Happyy Constitution Day
‘We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Today, Sept. 17, is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. According to the National Constitution Center, Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware—the first state to ratify the Constitution— kicked off the yearlong festivities as the first governor to present an official, signed proclamation commemorating the Constitution’s historic 225th anniversary. The Center has obtained proclamations from governors across the nation that call upon Americans to remember the Constitution's enduring significance and reflect on our rights and responsibilities as active citizens. These proclamations will be on display at the Center throughout the year.
Their website offers visitors a chance to “sign” the Constitution and celebrate the freedoms the Founding Fathers preserved for us.
There was a predecessor to the U.S. Constitution – The Articles of Confederation. However, it was a weak document that made no distinctions between the powers of the Federal government and the responsibilities of the individual states. The Constitution repaired those deficiencies and truly united the individual states, protecting their separate rights but uniting them in the cause of a single nation.
Today, even as we celebrate the Constitution’s 225th anniversary, its words and principles are under attack. The Constitution, intended to limit the power of the Federal government, is being rendered asunder by those who crave ever greater power, promising the “people” that their rights will be better protected under the auspices of a leviathan government.
By an odd coincidence, today is also the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street who, using their first amendment right of free speech, cry out for the destruction of individuality, creativity, success, and property ownership. They would thrust upon us not an American revolution but a French revolution, violent, bloody, and inherently unjust. The first right they would abolish is your right to criticize or condemn them and their “social justice” agenda.
They, and their president of choice, Obama, would willingly do away completely with the U.S. Constitution. To them, it’s an obstruction to their goals of tyranny, oppression, and outright theft. If that’s what they think, then the U.S. Constitution has been doing its job these 225 years. It’s up to us to make sure it continues to be the law of the land. Do not be seduced by tax compromises or promises of absolution of “white guilt.”
The Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcome. No American citizen should be guaranteed more than his neighbor by accident of a poor birth than by a noble one. Throw away our Constitution for the temptation of tax breaks, or threats of withheld government financing, and we will become a nation of serfs, as F.A. Hayek predicted.
On September 17, the members of the Constitution Committee met for the last time, and the venerable Benjamin Franklin had written a speech that was delivered by his colleague James Wilson. Appealing for unity behind the Constitution, Franklin declared, “I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats.” With Mason, Gerry, and Randolph withstanding appeals to attach their signatures, the other delegates in the hall formally signed the Constitution, and the convention adjourned at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
But the battle over the Constitution was not finished on that day. The 13 colonies still had to ratify it. A great debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists began, through a series of newspaper articles. The Anti-Federalists were concerned that the Constitution gave too much power to the government and not enough protection to the states and to individuals. Only when the Bill of Rights, the collective name for the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was adopted and ratified in December, 1791, were both sides satisfied. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public.
The amendments were introduced by James Madison to the 1st United States Congress as a series of legislative articles. They were adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789, formally proposed by a joint resolution of Congress on September 25, 1789, and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on Dec. 15, 1791, through the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States. While twelve amendments were passed by Congress, only ten were originally passed by the states.
There is a movement today to make the United States subservient to the laws of the United Nations. Such an act would obviate our sovereign constitution. The United States is the leader and supreme example of freedom in the world. Some believe that America oversteps her bounds on the global stage by encouraging freedom and representative democracy. The fires of Hell are spreading across the Middle East and the world, ignited by the hatred of freedom and order.
Our response, as the leader of the free world, must remain firm and unthwarted in the face of mob violence, corruption, and despotism. We must stand by our allies in the quest of freedom, those who look up to us as the exemplar of liberty, and guard the light of hope that our enemies, both foreign and domestic, would extinguish if we fail in our vigilance.
Freedom will prevail.