With everyone arguing so much, I like to go back to the basics. Some of this you will know and some you wont..but lets not argue. Lets talk about our foundation and see if we cant find a way to agree to disagree and yet work together to fix the problems enough to try to repair anything we can as a group of people, not a divided nation.
The first official document to establish basic rights for citizens and outline how government will operate. It was signed on September 17, 1787. It, is considered our largest symbol of Freedom and what democracy is built on.
However, some interesting facts you may or may not, know;
This document has 4400 words making it the shortest and oldest document of its kind. With Amendments the word count is 7591.
The word “democracy” is not written in the Constitution at all, not even one time.
While written in English, some Latin is contained in the document. Such as, ”pro tempore” which means for the time being. There are others but, let’s move on..
James Madison because of his extensive notes and never missing not one “constitutional meeting” is considered the “father of the Constitution”. Not only did the founding fathers rely on his notes but he actually wrote the physical document.
A little known statesmen and founding father wrote the Preamble to the Constitution and the original Constitution of the thirteen colonies known as the Articles of Confederation, therefore while James Madison wrote the Constitution from his notes, the wording used was attributed to….Gouverneur Morris.
Everyone should also know that to get the document ratified after signing, Madison and Hamilton went about writing the The Federalist Papers, explaining the new system to the public.
39 delegates signed the document and 13 original delegates were not present. Three delegates refused to sign the document, Edmund Randolph, George Mason, and Elbridge Gerry. George Mason being important because his ideal of “inalienable rights” was critical to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams did not sign the document since they were both away at the time of the signing.
Another fun fact, Thanksgiving? As a national holiday, was declared by George Washington on November 26, 1789 to “give thanks” for the Constitution. Forget the stuff you were taught in school about pilgrims and Indians. The founding fathers wanted us to know via documents kept, history and even a holiday that this document is the foundation in which the free United States is built.
The document since 1952 has been kept at 67 degrees in an argon gas filled case at the national archives.
The document itself is clear and was framed in a way that allowed for 3 co-equal branches of government. For the record, Ive had to explain this to many people over the years so don’t laugh..many people in the US simply do not know these things.
To simplify for the purposes of this article;
Article I sets up he legislative branch of government. House of Representatives and Senate. It is Congresses’ ability to make laws and raise revenue. Section 8 is a good one to read for duties although that’s not everything and there are restrictions.
Article II – The Executive Branch, by far the most abused branch of government for decades now. Which is why we have the checks and balances system. To simplify the President has the power to appoint a cabinet, and oversee the military. Give a state of the Union, appoint ambassadors and Justices of the Supreme Court and he is to settle disputes between respective members of legislative branch. Again, these powers have restrictions.
Article III -sets up the entire federal judicial system and in addition, remands localities for state affairs. This is the law of the land.
Article IV-States rights, more or less.
ArticleV- very controversial right now. Amendments to Constitution either by 2/3 of Congress or ¾ of States who can propose Amendments, which must be agreed upon by the States. More complicated than that..but trying to simplify.
ArticleVI -the debts, supremacy clause, and religious test for oath of office. Now this might be my favorite and also one of the most highly interpreted Articles of this document. In section 2 of this Article are the words ““This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. “ Its simple..federal law is the law of the land.
ArticleVII- ratification of the 9, meant the first 13 states, it was an early ratification of 9 to encourage the others to join in. The framers wrote this section in order for other territories to join as states.
You are going to hear a lot about “rule of law” that has been breached. It has many variations or assertions. Most of them are wrong. Pertaining to the Supremacy Clause, after time, the states were enabled to make treaties, something the framers didn’t intend. Something people are Starting to question. Look up Medellín v. Texas.
There are other breaches in the Constitution over the years, but the rule of law so often referred to are the regulations that encompass Presidential powers and the job of Congress to implement same.
At the end of the day, the simplified interpretation of rule of law means that everyone within that system is subject to the laws of that system. No one is exempt. They must abide by the laws of the land and in this country the Constitution. With that being said, the argument does not solely rest here but with the legislative branch of the government. Also the judicial branch of the government which usually steps in for conflicts. In no part of the Constitution whatsoever, is there a mention of private funding to government OR a two party system set up to divide the ideals of the framers intentions.
But our system is unique with its checks and balances to fix things or balance power under the preface of “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.”
When the system corrupts in one branch and the others are unable to fix it, what do we do? Each enumerated set of powers comes with it restrictions and a cure. But how do you fix a Congress that has only had a balanced budget in 2010 and 2014? How do you fix a Congress that withheld power and duty only to pass things minimally? Their legislative record since 2010 (the 111TH Congress) is poor. You tell me if your boss looked at you, with a progress rate at 1-2% if you would get a raise or even have a job. Especially after you told him you had to roll the books over every month because you cant balance the books. The one thing they Are supposed to do is pass a budget and While right now we want to jump to (GOP vs DEMS) sides, lets just look at the fact that you must do your job, you took an oath of office. Red vs blue is irrelevant, to those that are of the ethical belief of the Constitution.
What we see is politics. I have worked with both Democrats and Republicans and this is all politics…its not the law, or our Constitution. I will give the Senators or Representatives who have left or are leaving credit, even though they contributed to the weakening of the legislative branch, they are getting out while the gettings good. This way if they want to try again later or in another position, they can.
Some people could make this an issue about Trump, in this instance so far, he has taken issue with those he felt attacked him. He used his office improperly only due to the power he commands. Im not writing or commenting on him any further than that. This is about the Constitution and the weakening branches of government. We don’t know the other side of that. It definitely is not any upheld rule of law, balanced budget, good schools, clean water, good jobs , closing of the income inequality gap, on and on. Because its not where the money is. This is now, and was prior to Trump ALWAYS about the money.
You have to first begin with what you believe at your core and if those fundamentals include our foundation, Then pay attention. We have a problem, it cant be fixed by fighting or anarchy. You fix what you have or change the foundation of the United States. Demand it from your representatives, or clean the slate at voting time. There are other options which as citizens of the US are open to discuss, but as Americans we need to support our Constitution and force legislators to do their jobs. Then we can look at other solutions.
As far as the judicial and some arms of executive branch, we aren’t cleaning house, this needs to be done without the politics. That’s may not be possible at this point in time, I don’t care what color tie you wear or who controls what. If we don’t stand together as the United People Under the Constitution, what else do we stand for? Put it to the side, look at whats happening. Ive seen this before, but I do a lot of writing and research. This is not new, but it is very dangerous.
Note..this is about something I care about. If you write about Democrats, liberals, GOP, Republicans..red, blue, donkeys and elephants. I will most likely delete it.