The debates that one sees in the comments sections and forums these days is a fascinating mix. Everyone in DC sat down in a new chair 2 years ago and so it’s easy to get the sense that our political world is in flux, with progressives bashing Obama and conservatives nodding their heads at the concept of marijuana legalization. One still sees classics like this however:
“Sad. Another ‘nut’ who still thinks the ‘Constitution’ is relevant today.”
While they may not have come up much in popular high school conversations the past 50 years, the principles established with the signing of the US Constitution have been and continue to be the biggest story in recent human history. The ideas of Jefferson & Madison in particular broke new ground in this respect- the constitution was a document that was intended to be accessible to the masses, because in Jefferson and Madison’s vision of a society it was the people in those masses who got final say as to what the Federal government could do.
This very principle, the notion that sovereignty did not reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave but rather on Main St, was what made our constitution revolutionary. If one looks to other movements the past 234 years one will find that many discussions amongst grassroots leaders have included the ideas of our founding fathers as models to emulate more often than not.
Founding principles like federalism and tools to ward off tyranny designed in the 18th century still apply in 2010 at least as much as they did in 1776. In a reality where things become more and more interconnected and massive, the US Constitution gives us a way to avoid being crushed by the global machine by coming back to local governance. Because of the Constitution, we as sovereign Californians can demand that when an important decisions are made that affect our lives, that the decision maker be as close to home as possible.
cross-posted from the California Tenth Amendment Center