Read an Excerpt
“We The People of the United states, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The preamble to the Constitution for The United States of America
With these few words, that which is likely the most noted document in the world is introduced. Words that were, at one time, on the lips of school children across this great nation, and now words that for the most part are completely unfamiliar to the younger generation. Yet, it isn’t just the words or even the document that is the least forgotten, it is the courage, the stamina and the iron will of a small group of men determined to chart a course for this new country to follow. A course that would set this new nation apart from all other nations, a course that would be founded on the bed-rock of the principle of freedom, fairness and the common good.
A complete slate of the fifty-five state representatives who crafted the Constitution for the United States of America is easily available for the reader interested in research. Among the group were the famous and the not-so-famous. Men like James Madison, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and William Samuel Johnson were among the more noted, but lesser well known individuals such as Roger Sherman, John Dickerson, George Mason, George Wythe, John Blair, Edmund Randolph, James McClung, William Patterson, John Rutledge, Nathaniel Gorham, Oliver Ellsworth, and Rufus King also had a hand—or least a finger—in the final document that was prepared for the states to ratify.
Of the fifty-five representatives, only forty-one were present when the U.S. Constitution was finally completed by the end of September 1787 and forwarded to the states for ratification. Still, all was not harmony, as three of the delegates refused to sign the document, which called for a strong central government, and indeed the opposition did not stop with the ending of the “Constitution Convention.” Other “Anti-Federalist” forces were at work, attempting to delay, derail or defeat the new Constitution.
Immediately, the Constitution became the target of many articles and public letters written by opponents of the Constitution. Anti-Federalist authors ‘Cato’ and ‘Brutus’ appeared in New York papers on September 27 and October 18, 1787, respectively. Hamilton decided to launch a measured and extensive defense and explanation of the proposed Constitution as a response to the opponents of ratification, addressing primarily the people of the state of New York, one of the key states needed for ratification. And he had allies.
Three strong men stood in favor of the Constitution and its strong federal government. Extremely intelligent, gifted politicians, and noted orators, these “Federalists” were James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. Three men of a like mind, the trio adopted the Roman name ‘Publius’ (Latin for ‘public’ which Hamilton believed superior to either ‘Brutus’ or ‘Cato’) and created a series of supporting newspaper articles known collective as “The Federalist” or as is more commonly referred to today as “The Federalist Papers.”
Today, in the calendar year of 2010, our Constitution is under no less an assault than it was two hundred and twenty-three years ago. No, the Constitution isn’t under siege by states attempting to “de-ratify” the Constitution. Instead, the vicious assault is from components of the government itself; what our founding fathers labeled “The Enemy Within”. Politicians from all sides, members of both governing parties, individuals in each branch—Executive, Judicial and Congressional—are determined to make the Constitution mean exactly what they want it to mean, make of it a “Living Document”, without regard to the intent of the founders of the greatest nation of all time. In a little over two hundred years, the United States has come from an undeveloped group of thirteen colonies to become the greatest nation in the history of the world; the richest, the most powerful and the leader in virtually every category, including human rights.
Now, the very foundation of that great nation is being besieged by government officials and employees who want to alter, amend, wrack, twist, warp and malign the Constitution into just an average constitution, with a small ‘c”. It doesn’t appear that the besiegers so much as want to destroy the Constitution, as to bend it into the shape of their choosing, and to make the Constitution include more than the founders of the country intended and exclude that which they don’t want. Without exception, every individual who signed the Constitution and even those who opposed the Constitution were for limited government. In fact, the original intent was to drastically limit and enumerate the responsibilities of the federal government and leave all other rights to the individual and the states.
Today, those in power and those who want to be in power seem to be taking their strategy from the same playbook. That is, each party seems to have more and more gifts for the voter providing that they are elected to office. While one party professes that it is the party of “less government”, history shows that neither party has done anything of significance to generate a reduction in the government’s domination over the individual; and neither party has made an effort to limit the government’s effect on the lives and the income of the individual.
This surely was not the intent of the founders of our country. Today, more than fifty percent of the people work for the government in one fashion or another. This is definitely not limited government, not the government of Hamilton, Madison and Jay.
Uncontrolled spending, unlimited borrowing and massive deficits in addition to massive taxation. This is not limited government, either.
Enormous give-away programs, both abroad and at home, to countries who won’t attempt to change or to citizens who refuse to work. That is limited government? Not according to Madison, Jay and Hamilton.
So, let’s take a close look at the intent of the founders of our nation. Let’s examine their intent, and let’s see where we have veered off the course set by the wisest men of our history. Perhaps it isn’t too late to return to that course. Perhaps.