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SENTRY JOURNAL » Constitution, Federalist Papers, ignorance, Intent » Our Constitution: Ignorance of Intent

Our Constitution: Ignorance of Intent

We have all witnessed the massive expansion of the federal government under the current administration.  And whenever something grows in size something else is displaced.  In regard to our government’s growth it has been our individual liberties that have been displaced and this should outrage all of us no matter where we fall on the political spectrum.

It should outrage liberty loving people when a government forces healthcare mandates on its people or imposes stiff penalties if they do not comply.

It should outrage liberty loving people when a government passes laws that favor big financial banks over smaller banks corrupting our free market system while creating bureaucratic barriers for smaller banks and then calling it financial reform.

It should outrage liberty loving people when their elected officials attempt to squelch free speech just before an election by submitting a bill that would have placed strict limitations on corporate political speech after the highest court in the land had already ruled this type of law was unconstitutional.

It should outrage liberty loving people when unelected bureaucrats attempt to bypass the congress, the courts, and the constitution by creating and implementing policies that permit the illegal search of individuals at airports without any regard for the 4th amendment, that create environmental rules based off of questionable science that imposes rigid regulations on the private sector, and that attempt to control and regulate the internet.

And even though all of the above has indeed happened or is currently in the works against liberty loving people I have yet to see the outrage.  Oh sure we witnessed the loud voice of the people during the 2010 midterms.  The Democrats of the 111th suffered a historic loss in the House of Representatives, but in my opinion when measured against the liberty stealing bills they had passed the people’s voice was only a whisper.  The outrage was missing from a supposed liberty loving people.  So I began to wonder why this was.  With the exception of conservative talk radio and conservative bloggers, the outrage with the general populace was simply missing.  I mean if this outrage was truly there we would have seen at least 150 seats lost for the Democrats in the House and a Senate take over and that would have indeed been historic.  Instead we ended up with mixed results and claimed a massive victory.  So yesterday I was talking to Right Hand Man about this and during our conversation he told me a story about a debate he had with one of his classmates.

His classmate held the position that the Founding Fathers had no right to define what an unalienable right was.  As the conversation continued I became frustrated and blurted out “don’t these people know that the constitution is a wall that was erected by our Founders to protect our unalienable rights that we are born with from government infringement?”  I couldn’t wrap my brain around why people couldn’t see that the intent of our constitution was to limit the government’s ability to cross over and trespass upon our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And yet this is exactly what the 111th did from every possible angle.  They managed to climb over that wall into our lives with only a moderate amount of outrage that came from of the Tea Party movement.  Why wasn’t there an avalanche of outrage from all liberty loving people that went beyond the Tea Party movement?  Our liberties are being stolen by a federal government in the name of healthcare, financial reform, food safety, airport security, and internet fairness and no one seems to care to the degree they should.  The conclusion I reached is people have become ignorant of the intent of our constitution.  People no longer read the federalist and anti-federalist papers.  These papers are vital in understanding the intent of our constitution and I have taken for granted that people know these documents.  They no longer read the speeches of George Washington or Patrick Henry.  They no longer examine the constitution or Declaration of Independence with a critical eye.  What was once extensively examined and taught in our schools about our Founders and these inspiring documents now gets a chapter or two at best.  This is why there is no outrage; people are ignorant to the intent of our constitution.

James Madison who was instrumental in the crafting of our constitution and is often referred to as the Father of the Constitution stated on Federalist Paper No. 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States.

The intent of our constitution in regards to the federal government’s role in our lives and the State governments’ role in our lives is clearly conveyed by Mr. Madison in the above paragraph.  And after all who would know better the intent than the Father of the Constitution.  Now this is just a few paragraphs taken from one federalist paper.  There are thousands of more documents that even drill down deeper and clearly define the intent of the constitution and what our Founders envisioned.  People for the most part just don’t know this stuff anymore and this is why there isn’t the outrage there should be when congress passes a bill that steals our liberties.  We need to reacquaint the people with these remarkable documents.  And this is exactly what Right Hand Man and I plan to do when we move to our new site at the turn of the year.  It’s time to lift the veil of ignorance and bury it once and for all; just maybe the people will see our constitution in a new light.  When this finally happens, this nation will change in an instant, and we will acquire an unquenchable thirst for liberty that will not be easily satisfied.  This is the America we must find once again.  An America grounded in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  When we do a new age of constitutional enlightenment will be upon us and the age of ignorance will be swept away.

Liberty forever, freedom for all.

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Filed under: Constitution, Federalist Papers, ignorance, Intent

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