published Friday, March 18th, 2011

‘Chains of the Constitution’


We in the United States undoubtedly have the best form of government that has ever been devised in the history of mankind.

Some of our Founding Fathers certainly were geniuses who understood the nature of government — and also understood human nature. They took both into consideration in writing the Constitution.

But while many of the authors of our Constitution were extraordinary men, are we today, as heirs of the Constitution, up to preserving the ideals they declared?

After all, “we, the people,” aren’t perfect. We don’t always make good and unselfish decisions. We don’t always elect the best and wisest leaders to run our government. That’s why we need our Constitution — and should abide strictly by it!

The Constitution was written to protect the people and our freedom, by limiting the power of government. Some powers are specifically delegated to the federal government — but all others are reserved to the states or the people.

Many of our governmental problems today result from our frequent failure to adhere to the Constitution as it was written. There sadly is an inclination among people, personally and in government, to seek and abuse power, and that’s where the trouble begins.

Also, it unfortunately is natural for us to demand too much “from” government, “for” us, without expecting to contribute “to” government. Many households pay no federal income taxes, for instance. We sometimes want too many benefits and too many rights — without accepting the corresponding responsibilities.

To protect our personal freedom, we need to remember that it is limited in ways designed to assure equal freedom for all others, for the benefit of all, without deprivation to any.

The constitutional government of our United States of America is really a miracle. It’s amazing how our system of government under law, with personal freedom, has survived.

You may remember the story that Benjamin Franklin, after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, was asked what kind of government we had. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Thomas Jefferson appropriately reminded us, “In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

That’s still excellent advice, and a challenge to us all, as we seek to preserve our freedom, and good government of, by and for the people.

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EaTn said...

I once read that freedom is what you feel is happening around you. Many around the world feel more free than some in our country as we are ranked way down the scale in happiness, which is a good indicator of freedom. Many in this country are bound by the chains of poverty, drugs, abuse, bigotry, etc. When we help all feel our freedom, we can say we are a free country.

March 18, 2011 at 5:58 a.m.
librul said...

Ah, cue the music, Such a romantic piece shouldn't go unaccompanied.

The founding fathers would wretch if they could see the dismal swamp that corporatism, greed and militarism have created in America. That pit of avarice called Congress, which the founders thought should serve as a hall of haughty debate advancing the common good, has become a battleground for intransigent partisan ideologies driven by the whims of the captains of capitalism. There is little comparison between the world of 1789 and ours yet there are still those who believe the Constitution created in their world should be applied strictly to ours. Won't work. Unless it is considered a "living document" it is destined to die along with the dream it rode in on. America is a speeding train headed off a cliff with a full head of steam because the people in the locomotive are blind to reality and the common man in the caboose is powerless to stop it.

We need a revolution, and not the racist, religionist monstrosity most of the wacko loudmouths with a pistol in their pocket seem to envision. We need to elevate the masses, tax the hell out of the capitalist greedheads whose 2 percent of our population is hoarding 90 percent of our country's wealth, recreate the concept of equality under the law, quit growing fat and lazy sitting in front of a boob tube drooling whenever Glenn Beck approaches his chalkboard. or escaping into American idolatry.

The people of Japan are suffering the endgame of capitalist-driven political corruption where their entire country could be rendered uninhabitable for decades as a result of dependence upon dangerous technology subjected to the vagaries of geology and the winds.

As Keith Olbermann so eloguently stated this week, "WikiLeaks revealed that the Japanese Government was warned three years ago that earthquake preparedness at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was dangerously insufficient. Naturally, the leaders of the world are – or wish to start – prosecuting WikiLeaks, and not the Japanese Government. And our government, in our name, continues both to seek ways to prosecute WikiLeaks, and to stick by the President’s ludicrous 2009 suggestion that we accelerate our national Nuclear Power program. The uncensored real oversight, and the truth about Japan’s irresponsibility, are both buried because the illusion of Japan as a successful safe nuclear nation is necessary to President Obama’s pitch, and President Obama’s pitch is necessary to some labyrinthine political calculation, and to the bottom lines of sundry international corporations."

Oh say can you see?

March 18, 2011 at 8:06 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

"as keith olbermann so eloquently stated".......??? credibility...down the drain..

and i suppose growing fat and lazy and sitting in front of the boob tub drooling when keith olbermann opens his mouth is superior?

the constitution is perfect....and is not limited to any era...the further we get away from it, the more problems arise ...history has proven that. when liberals say the constitution should be a "living document?..they really mean they want to find more and more ways for the govern- ment to be able to intrude into our lives by doing more and more things to us.

it was written to protect us from government and to keep us free. how is that not "living"....that will always be the goal.....that's what kept us from being like libya, iran, china...and all the other crappy nations around.

freedom and protection from tyranny are what the constitution is does that ever go out of style....? how is that dated??? you can't praise the founding fathers and criticize the's what they were about.

the constitution isn't the concrete headed, liberal nut's you and your desire for big, fat controlling wonder you want a "living, breathing, document" doesn't give government enough freedom haters.

March 18, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
ibshame said...

Evidently some people fell asleep in their Civics Classes in Jr. High or in their American Government classes in High School or maybe they just missed class altogether on the day the topic was the powers of Congress. In the U.S. Constitution Article One Section 8 titled Powers of Congress, there is a Clause that was written to address the issue of expansion of Congress' powers over and above what was enumerated in clauses 1-17. The 18th Clause is commonly referred to as the "Elastic Clause."
The elastic clause, also known as the Necessary-and-Proper Clause, is found in Article I, section 8, of the Constitution. It authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated (listed) powers of Congress. The clause allows Congress some degree of flexibility in enacting legislation. It gives the Congress more power than what is stated in the Constitution. This is what makes the Constitution a "LIVING DOCUMENT." There was no way the founding fathers could have envisioned all the laws that would be necessary for Congress to pass in the future. So they were smart enough to insert a clause that would allow the Congress the opportunity to address issues as they saw fit for the future of this country.

March 18, 2011 at 10:10 a.m.
nucanuck said...

librul,beautifully written,painfully acurate!

March 18, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

sorry...the constitution exists to insure freedom and protect the people from an overreaching governement..and you libs hate that....18th clause or libs are about abuse of power and being ok with the government pushing us around....everything you try and do reeks of it.

March 18, 2011 at 3:06 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

i hate when commentators and tv talking heads cut extreme left leaning/socialist libs some slack by saying they're misguided but well intentioned....bull****....wisconsin proves how cold, uncaring and mean they are...the fat ass teachers and state workers don't give a rip about elections, the constitution or where the money comes from. they don't give a crap about the fact that taxpayers are tapped out. they want their gravy train to matter what.....liberals will only tolerate freedom in so far as it helps their agenda..otherwise they're glad to limit it.

March 18, 2011 at 3:15 p.m.
librul said...

An ape who lives in the sea .... hmmmm, any relation to Spongebob Squarepants? You two seem to share the same penchant for colorful language and cartoonish personae.

March 18, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
charivara said...

SeaMonkey doesn’t see at all. You sadly have no idea of what government is or how it functions. Before you embarrass yourself by write any more, read a little American history (especially the period 1865-1900 and 1920-1940) and learn something.

Your name calling and ignorant generalizations are indicative of what is basically wrong with this country. A healthy democracy demands an educated electorate. What we have instead is too many people who know nothing and perversely allow themselves to be duped into voting against their own economic interests by the very few who, by controlling the government, have come to own most of the wealth created in this country.

March 18, 2011 at 10:08 p.m.
rick1 said...

James Madison The Federalist Papers Federalist No. 45 Date: Unknown 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

March 18, 2011 at 11:45 p.m.
rick1 said...

Thomas Jefferson First Inaugural Address Date: March 4, 1801 Still one thing more, fellow citizens—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, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities

March 18, 2011 at 11:48 p.m.
charivara said...

James Madison was trying to convince New Yorkers to ratify the new Constitution in 1788. What he wrote should be taken in that context. Both Madison and Jefferson were writing when the United States was a very young, sparsely populated country that only stretched as far as the Mississippi River. Holding the federal government to the standards of that day is like an adult wanting to get into clothes she wore when she was two years old because she looked so cute in them.

The fact that the middle class is fast disappearing, wages are stagnant, jobs are nonexistent yet the rich are getting vastly richer is not an accident. It has been brought about by the wealthy and powerful who control the government, aided by the ignorant and gullible voters who fall for the “small government” mantra that only benefits those who already own most of the wealth in this country.

March 19, 2011 at 9:27 a.m.
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