There seems to be two streams of thought in this country as to what the Constitution is and means. These two thoughts are diametrically opposed to each other and that is where the difficulties and the conflicts begin, not just between political parties but even within them. The problem is most people do not understand that this basic philosophical difference is the root cause of our political problems.
Let’s backup first and look at what I and many others thought was a problem with our elected representatives; they were not taking their oath to protect and defend the constitution seriously. I think now I was wrong. They do take their oath seriously and they believe they’re defending the constitution. Now, I know there are many of you starting to question my thinking when I make statement like that, especially after writing The Oath; but hear me out.
They are protecting their version of the constitution; okay, now you’re saying wait a minute there is only one US Constitution. Well technically you are right, but here is where the problem arises and this goes back to my opening statement. Something was said on the radio this morning on the way into work that caught my attention and it was this idea of two completely different concepts of what the Constitution is, and I believe this is what is causing the conflict. Well here is the problem, one view of the Constitution is it is a charter of rights, but the opposing view is it is a plan of government; these two thoughts are poles apart.
The group that believes that the Constitution is a charter of rights looks to the Bill of Rights along with other sections to claim that the government has given you these rights and can do what is needed to expand and build on them or can reduce them in times of danger to secure your security and in either case it will promote the general welfare.
Then we have those that believe our Constitution is a plan of government or basically a blueprint a set of rules that must be followed and may not be changed unless the federally elected officials first get a change order (Constitutional Amendment) from the owners (we citizens through our states). They believe the rights of the citizens and the States listed in the Bill of Rights are not rights granted by the government but are a
part of the rights that we are born with and therefore the federal government may not abridge these rights.
So, there is the problem in a nutshell, both groups believe they are following the Constitution and faithfully adhering to their Oaths each defending their view.
The belief that the function of a Constitution whether it is the US or State Constitutions is to provide rights because “it says so right there in the Constitution” completely misses the point. Our Constitutions are not there to bestow rights they are there to declare these rights as something that government must protect and may not trample on not something they have bestowed on us.
You must find out which view of the Constitution the candidates for federal and state offices have and then vote accordingly. Do not think that the D or R after their name on the ballot will give you clue to their beliefs, demand answers of how they will protect your freedoms not what ‘goodies’ they will bring back to your area.
“A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have….”