There has been much talk lately about the Constitution and whether we need it or not. In fact a on CBS this Sunday morning a commentator commented, “I've got a simple idea: Let's give up on the Constitution.” Link
On this topic our educational system has failed us. I have recently had conversations with a number of very intelligent and well-educated people who do not understand the basics of our Constitution and what makes the US different from every other country.
To get a basic understanding of why our country was created and why we are so much different, we must look back to our founding.
In the Declaration Of Independence our founder wrote:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
The difference that our founders are pointing out is that our rights are not from given by our government, they are endowed by our creator. Governments only power is to secure these rights.
Next we need to understand why we have the Bill of Rights.
“During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it. The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each Representative and the compensation of Congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.” 1
Tyranny is something of a taboo subject in our modern lexicon. Tyranny is, arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power by government. So what happens when we start ignoring the principals put in place to protect us from tyranny? You get what we have now, a government that demands more control over more area’s of life.
Do not mistake this for a political statement; all modern politicians have contributed to this breaking down of our constitutional protections. No Democrat or Republican is free from blame.
Over the coming weeks I will take some of the major protections from the Bill of Rights and see how they have been degraded.