Skip to comments.In Observance of Constitution Day - September 17, 2011
Posted on 09/17/2011 8:40:04 AM PDT by loveliberty2
The U. S. Constitution's Precious Cargo*
"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court even can do much to help it." - Judge Learned Hand
The Constitution's words are only the vehicles which carry great ideas across the centuries. The precious cargo must be defined, protected, and treasured by "We, the People" in order for its benefits to accrue to each generation. Take the word, "liberty". What message does this semantic vehicle bring?
Abe Lincoln: "We all declare for liberty, but
in using the same word we do not mean the same thing...."
"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator,
While the wolf denounces him for the same act...."
"Plainly," said Lincoln, "the sheep and the wolf are not agreed
upon a definition of liberty."
To some, he said, "liberty" means: that each individual in the society may do as he sees fit with himself and the earnings from his labors. To others, "liberty" means: that some persons may do as they see fit (or arbitrarily determine to be best) with other persons' earnings. Lincoln wisely observed that each respective view can be called by the other party by two "different and incompatible" names: "liberty" (unbridled license) and "tyranny" (power abused).
Down through the centuries since 1787, America's constitutional vehicle has traveled, proclaiming right up front that its primary purpose is to "secure the Blessings of Liberty." This is not just any old vehicle. This is the Constitution of the United States of America! Its makers left volumes of writings and definitions of the cargo of priceless treasure its words carry. Its intent to secure a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, and promote the general Welfare (common good) and "secure the Blessings of Liberty" relies on a clear understanding of, and strict adherence to, its underlying philosophy that each individual possesses Creator-endowed rights, as well as its structural provisions for protecting them from abuses of power by those they elect to positions of power in public office.
"Liberty"--the word--can become "liberty"--the blessing--only to those who care enough to know the difference between "license" and "tyranny": to those who will never mistake the real treasure of liberty envisioned by America's Founders for its counterfeits--rampant, unbridled license among the citizenry or abuse of power by those to whom power is delegated. Both are equally fatal to true liberty.
* "Lessons In Liberty" Series by La Vaughn G. Lewis, Free Lance Writer and Co-Editor of "Our Ageless Constitution" & "Rediscovering the Ideas of Liberty"
In the midst of debate and discussion of government spending, taxation, unemployment, and a plethora of other problems facing America today, we might find answers by referring to the Founders' formula for liberty, opportunity, productivity and prosperity.
That formula is contained in the structuring of separated, limited, checked and balanced powers which "We, the People" would grant to our elected representatives, as specified by the Constitution.
President Andrew Jackson's Proclamation of December 10, 1832 (excerpted):
"We have received it [the Constitution] as the work of the assembled wisdom of the nation. We have trusted to it as to the sheet anchor of our safety in the stormy times of conflict with a foreign or domestic foe. We have looked to it with sacred awe as the palladium of our liberties, and with all the solemnities of religion have pledged to each other our lives and fortunes here and our hopes of happiness hereafter in its defense and support. Were we mistaken, my countrymen, in attaching this importance to the Constitution . . .? No. We were not mistaken. The letter of this great instrument is free from this radical fault. . . . No, we did not err! . . . The sages . . . have given us a practical and, as they hoped, a permanent* Constitutional compact. . . . The Constitution is still the object of our reverence, the bond of our Union, our defense in danger, the source of our prosperity in peace: it shall descend, as we have received it, uncorrupted by sophistical construction, to our posterity. . . ."
*Underlining added for emphasis
And, it was Thomas Jefferson who used another metaphor with reference to the Constitution when he indicated that "the People" must "bind them (government) by the chains of the Constitution." In another instance, he declared: "It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers. . . ."
Also, one thing I am doing. I plan to personally hand a copy of the United States Constitution to every voter in my precinct, along with a copy of the "oath" section they signed to register to vote.
We need for every American to actually read the Constitution of this great Republic, and we all need to realize that it's up to us to defend it from the usurpers who have taken over the Congress and the Executive. We also have to make it clear to the usurpers waiting in the wings in our state and local governments that still believe that the Constitution of the United States matters.
Although we make a big deal about Washington overstepping the authorities and enumerated powers of the Constitution, the truth is that every county commission that requests a "federal grant" for schools or for roads or whatever do damage to our republic when they fail to consider whether the federal Congress has been granted authority by the powers enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 to tax the people of Idaho and New Mexico to pay for schools or local streets in Florida, for example. Everyone should know the constitution, and they should ask their city council and their county commissions questions when those local governments are complicit in usurping powers to the government in Washington.
|Happy Constitution day, September 17, 2011.
You and other readers of this thread may want to visit the "Constituting America" web site for a refreshing experience involving youth in celebrating the Constitution. Janine Turner and Cathy Gillespie and their associates are doing a great work in popularizing the study of the principles of liberty.
Please send this thread to whatever ping list you have which contains people who might begin a celebration among their friends. Jacquerie also has posted a thread today which quotes Clinton Rossiter on the Constitution.
I also have a new site that's being built out, with the same intent you show in all these wonderful posts:
Came across these words again too:
hn Quincy Adams enumerated the nation's noble history in his "Jubilee" and concluded that address with these words:
"Fellow-citizens, the ark of your covenant is the Declaration of independence. Your Mount Ebal, is the confederacy of separate state sovereignties, and your Mount Gerizim is the Constitution of the United States. In that scene of tremendous and awful solemnity, narrated in the Holy Scriptures, there is not a curse pronounced against the people, upon Mount Ebal, not a blessing promised them upon Mount Gerizim, which your posterity may not suffer or enjoy, from your and their adherence to, or departure from, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, practically interwoven in the Constitution of the United States. Lay up these principles, then, in your hearts, and in your souls - bind them for signs upon your hands, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes - teach them to your children, speaking of them when sitting in your houses, when walking by the way, when lying down and when rising up - write them upon the doorplates of your houses, and upon your gates - cling to them as to the issues of life - adhere to them as to the cords of your eternal salvation. So may your children's children at the next return of this day of jubilee, after a full century of experience under your national Constitution, celebrate it again in the full enjoyment of all the blessings recognized by you in the commemoration of this day, and of all the blessings promised to the children of Israel upon Mount Gerizim, as the reward of obedience to the law of God." here
What President, Senator, or Congressman today has the courage to declare what this man who served under that Constitution in many capacities, including as President and, until his death, as Congressman declared in New York City on that day in 1839?
That was an amazing discourse. John Quincy Adams was a truly great man.
A rare thing, may I say, to see in the offspring of great men, sadly.
There is no better indicator than recent comments from the statists themselves. They are frightened, and should be.
Great thread, thank you!