Skip to comments.Common Defense & General Welfare The Meaning is Clear
Posted on 12/27/2009 2:59:51 AM PST by Jacquerie
Much fuss is made at this forum regarding the presumed haziness of the common Defense and general Welfare clause and the enumerated powers that follow in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. If you are not sure, or think this section is ambiguous, or actually does grant unlimited power to Congress you are in wide company. You are confused at best, but at least you have lots of company.
Our 18th Century Framers were precise grammarians. It took months of often heated debate in the stuffy, hot, State House in Philly to thrash out every concept, idea, detail, clause and yes, punctuation, that ended up in our Beloved Constitution. From James Madisons notes, there is no question that every single detail had first to pass a committee composed of a few members, and then survive withering examination of the committee of all state delegates.
First, look at Article I Section 8. http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm .
Notice that there are many semicolons and only one period, at the very end of the entire Section. That is right. Section 8 is a single, long sentence. It is also one thought, the enumerated powers of Congress. As any sixth grade private school student and a few government high school grads know, the semicolon is used between closely related main clauses. Thus, there is no disconnect between the declaratory clause (common defense and general welfare) and the enumerated powers which follow. The enumerated powers are components of a single thought, to provide for our common defense and general welfare.
The Framers began with a broad statement, provide for the common Defense and general Welfare, and then got into specifics in the same sentence. It is no error or oversight that Article I, Section 8 was written as it was. It was purposely done in order to make sure that a reasonably literate people could not ignore, confuse or abuse its meaning. Congressional powers are strictly limited to those enumerated.
When viewed this way, the words of James Madison in Federalist #41 are perfectly clear: Nothing is more natural or common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of the particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity.
Even absent Madisons comments, the grammar, and punctuation combined with long length, unique to Section 8 remove all doubt as to the relationship between the common Defense and general Welfare clause to the enumerated powers that follow.
Those who cannot grasp this concept probably have a graduate Political Science degree, or perhaps are a Supreme Court Justice or a certain 42nd President of the United States and Constitutional Lawyer who wondered what the meaning of the word is is.
Or, they could be statists intent on National Socialist Healthcare.
Might we not best serve the cause of American Liberty by emailing a link to this video to friends and family?: The American Form of Government
We could also create a manifesto, using Jacquerie's comments and those of yours and others, to explain our very simple position - the Constitution guarantees individual liberty through the only means available to humankind: limited government.
Then email it to all our lists.
Yet, this is the liberal/communist canard: nothing means what we say it means unless it means what we say it to mean. That we gave them our children without a fight and as a convenience is too much to believe
I'm not sure I said anything about my intent.
Decay inevitable? It's impossible for something which has disappeared altogether to decay further. The only thing that could happen further is for people to stop giving lip service to the Constitution, but they only give lip service when they think that something in the Constitution supports whatever they think is right.
Very well said. What gives anyone the right to step on me simply because he was voted in to preform a specified job? Presidents are not Gods. Anyone in the house and senate don't fit the job descripion either.
I am. And I toss a few adults into the mix.
Empty minds = empty hands ;-]
That one is "worth hanging on the wall"!!
The rot is deeper than that.
Some say the rot goes back 400 years.
Certainly within the earliest years of our Republic, powerful rich people cooperated with powerful rich people in Europe to insure that they remained essentially in control of the world, and expanded and tightened that control.
Satan worship was reportedly involved early on.
Certainly for at least the last 100 years, those who made the most money insured that other up and coming, becoming wealthy folks played ball according to the globalist script . . . or were bought out . . . or threatened . . . or bankruped by clever schemes or imprisoned on trumped up charges o out right killed.
I no longer have any doubt of such things.
Insuring that their stooge was in the White House was an early, well managed priority. The farce of a great difference between the DIMRATS AND THE GOP was just that—playing the public for fools while distracting them with a phony competition. The Good-cop/bad-cop ploy coupled with the frog in the bucket strategy allowd all manner of skullduggary to go on under the table and sometimes in plain daylight—e.g. the VietNam war etc.
Of course they have been INCREASINGLY shredding the Constitution for decades. They never did respect it.
Of course the courts have been compromised for a long time. I suspect that 3/4ths of the judges are covert or overt globalists. It might be even 85% or more.
Thank you so much for your insights, dearest sister in Christ!
It is great to see you here, dear Sister in Christ!! In fact, I just asked BB via FReepmail if all was well with you...
May His richest blessings be on you and yours in the new year!!!
My granddaughter’s science teacher told us to “Go for it and set us an example!” (re computer graphics, etc.) on her science fair project, so we’ve been busy — and I’ve not been a-FReeping of late... But I definitely have been having fun!!! ‘-)
to be of interest...?
And congratulations to you and your granddaughter on the teacher's challenge! I'm very much looking forward to a report on how it all went ... hopefully with pictures (hint, hint.)
You, in response to marron above, That one is "worth hanging on the wall"!!
Indeed it is. You find that essential quality marron describes in everything that the Founding Fathers wrote, said, and did. From a decent respect to the opinions of mankind . . . to every provision found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, their actions reflect those characteristics. The Founding Fathers are the only generation (of which I am aware) who were at the very pinnacle of power and status in their society and yet were willing to accede to the sovereignty of the people by practicing their principle all men are created equal.
Contrast the Founders behavior with that of a Richard Durbin, a Dianne Feinstein, or even with Buraq 0bama himself and you will find the difference to be dramatically stark.
[[Contrast the Founders behavior with that of a Richard Durbin, a Dianne Feinstein, or even with Buraq 0bama himself and you will find the difference to be dramatically stark. ]]
Exactly- this latest issue with the govenrment developing cameras with GPS systems for illegal aliens ILLEGALLY coming to America, pointing htem to water shows just how stark the contrast really is
The people tried to tell the govenrment that we don’t like how they are spending OUR tax money by helping ILLEGAL Aliens, and the govenrment and company creating the cameras basically told us point blank to ‘Shut Up’ and that they ‘Don’t care what we like or don’t like’- they are goign to do exactly as they like whether we approve or not.
This administration has been spitting in our faces for quite soem time now, and telling us to shut up and get out of the way and stop opposing them- they aren’t even being coy about their contempt for hte American people anymore- I could NOT beleive my ears when I heard that statement from the camera company yesterday- it was an outrageous statment which the mainstream media simpyl ignores- but mind you, IF the republicans had been hteo nes who sponsored this camera, and they said somethign like that- the mainstream media would hound them and hound them until they resinged!
This administration’s attitude toward WE THE PEOPLE is despicable and disgraceful!
a decent respect to the opinions of mankind . . . Not likely with htios administration
Nor of Congress. Not even so much as a respect for the constituency who put them in office, much less an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the American People.
To borrow a thought from Patrick Henry: Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third had the whole of the American Colonies, but I expect that it is too much to hope such characters as a Barney Frank or a Nancy Pelosi will profit from their example.
Ive said before that nothing short of a second American Revolution will suffice. Have we the ability and the will to do it? The Roman People did not. Still the Empire lasted for another thousand years.
The best that we can hope for is a fate no better than the one we deserve. Perhaps not even so much as that.
Uhhh, let me think.
My thoughs? You pretty much nailed it. . .
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