This week marks the beginning of a long series of posts on the U.S Constitution, from the Preamble to the 27th Amendment! Beginning today, we will alternate between these Constitution posts and Savannah’s “Bullet Point Bios.” You’ll probably hear from all of us in this series, and we hope that you’ll be encouraged by all the ammunition a good understanding of the Constitution can lend to your fight for liberty.
George Washington said this:
“The power of the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their own interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can and undoubtedly will be recalled.”
In this quote, General Washington affirms that Constitutional government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people. In other words, we are the earthly sovereigns, and our leaders are subservient to us in matters of life and property. This constitutes an awesome responsibility! If we, the people, hold the power of the Constitution, then we must educate ourselves concerning it in order to be able to defend our God-endowed rights and exercise that power properly.
While we generally only discuss the U.S Constitution on this site, we also want to encourage you to study your state Constitution. It is vitally important that you understand both state government and national government.
We will kick off the series with a discussion of the Preamble. As you may know, Savannah wrote this as part of our group post, “Meet the Constitution.” As we come to the various sections that were discussed in that post, we will simply re-post that part.
We hope you’ll enjoy learning more about the world’s greatest governing document of all time!
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
“We the people…”
These three words hold so much meaning. I have the pleasure of discussing some of this meaning today. Let’s dig in!
During September, we posted a number of articles discussing different aspects of our duty as citizens of the United States. Our founders blessed us with amazing freedom, but we mustn’t lazily sit back and enjoy it. No, it’s our duty to make sure “we, the people,” preserve it and pass it on. That takes action!
Consider the 10th amendment. It reads, “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.” Today, our federal government has grown much bigger than our founders ever intended or desired. So many powers that the Federal Government holds should actually be held by the states. Take time to read our Constitution in it’s entirety, and these powers are not hard to spot.
A most interesting, and often forgotten, fact is that, although “we the people” did in fact create the Constitution, we didn’t do it as one large mass of people, but as individually represented states. Originally, the Constitution was to begin with the listing of states from north to south: “We the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island…” Obviously, it was changed to just the simple statement, “We the People,” that we are all familiar with today.
The fact that so much of our history is being forgotten brings me to another important point: “we the people” must be educating ourselves and sharing what we learn with others. I mentioned this briefly in my post, “Our Duty to Liberty,” the beginning of September. We won’t know what to defend or correct if we don’t know what we had to begin with. As Winston Churchill so aptly pointed out, “A nation that forgets its past has no future.”
As I stated above, since “we the people” created the Constitution, it’s OUR duty to preserve it in order to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” We must hold our federal government accountable — something that we are failing miserably at doing today! We must work to decrease the role of the Federal Government and increase the role of the individual states in governing “we the people.” We must take action. Three steps to start with are as follows: first, knowing our governing documents well; second, we need to take time to develop relationships with our senators and representatives on both a state and national level; and lastly, but certainly not least, make your voice heard. Vote biblically and responsibly (something we’ve been covering in our posts this month!), support bills that line up with our constitution, and hold your members of Congress accountable for those that don’t. Regaining lost ground takes effort – it’s going to be up to us.
Ronald Reagan painted this picture well:
“Almost all the worlds’ constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which We the People tell the government what it is allowed to do. We the People are free.”
“We the people” need to stand up and act before it’s too late. Let’s start making a difference!