Echoing from the heavens I continue to hear:
“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people (our 10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition.” –Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Madison, and the rest, are not resting easy these days. In fact almost daily I can picture them ranting and raving over the way their sacrifice, their brilliance, their legacy is being trampled upon and ignored.
To say that the judicial, the legislative, and the executive branch of our government has taken liberties with the Constitution is a little like saying sugar is sweet, lemons are sour, and politicians rapidly become full of themselves…it all goes without saying.
Two hundred and twenty-three years ago the Constitution was submitted for ratification. I believe if there was ever a more perfect document in regards to the affairs of man, it’s buried in the sands of time. And my limited study of history has never revealed it. The proof of the pudding, as is so often said, is in the eating, and the proof of the Constitution is in the fact the United States of America, which so long conducted it’s affairs under fairly strict adherence to the document, became the most powerful, most prosperous, most generous, most sought country the world had ever known.
And I worry about my use of “became,” rather than “has become.” Are we still what we became? Will we remain even remotely powerful? Or are we already falling to the wayside because all three branches of our government seem to care little about a strict interpretation of the Constitution, rather declare it, for their own purposes, to be a “living” document. A “living” document is a euphemism for flexible, changeable,…written on jello; rather than a document cast in concrete from those with an infinite knowledge of history, and sealed with the sweat, tears, and blood of our forefathers. Dried blood, never meant to be erased.
Do you actually think the brilliance of those who constructed the Constitution can be ignored as it is by those currently in power? That brilliance is no better illustrated than the gentleman quoted above who wrote not only the greatest statement of man’s basic nature and will, the Declaration of Independence, but contributed such profound notions to the founding of the country as the statement above.
James Madison, another brilliant mind and thought to be the father of the Constitution, said in the Federalist papers:
…because men are not angels, they need government, but government must be contained and controlled for the same reason.
We see far too often that those we send to congress are not angels, in fact many wouldn’t aspire to be as they don’t believe in the concept of a heavenly host. And one adage, one bit of historical wisdom is as sure as the moon pulling the tides: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even the most elementary student of history will see that proven time and time again. Even the most elementary student of contemporary politics will see that proven time and time again.
One of the basic precepts of the Declaration of Independence is that we may only be governed with our consent. Somehow I don’t remember being asked much by my congressmen and senators, even though I offer much advice, I wonder, I worry, that they’re paying way too much attention to the power they’ve obtained and not enough attention to those of us out here in the pea patch. I think they’ve mostly forgotten it was power granted…by the people. Maybe the corruption of power makes one hard of hearing? Maybe it makes one not want to hear? The good news is we still have the vote, and even if they become hard of hearing while in office, or their ears become filled with the platitudes of those wanting to buy their votes, we can elect another to take their place, maybe sending someone with a better hearing aid, or a less greedy nature.
Now comes before congress another 1,924 page bill, reminiscent of a recent health bill over 2,000 pages.
Again I’ll look back into our history for some guidance, and to James Madison, who said:
It will be little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined by a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known and less fixed?
I wonder if Madison would think a 2,000 page bill followed closely by a 1,924 page bill “voluminous?” Can it be read…or understood? Particularly when the speaker of the house says “let’s pass it now and we’ll read it later.” Or something equally ignorant and inane.
Jefferson and Madison and the rest of our brilliant forefathers went to war over much less.
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