Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Promise of Liberty as Founded, the Reality of its Demise

The Promise of Liberty
Grandpa just sat there on the swing that he had placed on the porch for him and grandma to sit on as they watched the sunsets at night. As he looked at me I saw a sadness in his eyes, a sadness that seemed to envelop his very soul. It seems that sometimes a little knowledge should not be learned at times and this appeared to be one of those times.  For knowledge can give freedom to a man or it can be a ball chained to a man.

"Boy, we started this little expedition of knowledge into the past for confirmation or the foolishness of our political beliefs but we learned more than we even thought we could. Even as old as I am, I never expected to learn what I did and you know, boy, I don't know how to handle this knowledge. What is significant though is that the knowledge is out there for anyone to see and they recognize that change has occurred when they read it.

The problem lies in how people interpret this change. There are some who view this change as just that and nothing more. They place no significance on that change. They see it as a natural process of progress. Others will see that change and think of it as a change for the better as if it is creating a more perfect union. What they don't see is that change results in unauthorized power if that nation is under a constitution.

Upon winning their independence from the motherland the States recognized that their strength was found in their unity of numbers. Though each State wanted to retain their independence they knew that individually that none could survive as independent States thus they formed a confederation of States in order to consolidate the strength that existed, and they formed a federal government expressly for this purpose.

With this newly formed government a separation of powers resulted. A constitution was written that recognized this separation of powers. It was a change in the way a nation was governed as it had never been done before. The States had formed a centralized government with limited powers, powers that each State possessed but had agreed to give up.

Government powers can be seen as existing for two purposes. One purpose being for the self defense of a nation from foreign powers. The other purpose being for the domestic tranquility of the people who reside within that nation. And if one was to study the structure of each nation of the world we would find both of these purposes fulfilled under a centralized government. It is this type of government structure that prompts the idea that a Constitution is a contract between the people and the government.

And the great experiment of this nation was in the division of those powers. The federal government was formed solely for the first purpose. The States retained the powers of the second purpose. It is the recognition of this separation of powers that we must recognize that the Constitution is a different form of contract.

It must be recognized as being a contract between the States not a contract between the people and the government. If one was to read that Constitution with comprehension one would recognize it as a document that declared exactly what powers that the federal government was expressly given and by assumption what powers the States retained.

In other words, the federal constitution expressly governs what powers that this newly formed government was to have. And it was a written constitution so as to leave no doubt as to what powers this new government was allowed to execute as allowed it by the States throughout the generations. It is this understanding that declares the importance of the oath of office that each person must take when elected or appointed to a federal office.

If there be any contract between the people and their government it can be declared that State constitutions would be that type of contract. If what I say is not the intent of the founding of this nation then one thing is certain. There would be no need of State constitutions. And as it stands now in today's world, State constitution are irrelevant to the governing of this nation. For the only thing that would give State constitutions relevance and purpose is that if they addressed the powers of a government that was not subject to the recognition of powers established by the federal constitution. I would challenge anyone to dispute this claim.”

with these words said grandpa's voiced trailed off into a whisper then to silence. But I remained silent knowing that grandpa had more to say on the subject that brought him so much sadness.



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