Sunday, July 25, 2010

We, the Voters, Informed or Not?

Elections are coming up sooner than we think and now is the time for everyone to determine the criteria on how to evaluate their candidates. In this day and age the issues are no longer the primary concerns of the voter as they once were. We, as voters, must use another criterion. That criterion must be the Constitution in regards to candidates for Congress.


We need to vote for those who will place the Constitution above any law that they will vote on. That is the oath they must take before being allowed to take a seat in Congress. But before we demand that our representatives abide by Constitutional principles, we the voter, better be sure that we know what that Constitution says and means.

It is not a bad thing for our representatives to see the needs of the people that voted him into office. It is not a bad thing for our representatives to want to alleviate the hardships that life bring upon a people. I think we all would like to have God-like powers for this purpose.

What is bad is not understanding where the right to deal with those hardships lies. Is it the right of the federal government, the right of the state and local governments or is it a right of the individual persons of the nation? It serves no purpose to deal with hardships in an unconstitutional manner. And that is what we, the voter, must ascertain when evaluating the candidate for political office. That is the primary basis of being an informed representative on the issues. 

That must be the very first criteria every man  who holds a government office must use to evaluate any law he is voting on.  That must be the same criteria for the voter also.  we can't vote for a man in ignorance of his constitutional stance and then expect him to be informed and abide by his oath of office. 

There are three political documents on the federal level that are worth the time for anyone to study and ponder. It will be in the understanding and comprehending of these three documents that will give you, the voter, an insight into the thoughts of the founding fathers in regards to governmental rule of the people and its place in a society. Those three documents be the Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, and, of course, the now accepted Constitution under which our governments rule today.

We are a nation whose people support a tiered form of government, we have the federal government that is financially supported by the people of this nation. We have State governments which are financially supported by the people of that particular State. Then, lastly, we have local governments which are supported by the people of that particular community. And each tier of government has their own constitutions.

Every constitution of any government of State serves but one purpose. It defines and limits the power and authority of that particular government which it addresses. If it did not then it would serve no purpose of existence. When those persons who possess a seat of government go beyond their defined powers then they abuse the power that they possess.

The federal Constitution defines the power of the federal government and in doing so limit’s the power of the federal government to those powers enumerated within the Constitution. State constitutions define and limits the power of the government of that particular State. The same be true of local constitutions.

The powers of the state and local governments may contain provisions that allow them to govern differently than other state or local governments thus there are no equality of rights from state to state or from one community to the next.

This is but one reason that we, the voter, must have a good understanding of the Constitutions we declare that we abide by. For if we do not, how are we going to evaluate the person who is seeking any particular office of government in an informed manner?  On what basis can we declare we are casting an informed vote if we do not know whether or not the man we are voting for will abide by his oath of office?

The role of government and its place in society is complex enough when the people of government abide by their constitutional powers. There is no reason to add to that complexity by allowing people to abuse those powers granted them by the people.

The vote is yours. Make it an informed vote this fall. Know your Constitutions and cast that vote accordingly. If you do not your grandchildren may never experience the meaning of a government of the people, a government by the people, or a government meant to govern for the people.

Update: 7/27/10
I am adding this little update because I read a post by Professor Jacobson on his blog, "Legal Insurrection" that appears to add weight to what I have said above and is further evidence of why it is so important. His post is entitled "If This Doesn't Motivate You For November, Nothing Will"

8 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Excellent post! I wish every liberal could read it, but few will. True conservatives are with you already. All we can hope is that enough of the hand-wringing nincompoops in the middle wake up and smell the...Shinola that they’ll make a difference in the coming elections.

The Griper said...

Unfortunately, that can be said of members of all political persuasions, my friend, even conservatives.

most will understand their own poltical ideology but that doesn't mean they understand the Constitution.

it only means that they place ideology above the Constitution when it come down to the issues of societies.

Rational Nation USA said...

Griper - You nailed it.

Sadly too few Americans follow this train of reasoned and rational thought.

It is my belief that neither major party is desirous of an imformed electorate at this point in our history.

Were the electorate to be actually informed and thinking rationally would endanger the politicians entrenched in power.

Just my observation for whatever they may be worth.

The Griper said...

RN,
you do a pretty good job of hitting the nail on the head yourself.

your words just indicates that we need debate within our own ranks before we demand debate of the opposition forces.

we can't just assume that those within the ranks are unified on the Constitution just because they are allied on certain particular issues

TRUTH 101 said...

Griper: I like what you wrote. And our disagreements stem from how much government can or should do to promote the general welfare of the public.

I think the Founding Father's understood and had the language to meet the needs in the 18th century as well as succeeding centuries to make government flexible and serving to all.


We didn't have nuclear weapons and cable TV in 1787. We had a frontier far larger than anyone could imagine.


There is much beyond the scope of any private enterprise being able to accomplish now. To compete in a world market we must have a strong government. We have no choice. The Contitution is a living document. It's not the enemy of the left or an inconvenience.

The Griper said...

Truth,
The Constitution is a contract not a living document. the founding fathers were not gods and only God in His omnipresence existence has the foresight to create a living document.

the Articles of Confederation as passed could be seen more in the line of a living document.

a living document would not need amendments for any future problems would already be addressed in the original document.

under contract law we have had 18 different Constitutions not just one and not counting the Articles of Confederation.

and as any contract it remains in force for as long as the participating parties exist and are bound by the terms of that contract with the same understanding of it as it was originally entered into.

amendments add to any contract and with the understanding that the rest of the contract remains the same as it was originally understood.

that is the foundational basis of any and all contracts. if it wasn't, the whole meaning and purpose of contract law would be thrown out of the window and it could never be enforcable.

The Constitution is a contract that legally and morally binds the parties to uphold their end of the agreement. and no participating party may change the terms of that contract until that contract has been fulfilled.

the whole idea of any contract is to protect the Rights of any and all parties as determined within that contract. That is exactly the purpose and intent of any Constitution whether written or oral.

without the ability to amend the Constitution any changes in it would require that a whole new Constitution be written each time there was a need to change the Constitution just as it was necessary to do when the founding fathers found flaws in the original Constitution.

amendments are just recognition that the Constitution contains flaws that do not address present problems.

so, the 27 amendments are proof of the fact that the Constitution cannot be seen as a living document.

TRUTH 101 said...

You've just argued against yourself Griper.

The language regarding adding amendments shows the wisdom of the writers of The Constitution. It is what keeps our Constitution alive and viable throughout our history.


I do have some experience with contracts and I appreciate and agree that The Constitution can be thought of as one. And most contracts I've come across are purposely ambiguous in that the absolutes are rare. There is language inserted to correct oversites and changes in situation. Just as The Costitution provides for amendments.

It is alive and well my friend.

The Griper said...

truth,
no, i didn't argue against myself, my friend. it just points out that our understanding of the meaning of a "living document" is not the same. and until we come to agreement in regards to that then there will always be differences in understanding of the Constitution

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