Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Constitution, Some More of Grandpa's Jabberings

Some of the kids from my class were talking about the things that grandpa spoke of in class and they wanted to hear more about his views. After getting permission from grandma I invited them all to come home with us after church services one Sunday and join us in our Sunday brunch out at grandpa’s little Garden of Eden.

After changing out of our Sunday do-dads and into some everyday duds we all jumped up onto the wagon that grandpa brought to church that day. Grandpa had me fill it with some hay so we ended up having a hayride home. Being a bit shy with girls, I got a little red-faced when the prettiest girl in class jumped up next to me and gave me one of the prettiest smiles I have ever known.

Once home and the girls helped grandma gather up the food, we got back on that wagon and headed out to the place where we were to have the picnic. And yes, that pretty gal sat with me again. I even got brave enough to hold her hand on the way out. A feeling went through me that I never felt before at just the touch of her hand in mine, but will admit it was a good feeling.

Once out there, all the kids sat on the plush grass surrounding grandpa and this be his words spoken,

"Young’uns, if we are to understand what the Constitution means we need to start at the beginning of it, the Preamble. For it is in the Preamble of the Constitution that best describes what was in the minds of our founding fathers.

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 secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, if we look at this preamble we can find the purpose of the Constitution. It could have read simply as

We the people of the United States do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.’

However, they added all of the clauses in-between too to indicate what this Constitution was expected to achieve in regards to this newly established union of States. So, what was this Constitution suppose to achieve? Let’s go through them one at a time. Remember though, that the union we speak of is the union of States, not people.

"…to form a more perfect union…"

We must remember, first, that this Constitution was intended to replace the first Constitution, The Articles of Confederation. They found that Constitution to be flawed. This Constitution was intended to address those flaws thus making it a more perfect union.

One of the biggest flaws of the first Constitution was the fact that those who were suppose to provide the funds for the maintenance of the federal government didn’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else.

Who didn’t pay their federal taxes? It was the States themselves. So, you can see the hypocritical nature of governments, even ours, from the very beginning of the nation.

"… establish justice…"

We must keep in mind that this document was intended to address the issue of injustices committed by government. For the answer to this idea, we need only to read the Declaration of Independence to understand their concept of abuse of power by government. In the reading of this, one might find just how the founding fathers felt about governmental interference into the private lives of its citizens.

"…insure domestic tranquility…"

It was for this reason that the Supreme Court was established. It gave the States a forum to resolve any disputes that they may have with each other thus insuring that war would not be waged between any of the members of this union being established. Well, the Civil war quickly taught us that there are times when talk alone will not resolve issues.

The U.N. is another example of trying to achieve domestic tranquility and only confirms the truthfulness of this folly. This idea of domestic tranquility cannot even be achieved between two persons much less between two or more nations. Marriage is proof of this.

"…provide for the common defense…"

This may be the only thing that this document has achieved. We have been in many a war where the very survival of this union could be said as being in question but each time we came out on the side of victory.

"…promote the general welfare…"

This one, I’ll admit, is a goal that can be easily interpreted many ways and because of it can and has been one of the excuses used to see rights of the federal government that are not there. From a historical perspective, I see it as meaning that the federal government, by its restricted powers, would promote the prosperity of this union by its lack of interference into the realm of the States and the people. To see it in any other way would, in my mind, make the 10th amendment worthless and without meaning.

"… secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…"

The key word here is the word ‘liberty’. Many people take the word as being synonymous with the word freedom. I would agree when the word freedom used in the same context as the word liberty. Freedom allows one to see it from many perspectives and can be used to justify independence as well as dependence. Liberty, on the other hand, recognizes independence and autonomy alone.

Now that be enough of my jabbering. Let’s dig into grandma’s delicious fried chicken she has prepared for us, shall we?"


BB-Idaho said...

"Remember though, that the union we speak of is the union of States, not people." I agree with Grandpa in the technical sense.
As the preamble states, 'we the people' are the intent and beneficiaries of 'justice, tranquility, defense, general welfare and liberty' as noted
as being secured (intended) to
'ourselves and our posterity'.
So the 'more perfect union' of the states in that sense was to frame a system of government to best
serve the interests of its citizens (the former government by the King's governers having failed in that respect). Of course Grandpa studies these things more deeply and may agree or disagree with this 'youngster'...:)

The Griper said...

oh, grandpa agrees wholeheartedly, BB. the only question that would need to be answered in that tho, how is government to function so as to serve the interests of its citizens as seen by the founders?

we need to remember that the people were considered as "subjects" of the king to be used and dealt with as the king desired. they were subject to the will of the king. this goes back to the principle of the "divine rights of kings". their very lives were in the hands of the king.

in that system the population was divided up into two unequal classes, the class of royalty and the class of the commoners.

to me, the idea of equality as used in the Declaration of Independence along with the many times they use the term "people" indicates that they were creating a system that eliminated this unequal treatment by government and just creating a society of one class, the class of people, a class where all have the same rights.

with this, we can see that government cannot give special treatment to any one separate class of a society as was done under the system we liberated ourselves from.

and also with that a system was created with the intent that the people were to rule their own lives and not let it be ruled by government as it was.

make sense?

The Griper said...

i would also like to add that when we speak about these things we are speaking from the position of political terms not Sociological terms. these are two separate ideas.

Karen Howes said...

Great post, Griper. LIberty is not "license."

I've heard it said that true freedom is not the freedom to do what we want, or even what we must-- but to do what we OUGHT.

Karen Howes said...

By the way, I hope Grandma left some fried chicken for me! :-)

The Griper said...

he just grins, then hands karen a nice juicy chicken leg.


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