Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Government and Principles

Dinner time was always a very special time of day for me. It was a time when grandpa had designated as time the family would discuss anything that might be on anyone's mind. I soon realized it was a also a time that could be used to get things off one's chest too. This way no one went to bed angry or bothered by what a member of the family did that day. After we had eaten and grandpa was sipping on his after dinner coffee I asked this,

"Grandpa, why is there so much argument about the meaning of the Constitution?"

His answer be this,

"The purpose and intent of any Constitution is to define the role of government in a society. Any form of government can be governed by a Constitution even if it were a dictatorial form of government. It should also define the role that the people have in regards to that government even if the people are to have no role in the government that rules over them.

There is one reason that I would give for having a Constitutional government. It is the fact that government by definition possesses all of the powers humanly possible of God with the exception of the power of creation. The primary difference being that God will not abuse that power. Governments will. It is a government without checks upon its power that lead to an abuse of that power.

There is one big problem though with having a Constitutional government, bias and prejudice. There is no third party to determine the constitutionality of any situation. Government reserves that role for itself. The recognition of bias is revealed by the fact there are two schools of thought regarding interpretation of a Constitution.

In recognition of these two schools of thought, there can be only one conclusion. It is that the Constitution will not be interpreted consistently over time in accordance to its intent and purpose of existence. That, to me, is the biggest flaw in the writing of Constitutions. If governments are to rule by laws rather than by men, then those laws must be consistent. This can not occur if a Constitution is not applied in a consistent manner. The need of consistency is found in the concept of precedence that is used when interpreting any Constitution or application of any law.

If men want to change the form of government that they be ruled by, that is fine. That is their right. The Constitution provides for that. It allows for it by the amendment process, which is the means to change it peacefully. It also provides the means by which it can be changed violently if necessary. The Civil war that our nation went through was an example of the attempt to do exactly that.

The Civil war be the best example of the need to have consistency in the interpretation of the Constitution. It could be argued those inconsistent viewpoints of the Constitution and the application of these differing viewpoints was the primary influence that brought on the war. It was the result of men violating the principles laid out for government as declared or implied within the Constitution.

This is called a compromise of principles. This is the direct result of making an issue so important that the principle of government takes a back seat to it. People are to live by principles not compromise them so that they might live. The life of a man is devalued when principles are compromised and when the life of one man is devalued so is the value of the society that he be a member.

So, boy, remember this. Be tolerant of the principles of others but never compromise your own."

I could only nod at this advice and say, "Yes, sir."


tweetey30 said...

Sounds like great advice from an older person. I have always loved this part of history when I was in school. There was just something interesting about this part of it.

The Griper said...

history itself is interesting. the thing i hated about it was dates. i was never that good at remembering them and connecting them to events.

something like street names, never can remember them either.

Gayle said...

Street names and dates! Yuck! I always remembered how to get somewhere by the landmarks, very seldom paying any attention to the name of streets.

We always get in trouble when we compromise our principles, and so many have compromised their principles that our entire country is feeling the pain.

Wonderful post!

The Griper said...

there i will agree with you, gayle, without argument.

Goat said...

Great post, I was fortunate to have a history teacher more concerned with cause and effect as long as the chronology was accurate than specific dates. A typical exam question would have been "What were the socio-religio drivers behind Lincoln's Emacipation Proclimation?" Or " Compare and contrast the religio-socio impact vs the politico of the Enlightenment"

The Griper said...

wish i could say the same, goat. seemed like every question was date oriented but know there weren't but seems like it.

Average American said...

We must of had the same teacher Griper. I always had a tough time with dates too. I never could understand why history was so important until I was told that when we don't pay attention to history, we make the same mistakes again. How true that is and how often that happens.

Lista said...

I agree with your comment about dates, Griper. I was never good at that either, nor at street names, nor even at names.

I think the problem with learning History is that they teach it too early. I didn't really understand the implications of History when I was in grade school and that is when it is primarily taught.

The quote I heard, Average American, was; "Those who do not study History are doomed to repeat it.", yet it sort of seems to me that we repeat a lot of it anyway. As to "Compromise", interestingly, I've realized lately that I am changing my mind on the issue. I used to believe that the answer was usually in the middle, but I'm not so sure any more. I ended up talking about this change in my more recent comments in the "Lessons for the Strong and the Weak" Post on my blog.

dcat said...

Ok somebody tell Wikipedia to stop editing it for communistic socialism venues!


Words of Wisdom of my visitors

Grab This Widget

Gas Buddy

Search for gas prices by US Zip Code


Design by Amanda @ Blogger Buster