written, and what it stands for.
Today, I would venture to say that asking this question of most students under the age of 25 would likely fail to result in a coherent or logical answer. I think there are a number of older adults that might struggle with this question as well.
The challenge is; they don’t understand it. They feel the information is somehow “outdated” or they try to paint the document as some sort of living entity that should be adjusted to the emotions of the day.
So why is keeping the document whole and keeping it difficult to change so important to us as a country?
To answer these questions from an educated standpoint, we need to address what this documents stands for in principle as a foundational element of who and what makes us the United States of America.
Our country was founded on a specific blueprint with a specific purpose. A group of individuals felt strongly that if people were given the opportunity to live free of the ruling monarchy, free of aristocracy and free from the burden of unjust taxation that stifled economic and personal growth, they would have the ability to harness the power of individual ambition. These people then could prosper independently and in the process, bring more opportunity for growth and success to others in the community.
Our Founding Fathers understood the basic premise of a free market economy and how when left to their own devices, people would challenge themselves and each other to improve technology and grow intellect. The constitutional framers knew first-hand the impact of a society oppressed by government intervention and unfair taxation.
They were also clear that a governing body was not intended to make money or create wealth. The entire purpose of government was guidance for a perpetually growing nation whereby the people who made up that nation worked in harmony to create laws that were mutually beneficial and helped to marshal the ongoing prosperity of the country.
At all costs, the governing body should never be capable of decay back to a monarchy. Power was to remain in the hands of the citizens and those who served in the governing body were just that; servant leaders to the society who elected them.
The document created by the delegates from each of the initial states to fulfil this mandate was called The Constitution of the United States of America. In it, the framers outlined three branches of government; the executive branch (the President and his cabinet), the judicial branch (the Supreme Court), and the legislative branch (the Senate and House of Representatives). The Constitution specifically outlines the powers that are granted to each branch and identifies how each works to keep the other in balance, making certain none of the three branches has too much power.
Being concerned that the original documentation was too vague concerning the rights and responsibilities of the citizens of the new republic; the framers worked to create 12 amendments to the original document over the next year. Ten of these proposed amendments were adopted and ratified into the Constitution. They are referred to now as “The Bill of Rights.” Any additional amendment to the Constitution requires that two-thirds of all states agree to the amendment, purposely making it a challenge to routinely add amendments. The Founding Fathers made this difficult exactly for this reason. They understood that a document with the power of the Constitution became useless and counter to its purpose if change happened at the whim and emotion of any group of powerful people or individuals.
The document, while not perfect, did an excellent job of providing guidance to a free nation. Since its inception, thousands of potential amendments have been proposed, but less than 15 additional have made it to the document.
So why is the Constitution and following its guidance important now?
One strong argument is provided to us simply by observing the results of a free market economy and control outlined in the Constitution was allowed to work unencumbered from the late 1700 and well into the 1900's. Our country grew at a phenomenal economic rate. We transitioned into the leading world power and the number one producer of new technology and industry. The politics of our nation followed the guidelines of the constitution and allowed individual freedom to excel. The process worked very well.
Another great example is the world around our Nation during the same period of time. Nations ruled by monarchies endured revolutions and slow economic growth. Nations founded under the pretext of socialism decayed into communist countries with rich governments and very poor citizens who wanted for even their basic needs.
America and her free market economic system was the envy of the world, and people from all over flocked to this country to have the same opportunity they saw provided to the citizens here.
Everyone wanted to come to America…not leave to go to any of those other countries.
The danger we face today is the slow changes allowed to infiltrate our constitutional democracy over the last century.
Under purposeful misinterpretation of the intent of the constitution, the greedy nature of mankind slowly degrades our society at the very foundation. Individuals in powerful positions understand if they create a society of need, it allows them to gain greater control over the finances and power provided by the same people who elected them to govern.
History once again provides them with a road map to success. By convincing citizens that the government must take care of them, by imposing large social welfare programs, and then offering to make economic conditions “fair” they gain support of the uninformed and uneducated who can’t comprehend a future any farther what they feel is in their own best interest at the moment.
Once the cycle of social welfare is allowed to progress unchecked, the division of power outlined in our constitution slowly becomes useless. The welfare state grows in population until the number of people getting “free” things from the government are a majority of the voting population. They are not about to vote for people who will stop their handouts, so the cycle of socialism is complete.
As idealistic and appealing that a socialistic society might be; we also know from history the next step is a continued decay to communistic rule.
Eventually the government is unable to support the financial burden that develops when most of the countries citizens are taking from the resources and the group who are still creating wealth and holding up the tax base that provides those resources becomes insufficient.
At this point the government, who was never constitutionally created to make money or create wealth, needs to assume ownership of companies and business to control all finances available to pay for the social programs it created.
So why is the constitution important? If you are interested in preserving the United States of America as the free market democracy we were founded on, then preserving the constitutional principles that built this country are imperative. We must support and to make certain the individuals who represent constitutional principles are elected to positions of power.
If, on the other hand you prefer the idea of letting our nation slowly decay as we know will happen by nature of the greed and history shown in all other socialist nations; you just need to sit back and do nothing.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer (If you don’t know who this is you need to Google him).