By: the Common Constitutionalist
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 & 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 & 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 a democrat say that they don’t really worry about the Constitution, I cringe. When I hear republican claim, regarding any issue, he isn’t sure it is 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. read more
The following is Lesson One in a Ten Part program presented by Hillsdale College on understanding The United States Constitution. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we understand our founding documents, particularly the Declaration of Independence & the Constitution.
Lesson 1: The American Mind
You may feel free to simply watch or follow along with the attached Study Guide
America’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said, was the product of “the American mind.” Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration—to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator.
The word “constitution” means “to ordain and establish something.” It also means “to set a firm thing strongly in place.” It is linked to two other words: statute and statue. All three words—constitution, statute, and statue—connote a similar idea of establishing something lasting and beautiful.
The Constitution, then, is a work of art. It gives America its form. To fully know the “cause,” or purpose, of America, one must know the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, its author, mentioned four thinkers for their contribution to molding “the American mind”: Aristotle, Cicero, Algernon Sidney, and John Locke.
Studying these philosophers is a wondrous task in itself, and it greatly helps our understanding of America, just as it informed the statecraft of the Founders. Knowing the meaning of the Declaration and Constitution is vital to the choice before us today as to whether we will live under a Constitution different than the one bequeathed to us.