Skip to comments.The U.S. Constitution and You (Homework Vanity)
Posted on 01/12/2010 9:07:57 PM PST by dit_xi
My dad says that there is no one better to ask for help with my homework on the U.S. Constitution than the patriots of the Free Republic, so please help. I am in 4th grade at a public school. Dad is at work tonight. One of the question on my homework is: "Do you think that the framers of the Constitution would recognize their handiwork in the current United States? Use information from the selection as well as your own opinion." My teacher is a lunatic liberal and I want her to have a cow when she reads my answer on how appalled our Founding Fathers would become if they ever witness the erosion of freedom and civil liberties in modern day America, especially under the Obama administration.
I was in the 4th grade in 1951 and I cant even recognize America anymore.
Im sure the framers would not believe what its own citizens have done to their
once great nation.
Good luck with your teacher be careful.
Our President (before he was president) saw the Constitution as an obstacle to implementing some of the CHANGE he meant to bring to American lives.
Obama rips U.S. Constitution
Faults Supreme Court for not mandating ‘redistribution of wealth’
Posted: October 27, 2008
Seven years before Barack Obama’s “spread the wealth” comment to Joe the Plumber became a GOP campaign theme, the Democratic presidential candidate said in a radio interview the U.S. has suffered from a fundamentally flawed Constitution that does not mandate or allow for redistribution of wealth.
In a newly unearthed tape, Obama is heard telling Chicago’s public station WBEZ-FM in 2001 that “redistributive change” is needed, pointing to what he regarded as a failure of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s.
The Warren court, he said, failed to “break free from the essential constraints” in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth. But Obama, then an Illinois state lawmaker, said the legislative branch of government, rather than the courts, probably was the ideal avenue for accomplishing that goal.
“But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.” - Barack Obama
Another recent event was the Supreme Court decision that ruled your property is not your property. You can be forced to sell it to a private interest (non-government) if the powers that be decide so.
What 4th grader in America uses the word “handiwork” in a sentence?
For a 4th grader, you composed a very nice thread with correct spelling and punctuation. Very clear and concise. With words and phrases 4th graders do not use.
But it’s rather late to be doing homework now. Go to bed.
Not only that, he’s been a member since 2004, when he was only about 4!
No location. I would assume US.
It’s 9pm on the west coast.
It’s 8pm in AK and HI
It’s 2pm in Korea and Japan in case the kid is stationed in the Pacific.
Dad is at work tonight.
The kid is trying to get advice from FR. Whether dad or mom knows it.
thank you, sir or ma’am.
One could only wish our public schools could indeed turn out more students who have the writing abilities this “4th grader” does.
Read the book The 5000 Year Leap - and then tell me if present-day America looks anything like our Framers intended.
Yes, ma’am. I logged on using my dad’s account. My homework is due tomorrow. I’m almost done. Thank you for all your help.
Do you think that the framers of the Constitution would recognize their handiwork in the current United States? Use information from the selection as well as your own opinion.
To answer this question, we first must know what might be in "information from the selection." The other document necessary to answer this question is the Constitution itself (if different from "the selection"). The framers of the Constitution largely died before the Thirteenth Amendment (abolishing slavery in 1865), so we may consider only the first twelve amendments. (The Twelfth Amendment resulted from the controversial election of 1800 and details how we now select a president and vice-president.) I have no clue what "the selection" might be, so I won't discuss it here.
The Constitution retains its legitimacy as the foundation of American governance today. (Whether the Congress follows it is another matter entirely.) The three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) still form part of the framework of the federal government. Although executive departments exercised discretion in interpreting the acts of Congress from the earliest days of the Republic, the powerful regulatory bureaucracy largely began with the New Deal of the 1930s.
Beyond the amendments to the Constitution, the size and power of the federal government has changed enormously since the time of the framers of the Constitution. Even in the early 1900s, the federal government consumed only a few percent of the economy, less than state and local governments consumed. Today, the federal government regulates or controls most of the American economy, a prospect that the founders considered tyrannical. The United States plays a leading role in world affairs that the framers did not anticipate. Nor could the framers have imagined the particular technologies now commonplace, a dramatic change from the almost entirely agrarian (agricultural) society of their day.
You can expound on these concepts, particularly the size and scope of the federal government. The framers gave the federal government a limited, specified role in the affairs of the young federation (from where we get the term "federal," a government wherein the states, not the national government, largely determine domestic policy, leaving foreign policy for the federal government). Congress no longer sticks to its enumerated powers.
Really freak her out and explain the abomination called the 17th amendment.
I would also point out the 2d amendment and why common sense dictates the framers put it in the Bill of Rights to protect against a tyrannical government and not for hunting or some mythical ‘national guard’.
wow...pretty articulate fourth grader!
Short answer: No.
One of the things that has drastically changed is the concept of the militia. In the days of the framers the militia was the average citizen and the average citizen was the militia... it is those militia-men who founded the country.
Nowdays the term ‘militia’ as in general use tends to be used to denote loonies, anti-government/law/establishment people, and are grouped rather near ‘terrorist’.
HOWEVER, the average citizen is still a member of the militia technically because most state constitutions define their state militia similar to “All able-bodied males 18 to 45.”
>What 4th grader in America uses the word handiwork in a sentence?
A home-schooled one.
Or “erosion of freedoms and civil liberties”...
We’re being punked!
Would a home-schooled kid call his teacher a moonbat????
What’s “punked?” I thought that punk was a bad word. I’m not a punk. I’ve been doing lots of research on the internet on how to answer this question. The word “handiwork” is exactly from the workbook question that we have to answer. That’s why I put it in quotes. The book our class use is Imagine It. We go online at www.sraimagineit.com to log in and read from the chapter and the use the workbook for our homework. My mom and dad are doctors and they make us read a lot. Mom takes me and my sisters to the library all the time. I know what erosion mean, like erosion from wind and water. We learned about civil rights last year. I’ve known about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King since second grade. It’s late and I finished my homework already. Thank you everyone for helping me.
>Would a home-schooled kid call his teacher a moonbat????
Probably not.... but then again there are lots of screwed-up parents... ;)
The size of the government, this is perfect! Thank you, sir/ma’am! Good night.
Mention that the whole thing is Christian-based. She’ll love it.
All in good fun. Actually, I let my kids stay up late as long as they get done what needs to get done. Good luck to you.
Articulate or not, I think you need to watch your language and attitude toward your teacher. Calling her a lunatic is not appropriate, although I’m sure it fits.
Understanding the Constitution requires knowledge of World history, America's history, Federalist Papers. Anti-Federalist Papers, and an awareness of the Magna Carta would also help.
This contains far more than your liberal teacher can handle but it should provide enough information to allow you to write your own report.
Tell your teacher that it was not what the government did than made America great. For a guaranteed failing grade tell the teacher it was what the government was forbidden to do that made America great.
Born in 1776 our country is the offspring of a religious based heritage of liberty under law. Blessed with great natural resources and a pioneer people given to industry and moral discipline our nation grew to be strong and prosperous and developed the finest governmental system ever devised by man.
America soon became the refuge of the worlds tired, hungry, and poor. Millions left everything in the old world to start over in a land that rewarded initiative and hard work and perseverance. The many millions who didnt come here found comfort and hope in knowing that indeed there was such a bastion of freedom and opportunity, a place where dreams could become reality.
Today, our nation appears wealthier and more powerful than ever. New technologies have revolutionized our daily lives. Luxuries once enjoyed only by the rich are common place and very affordable. Home ownership is wide spread and our people have the expectation of continued economic growth and prosperity.
Yet more and more people are coming to realize that they may prosper materially only for a time because their freedoms are diminishing. The sobering reality is that America has strayed far from its praise worthy beginnings. Our people and business groan under a heavy burden of economic, political, and social problems which are the result of a wide spread departure from the fundamental truths that made our nation great.
If the United States of America is to endure citizens from far and wide must once again come to understand, embrace, and live by timeless concepts. Concepts called Americanism.
Written by John F. McManus.
Was it natural resources, no other lands are equally blessed. Was it the people, no, the people who built America came from other elsewhere. Was it government planning and wisdom that spurred our nation to great heights, no again? It wasnt what government did that made America great, it was what government was preventing from doing that made the difference. What set America apart from other lands was freedom for the individual, freedom to work, to produce, to succeed, and especially to keep the fruits of ones labors. American became great precisely because America prevented the stifling effect of too much government.
However, freedom in America was not totally unrestrained. Americans overwhelmingly choose to limit their actions with moral codes such as the Ten Commandments. Personal morality and limited government; its a combination that characterized America and made it the envy of the world.
When our founding fathers decided theyd had enough of British oppression they broke away and declared independence. They stated as self evident truth in the Declaration of Independence Men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights. In other words, God gave man his rights and that among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. In the very next sentence, the founders defined the proper role of government when they stated that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted.
This is the entire philosophical base of our nation. Here, the government cannot legitimately redistribute the wealth, assume power over the peoples lives and dominate mans existence with oppressive taxation, regulations, and controls.
According to the founders, government was to be a negative force, which leaves people alone. Its sole function is to protect citizens from one another and from foreign governments, and especially from their own government itself. The founders did not create a government to be a positive force to do things for people, to take from some to give to others. They understood that when a government starts doing something for one citizen it has to take from another to do so and in the process, it gains control over both.
Britains rulers did not accept the Declaration of Independence so our forefathers had to fight a war to make it stick. By 1783, America won its war for Independence and British forces went back across the sea.
The governmental system at that time was weak. It had no power to settle disputes between the states or the power to tax for proper needs, such as defense. In 1787, delegates from twelve of the thirteen states met in Philadelphia to revise the system. They produced an entirely new governmental structure known as the Constitution of the United States. Keeping faith with the thunderous assertions in the declaration of Independence, they wrote the Constitution to govern the government, not the people, and not the states. Each state was a jealous guardian of its own sovereignty. The founders created a central government with strictly limited powers. This left the states free to compete with one another to be the best state, the one with the least amount of taxation and controls, one where citizens would want to build a business and raise a family. That spirit of competition produced excellence as honest competition always does.
It is important to note that the founders did not force the people to accept the Constitution. The Constitution went to the states for ratification and several of the founding fathers wrote essays explaining it in an effort to persuade fellow Americans to adopt this new system of government.
Some of the essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay were collected into a volume known as the Federalist Papers. Those essays provide valuable insights into the intent of the founders in establishing our government.
Eventually all thirteen states ratified the Constitution and then each ratified the first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, further tying the hands of the Federal Government.
These amendments are indeed about rights but it would have been better had the Bill of Rights been labeled, The Bill of Limitations on Government. Why? Because it is vital to realize that the Bill of Rights never really gave the citizens any rights what so ever. Its sole purpose was to safe guard God given rights by limiting government power. The Bill of Rights protects your God given rights from interference by the government. The founders even insisted that Congress shall make no law about, speech, religion, the press, assembly, the right to petition, the right to keep and bear arms, and so on. The Bill of Rights directed squarely at the federal government, not the individual, and not the states. They are like most of the Ten Commandments, which are essentially thou shall not. The Bill of Rights says Congress shall not, shall not, shall not, all the way up to the marvelous tenth amendment, which says in effect, if we forgot anything you cant do that either.
A Woman asked Benjamin Franklin when he exited the constitutional convention, Sir, what have you given us? His immediate response was, a Republic mam, if you can keep it.
Yet many Americans today have come to believe that Americas governmental system is a Democracy and not a Republic. The difference between these two is essential in understanding Americanism and the American system.
Before we discuss political systems however, it is helpful to address the confusion about the political spectrum. Many people believe that the political spectrum places groups such as communist on the far left, fascists, or dictators on the far right, and political moderates or centrist in the middle.
However, a more accurate political spectrum will show government having zero power on the far right to having 100% power on the far left. At the extreme right, there is no government. The extreme left features total government under such labels as Communism, Socialism, Nazism, Fascism, Princes, Potentates, Dictators, Kings, any form of total government.
Those who claim that Nazis and fascist are right wing never define their terms. This amounts to spreading confusion. The type of government limited to its proper role of protecting the rights of the people is toward the middle of the political spectrum. Thats where the Constitution of the United States is. Those who advocate such a form of government are constitutional moderates.
So, lets analyze the basic forms of government. They are, Monarchy or Dictatorship ruled by one, Oligarchy ruled by a few, Democracy ruled by the majority, Republic ruled by law, and Anarchy which is ruled by no one. A discussion of these five will narrow down the actual types of government that exist today.
Looking first at Monarchy or Dictatorship . This form of government doesnt really exist in the practical sense; its always a group that puts one of its members up front. A King has his council of nobles or Earls and every dictator has his bureaucrats or commissars, the men behind the scenes. This isnt rule by one even though one person may be the visible leader. Its rule by a group. So, lets eliminate Monarchy Dictatorship because it never truly exists.
Oligarchy, which is rule by a group, is the most common form of government in all history and it is the most common form of government today. A powerful few rule most of the nations of the world and therefore Oligarchy remains.
At the other end, we find Anarchy , which means without government. Some people have looked over history and found that governments committed most of the worse crimes. Therefore, they decided that having no government might be a good idea but this is a mistake because as the ancient Greeks stated, without law there can be no freedom. Americas founding fathers agreed and held that some amount of government is a necessary force in any civilized orderly society. In a state of Anarchy, however everyone has to guard life, liberty, and property and the lives of family members. Movement is severely restricted and arming everyone is necessary to protect ones property at all times. Civilized people have always hired someone to do the guarding, a sheriff, a police force, or some branch of government. Once law enforcement was in place, the people were freer. They could leave their property, work in the fields, and so on. In short, the proper amount of government makes everyone freer.
There are some who advocate Anarchy, not because they want no government but because they dont like what they have. They use Anarchy as a tool for revolutionary change. The condition of Anarchy is very much like a vacuum where something rushes in to fill in. These calculating anarchist work to break down the existing government with rioting, killing, looting, and terrorism. Tragically, the people living in such chaos often go to those best able to put an end to it and beg them to take over and restore order.
Who is best able to put an end to the chaos, the very people who started it? The anarchist who created the problem then creates a government run by them, an Oligarchy, where they have total power. This is exactly what happened in Russia that led to Lenin taking total power and in Germany where Hitlers Brown Shirts created the chaos that brought him to power. However, Anarchy isnt a stable form of government; its a quick transition from something that exists to something desired by the power hungry. Its a temporary condition and because it isnt permanent, we eliminate it as well.
The word Democracy comes from two Greek words, Demos meaning People and Kratein meaning to Rule. Democracy therefore means the rule of the people, majority rule. This of course sounds good but suppose the majority decides to take away ones home or business, or children. Obviously, there has to be a limit. The flaw in Democracy is that the majority is not restrained. Persuading more than half the people to demand something in a Democracy means they rule, not the law.
What about Republic ? Well that comes from the Latin, Res, meaning thing and Publica, meaning public. It means the public thing, the law. A true Republic is one where the government is limited by law leaving the people alone.
Americas founders had a clean slate to write on. They could have set up an Oligarchy. In fact, there were some who wanted George Washington to be their King but the founding fathers knew history and they chose to give us the rule of law in a Republic, not the rule of the majority in a Democracy.
Why? Lets demonstrate the difference in the setting of the old west. Consider a lynch mob in a Democracy. Thirty five horseback riders chase one lone gunman. They catch him. They vote thirty five to one to hang him. Democracy has triumphed and there is one less gunman to contend with. Now consider the same scenario in a Republic. The thirty five horseback riders catch the gunman and vote thirty five to one to hang him but the Sheriff arrives and he says you cant hang him; he has a right to a fair trial. Therefore, they take the gunman back to town. A jury of his peers hears the evidence and the defense and they decide if he shall hang. Does the jury even decide by majority rule; no, it has to be unanimous or he goes free. The rights of the gunman arent subject to majority rule but to the law. This is the essence of a Republic.
Many Americans would be surprised to learn that the word Democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or the U. S. Constitution. Nor does it appear in any of the Constitutions of the fifty states. The founders did everything they could to keep us from having a Democracy. James Madison, rightly known as the Father of the Constitution wrote in essay number ten of the Federalist papers, Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Alexander Hamilton agreed and he stated, We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy. Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated, Democracy never last long. It soon waste, exhaust, and murders itself. The founders had good reason to look upon democracy with contempt because they knew that the democracies in the early Greek city states produced some of the wildest excesses of government imaginable. In every case, they ended up with mob rule then anarchy and finally tyranny under an Oligarchy.
During that period in Greece there was a man named Solon who urged creation of a fixed body of law not subject to majority whims . While the Greeks never adopted Solons wise council, the Romans did. Based on what they knew of Solons laws they created the twelve tables of the Roman law and in effect built a Republic that limited government power and left the people alone. Since government was limited the people were free to produce with the understanding they could keep the fruits of their labor. In time, Rome became wealthy and the envy of the world.
In the mist of plenty, however the Roman people forgot what freedom entailed. They forgot that the essence of freedom is the proper limitation of government. When government power grows peoples freedom recedes.
Once the Romans dropped their guard power seeking politicians began to exceed the powers granted them in the Roman Constitution. Some learned that they could elect politicians who would use government power to take property from some and give it to others. Housing and welfare programs followed the introduction of agriculture subsidies. Inevitably, taxes rose and controls over the private sector increased. Soon, a number of Romes producers could no longer make ends meet and they went on the dole. Productivity declined, shortages developed and mobs began roaming the streets demanding bread and circuses from the government. Many traded freedom for security. Evidentially the whole system came crashing down. They went from a Republic to a Democracy and ended up with an Oligarchy under a progression of the Caesars.
Thus, democracy itself is not a stable form of government. Instead, it is the gradual transition from limited government to the unlimited rule of an Oligarchy.
Knowing this, Americans ultimately have only two choices. We can keep our Republic as Franklin put it or we will inevitably end up with an oligarchy, a tyranny of the elite.
Just as there is wide spread confusion regarding political systems there is similar confusion in the economic arena. All during the 20th century Americans believed that there was a great struggle going on between capitalism and the communist world. Undoubtedly, a struggle existed but it was rare to see the identities of the real adversaries identified properly. No discussion about economic will make sense without first defining terms. One of the most basic terms in economics is capital, whose definition is the means of production.
To illustrate what capital is lets consider a very simple economy. On the sands of a small island a cast away has just washed ashore. He has no food and he is hungry. He searches the island and finds no berries, coconuts, or anything eatable. He goes back into the water and tries to catch a fish with his bare hands but he fails. He goes back up on shore and he finds a bush. He breaks off a branch and he gnaws on one end with his teeth to make a sharp tip. Back into the water he goes and with his spear, he catches fish. His spear is capital. Its the means of production for catching fish. He gave up some of his time and some of his energy to produce something he could not eat but something that would help him produce something that he could eat. Capital can therefore be tools, machinery, and even a mans handmade spear to catch fish.
Such being the case consider that the communist in the former Soviet Union as well as in China and Cuba have always used tools and machinery. Officials there even view people as capital. Therefore by strict definition are not communist capitalist. For that matter, isnt everyone a capitalist? Is not every economic system a capitalist system?
What then is the difference what the communist system is and what the American capitalist system is supposed to be? The difference is ownership of the capital. Is the system monopolistic state-controlled capitalism or is it competitive free enterprise capitalism? It is between these two opposing economic system that a battle has always waged.
Before we proceed lets also define free market. A free market is a self regulating system in which all parties are completely free to transact with one another. Where force, fraud, or injury damages one party the governments only role is to punish those who commit such offenses and to vindicate the rights of the other party. This protects the integrity of the free market or free enterprise system without intervening in it.
The term private property also needs clarification for private ownership and control of property is a key component in the free enterprise system. Meeting all four aspects of ownership is necessary in order for the ownership of property to be full and complete. These four are title, control, use, and the ability to dispose of what a person owns. In a free market economy, these aspects are unrestrained so long as the owner does not infringe on the legitimate rights and claims of others. True ownership of property and freedom go hand in hand. They always have.
Now lets compare the two systems of capitalism, monopolistic state-controlled capitalism and competitive free enterprise capitalism.
Private ownership and control of capital exist in the competitive free enterprise system. In the monopolistic system, private or state title of ownership to the capital exists but more importantly, the state or the elite few who control the state control all the capital.
The Communist Manifesto, which contains the basic program for all communist and all socialist explicitly, preaches the destruction and abolition of private property. Karl Marx understood the powers of controlling capital and so have all communist and socialist who have ever looked, and still look, to Marx as their leader. State Controlled capitalism results in high prices and low quality. After all, why would a monopoly strive to improve if it has no competition?
On the other hand, honest, thrifty, and hard working producers throughout the world prefer the competitive free enterprise system for all. Here, low prices and high quality prevail because a variety of producers will seek to attract the widest amount of customers. Competition results in excellence and always has.
Just as the political spectrum shows the range of government power, we can also plot the various economic systems along another spectrum. These forms of government control in the market stand in sharp contrast with a completely free market. In the last century or so there have been basically four forms of state controlled economies all on the far left of the economic spectrum.
Fascism, Nazism, Socialism, and Communism. In each, the government controls the capital. The difference among these is how much is owned or controlled outright by the government.
In a Fascist system, the government doesnt own businesses on paper but it does control them. In Mussolinis Italy even though he didnt hold title to businesses he told the owners what to produce, how much to produce, when to produce, where to buy raw materials, who to hire, who to fire, and what price to charge. The rest he said is up to them.
The fascist system is more efficient than other state controlled systems in so far as those living under it think they still own their businesses. Shop keepers concern themselves with maintenance on the machinery, employee relations, painting the building and so forth, but the government controls owners through an array of taxation and regulations.
Under Nazism , which means National Socialism, its proponents took further steps and acquired ownership of some corporations, such as Volkswagen. However, Hitler didnt seize ownership of other industrial giants; he simply controlled them, just as Mussolini had controlled businesses in Italy.
Socialism is where government officials acquire possession of major industries such as transportation, communications, and utilities in order to leverage control over the entire economy. Through ownership of these vital segments of industry and by creating government regulatory agencies socialist gain control over virtually everything else.
Finally, there is Communism , the granddaddy of all in the economic sense. Because the state owns and controls all of the capital communism is more honest than fascism; there are no pretenses about it.
Now lets combine political and economic systems because ultimately one never exists without the other.
We see again that there are only two ultimate choices, a competitive free enterprise system in a Republic, or a monopolistic state controlled system under an Oligarchy.
A moral people have always been a vital element of Americas strength. The founding fathers well understood the biblical teaching that righteousness exalted a nation (Proverbs 14:34). They also knew that expecting a free market economy and limited government under a Republic to endure without morality was expecting the impossible. James Madison cautioned that, Limited government alone was inadequate for our nation. John Adams observed, Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. George Washington stated, Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. Yet there are people today who think that Liberty is license and that morality is unimportant or irrelevant to politics and economics. Benjamin Franklin added, Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
The alternative to Americanism is what has condemned most of the human race to live as slaves throughout the millennia. It is the idea that rights are privileges dispensed by an oligarchy according to the unlimited rule of men that the state should control or own the nations capital with all economic activity directed from a central power and that morality is inconsequential and that security is preferred over freedom and opportunity.
Casting away the principles that led to Americas greatness continues to steer our nation off course. The simple question is do we continue to slide away from our nations founding principles or do we return to the kind of government we inherited.
Time is running out for Americans who sense that something is wrong. They have to decide what kind of a country we shall leave for future generations. We need a sufficient number of Americans to get involved in the fight for freedom and we can return our nation to less government, more responsibility, and with Gods help, a better world.
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