Our Reason for Being
Our Constitution was written to eliminate all the squabbling and bickering which The Articles of Confederation induced. In doing so, our Founding Fathers based their creation upon one written word, “unalienable,” which Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence acknowledged. In doing so, our Founders created our “unalienable” basis for American government which no other government in the history of man even contemplated.
To further support the term unalienable, which meant “that may not be transferred,” Jefferson prefaced it with its elevation ,”that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” This one stipulation was and continues to be one giant step for mankind. No where and never before had a government recognized, much less based the freedom of its people upon a higher authority than the government being created or formed.
And it is to this distinction that we proudly call ourselves “American.” People all around the world, when hearing that identity stand in awe since they realize, and in some cases realize more than the average American, what a special privilege the claim of American insures.
Returning to the Constitution, it was evident that government had to be refined since under the Articles, States were in a constant struggle for competition and were jealously guarding while greedily intruding where ever possible on the other. Under that structure open warfare would eventually take place.
So those assembled in Philadelphia were assigned the task to finely tweak the Articles. However, instead of minor adjustments, our Founders constructed a completely new system for governing. This I might add is the danger from what modern revisionists assert with their renewed call for another Constitutional Convention. They see, better than the average layman, the wide breathe of possibilities presented by the criteria of “past practice.” Simply put, our Constitution would no longer exist. But, that is another topic.
Along with uniting our struggling, jealous and ofter accusing States, this creation presented a united front to foreigners with designs. It also provided a federal maintenance service through its stated Constitutional duties. Present and future States would be “united” and “protected” under the government. I might add that the duty to “protect” has fallen by the wayside under the present administration.
What I am leading up to is just how far our current government has stretched its Constitutional authority. When understanding that our Constitution demanded that ours was to be a “limited” government, we must re-evaluate our public leniency. Today’s version is out of compliance to the extent that it now dares any attempt at reform. Like it or not, our debt soars for the simple reason that government is into everything.
I am reminded about a Congressional event in which the spending of the people’s money was in question. To paraphrase from The Life of Colonel David Crockett (1884), it seems that the House of Representatives pondered the question of whether to appropriate a monetary reward to a widow of a deceased military officer. All present were in favor when Congressman Crockett arose to speak. The end result was that all reversed their original positions and agreed with Crockett.
In essence, the future hero of the Alamo thought it appropriate to individually donate as a charity but Congress did not have the right to divert public funds, no matter how well intentioned the reason might be. Also, it was not their money! Crockett believed that government pays off debts for services rendered and that payment wasn’t due to the deceased at the time of his demise since he was serving, and thus paid, till the day of his demise.
I wonder what those former Congressmen from Crockett days would say not only about this unlimited spending, which now exceeds over fifteen trillion, but also to this obvious assault against the “law of the land.” In recent years, the course of government has been direct and unending and our debt validates its lawlessness. For us, it’s all about whether the future will be bleak or bright. And the sad thing is that it’s a decision which never needed to be faced.
Jim Bowman, Author of
This Roar of Ours