A Brand New Concept . . . Governing by the Constitution


The upcoming 2014 midterm elections have a different feel to them. We have a rare opportunity to send to Washington several real conservatives who may actually attempt to govern in accordance with the Constitution. Sad that it’s rare, isn’t it?

But governing by Constitution? What a quaint and provincial idea. I keep thinking, maybe this time we might just try it. Heck, we’ve either tried or been witness to every other failed type of Government. Why not give it a go? Why not try a constitutionally constrained Representative Republic?

The United States Constitution spells out plainly how to get it right, what is allowed and what isn’t. Although this seems like a simple concept, and it is, lawmakers, the courts, and academia purposely make it seem that the average Joe could never truly comprehend it.

When I hear Democrats say that they don’t really worry about the Constitution, I cringe. When I hear a Republican claim, regarding any issue, he isn’t sure if it’s constitutional, I have the same response.

What do you mean you’re not sure? Aren’t you guys charged with upholding it? It either is or isn’t! Look it up. It’s not hard. I was able to do it. Read what the founders had to say.

Our history is replete with quotations regarding the Constitution, far too many to cover in this article.

Why don’t we look back at some of those who had a hand in the original process.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1801 that “A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

What! Regulate ourselves? Is it possible that just maybe we could do a better job than our government?

It’s astonishing how far we’ve strayed from those concepts. It is, however, easy to understand how it happened. Ben Franklin understood it just fine when he explained, “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Boy, how right he was.

Please pick up a copy of the Constitution and read it. It’s not that difficult to comprehend.

The Second Amendment, for instance, is quite simple, but it’s made to seem complicated by anti-gun activists. By the way, it has nothing at all to do with hunting.

George Washington plainly said,” Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ teeth.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No free men shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Patrick Henry, “The great object is, that every man be armed.… Everyone who is able may have a gun.”

The Tenth Amendment is an easy one. It’s been at the center of many a debate recently. James Madison probably had a good handle on what it meant when he said, “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are general.”

So, for example, if the wackos in California or Colorado want to legalize marijuana, let them. It’s none of the federal government’s business.

My personal favorite: the separation of church and state. Anyone who can read knows this is not in the Constitution. The First Amendment clearly states what Congress cannot do, and Congress cannot establish a religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion.

I could continue, but in closing I’ll leave you with one last quotation from Thomas Jefferson. In 1823 he wrote the following:

“On every question of construction [of the Constitution], let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or inventing against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

So the next time you hear the words, “Original Intent,” that is what it meant. Let’s keep in mind that our elected officials take an oath to uphold the Constitution. If they lie about this, then they’ll lie about anything.

 

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