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Tuesday, August 11, 2015 9:54
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Recently, I found myself engaged in a discussion surrounding the importance of the US Constitution.  Following much debate on the matter, one misinformed individual attacked the US Constitution as being nothing more than “just a piece of paper.”  This opinion, which reports suggest may even be shared by certain US Presidents, is a seductive but terribly dangerous train of thought as history will demonstrate. 

For centuries, the human race was subjected to the capricious dictates of kings, monarchs, dictators, and other ruling despots.  The human condition was pathetic and precarious as men, women and children lived in constant fear of offending the ruling class, because they never knew what arbitrary acts might offend their rulers and land them in the dungeon.

The often overlooked genius of the Constitution is that it was written down on a piece of paper.  It was the first time in the history of the human race that such a thing was done.  It guaranteed for the first time that the governed would always be able to go back to that “piece of paper” and make sure that their governors were not acting outside their delegated powers.  The words are simple and easy to understand so that even a high school student can read it and comprehend it. 

The natural progression to such an argument is the realization that the US Constitution is imperfect and must be discarded for the new and improved political concoctions of the UN or other world leaders whose qualifications and motivations pale in comparison to Madison and company. 

Rest assured that this is an old argument and one that most certainly was dealt with by the Framers.  Hamilton and Madison handled this argument very effectively in The Federalist Papers.  It is true that they admitted to this rather obvious fact, but they were emphatic to point out the much more discernible detail that no one could ever “expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man”. 

Madison, the Father of the Constitution, chimed in somewhat sarcastically chiding his Constitutional critics with the painfully obvious fact that were perfect “angels to govern man” then clearly “no government would be necessary.”   Hamilton concludes that the “pursuit of a perfect plan” was “chimerical” at best.  Hamilton, The Federalist Papers Letter 85.  As such, the Framers understood the need for change and provided the best way to ensure change without losing our freedoms.

It is called the amendment process and was meant to be difficult and arduous so as to protect our freedoms and to keep it from happening with frequency.  In understanding the amendment process, it is important to comprehend the important fact that the Constitution was NOT meant to be a “great starting point” as my previously mentioned detractor suggested.  In actual point of fact, the US Constitution is the intended end result for all earthly political institutions.

Until God comes to reign personally, there has never been and never will be a better way to provide for the protection of the freedom of the human race from tyrannical governments.  There is not one single, solitary example in all of history where the freedoms of the human race were ever allowed to exist and blossom as they have under the US Constitution, while under the governance of a strong, national, federal government.  Anyone trying to move us away from that historical fact is either misguided or devious.

The dangerous, subtle trend we have been experiencing over the last century comes from the desire of certain individuals to implement change in our Constitutional system of government without using the amendment process set forth in Article V of the US Constitution.  These individuals have cleverly used the Supreme Court to facilitate this kind of unconstitutional change.

In response to such thinking, it is important to understand several points.  First and foremost, under the Constitution itself, the Constitution is “supreme.”  US Const. Art. VI.  The Congress, the President and the Courts are all subservient to the Constitution and derive their powers therefrom.  As Madison puts it, “the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.”  Madison, The Federalist Papers Letter 45. 

In other words, the powers of the government are written down so we can read them for ourselves and understand it for ourselves even if the Supreme Court tries to say otherwise.  If the Supreme Court were the “final interpreter of the federal constitution”, as many believe, then the Constitution would have never been written down so the People could see it for themselves.  There is nothing in the Constitution that says that the Court is the “final interpreter.”  In fact, Article III is very specific as to the powers of the Court.  Nowhere is given this so-called “final say” power.  What needs to be understood is that the final say rests with the People themselves.

The second thing is that judges are men and as such are corruptible and cannot be relied on as the final say.  The only purpose of the courts were to “declare the sense of the law” (the Constitution being the supreme law) not the will of what they think society should look like: “The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise will instead of judgment, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body.”  Hamilton, The Federalist Papers Letter 78. 

Hamilton and Madison recognized one of the dangers of the Republic was the tendency of the courts to become corrupted by “men disposed to usurp”, which is why they argued against adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution as unnecessary and dangerous: “I go further, and affirm that the bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous.  They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted [in the Constitution]; . . . but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.”  Hamilton, The Federalist Papers Letter 84.

Remember, the question is always about personal freedoms, which no other document on the planet has done more than the US Constitution.  If change is necessary then we NEED to use the amendment process and make the change.  We CANNOT leave it up to the arbitrary and capricious decisions of an unelected bench of nine people. 

It astounds me that we have arrived at the point predicted by Hamilton when the Bill of Rights would be used to find powers and rights in the Constitution by “men disposed to usurp” when they do not even exist, but these same usurpers ignore the plain language of the document that guarantee specific rights mentioned in the Constitution.  The fact that so many in the country cannot see that this kind of governing is a throwback to the days of arbitrary and capricious behavior is disturbing. 

The Framers of the Constitution NEVER expected for us to sit back and let the government, Supreme Court included, go wherever they want and accrue more and more power than is specifically delegated in the Constitution. Yes, it is just a piece of paper, but the words on it tell us what the government can and cannot do, and we can read it for ourselves.

 ©September 2013 Just A Piece Of Paper, Madame Publius™

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