Words mean things.

And context illuminates meaning.

Context not only includes other words within a given work, but also past and future writings of the authors, and the social and philosophical framework within which the work was produced.

The articles and sections of the Constitution mean things.

And context illuminates meaning.

Progressives view the Constitution as a living, breathing document.  Barak Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope:

“Ultimately, though, I have to side with Justice Breyer’s view of the Constitution—that it is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.”

In other words, the Constitution means – whatever you want it to mean.

Progressive reasoning holds that in this ever-changing world, we can’t possibly know what the founders would think about freedom of speech in the Internet age, or search and seizure in an era of wireless wiretapping. The world changes, thus context changes. So, we decide what it means and apply it as we see fit.


The words of the Constitution mean things.

And context illuminates meaning.

The Constitution provides specific instructions forming the basis upon which the United States rests. The House of Representatives originates spending. The government shall not abridge freedom of speech, press or religion. The president must be at least 35-years-old and a citizen of the U.S.

But it goes deeper than that. The document was built upon a philosophical foundation – a philosophical foundation promoting individual liberty, respect for private property and a general distrust of concentrated power. We know this because the founders wrote volumes outlining their philosophies and ideas. We know this because we can read John Locke, John Stuart Mill and others who informed the thinking of the founders. We know this because we can pick up a copy of the Federalist Papers and read exactly why the framers wrote the Constitution as they did.

Context does not change. It remains static, as much a part of the document as the words themselves. The philosophical framework that undergirds the Constitution does not change. The ideas that birthed the nation do not change.

So, to proclaim the Constitution living and breathing – changeable from what the founders clearly intended – is to reject the philosophy holding the document together.

Progressives reject liberty.

And to advance their ideas, they must make the Constitution liquid, molding into a form that fits their needs. Manipulating it through the courts. Divorcing the Constitution from its underlying philosophical framework.

Choking the life out of it.

Breathless. Dead.

Words mean things.

And context illuminates meaning.

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce; with which the last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” – James Madison

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

“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.”



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The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



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