Skip to comments.Remembering the U. S. Constitution: The Law of the Land
Posted on 09/17/2017 8:28:36 PM PDT by Academiadotorg
Republican presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George H. W. Bush have referred to U. S. Supreme Court decisions as "the law of the land." Actually, that distinction belongs to the document we celebrate todaythe U. S. Constitution.
If you want a good treatise on it, read The Theme Is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition by M. Stanton Evans. "In fact, the Constitution was the work not of a moment, an hour, or even a lifetime, but of two millennia of Western thought, political struggle and hard-won knowledge about the state," Evans wrote. "The Constitution is an almost perfect summation of the themes expounded in this essay."
"Virtually every doctrine, value, institutional development and painful lesson gleaned through all the centuries since Magna Carta converged on the Statehouse in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787." It's staggering to realize that the original delegates to the Constitutional Convention had an intimate understanding of the history which preceded it: You would be hard put to find members of the current Congress who have a working knowledge of the past 230 years since those storied statesmen convened.
"Here were combined the notions of the law above the king, the need to impose restraints on power, the wisdom of diffusing authority instead of having it focused in one center, that were the chief political doctrines of a free society, annealed and tested in the fires of battle," Evans wrote of the Constitutional Conventions. "As noteworthy as the ideas that guided the convention were the men who held them."
"While perhaps not quite an 'assembly of demi-gods,' as Jefferson put it, the people who attended made an impressive muster: Washington and Franklin, Madison and Hamilton, Dickinson and Wilson, John Rutledge and Roger Sherman, George Mason and George Wythe, Oliver Ellsworth and Elbridge Gerry."
It's hard not to think of a classic routine political satirist Mort Sahl used during the 1972 campaign, "In less than 200 years, weve gone from Madison and Adams to Nixon and McGovern."
"What can we make of this? Darwin was wrong!" In other words, this devolution in statesmen was proof positive, at least politically, that we did not evolve into a higher species.
"Despite the absence of Jefferson, Patrick Henry and the Adamses, this was a company of heroes, distinguished for character, principle, and understanding," Evans wrote of the founders. "If one were looking for signs of providential care in the creation of America--and the framers often did--it would be found in the gathering of these men, with these particular qualities, at this juncture of our history."
Evans goes on to describe the debate itself. What is interesting about that description is that those original debates over the Constitution were the exact obverse of current congressional discourse should give us pause because the former were so stunningly successful while the latter rarely are. If the Hippocratic Oath--"First do no harm"--were taken by government officials, they would wind up violating it on the first full day of business.
"Almost everything was discussed in terms of immediate past or historical experience, with little being said of an abstract of strictly theoretical nature," Evans wrote. "The most frequent references were to things that had happened in the states (or colonies) themselves, followed by comment on British or other European practice, then by observations on the classical republics (mostly by way of bad example)."
"The standard used throughout was what had worked, and how, and whether it could be expected to work again." Imagine conducting the business of the government that way, particularly at the federal level.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington and Franklin, Madison and Hamilton, Dickinson and Wilson, John Rutledge and Roger Sherman, George Mason and George Wythe, Oliver Ellsworth and Elbridge Gerry.”
Not one of them would have thought a Kenyan/British subject from Indonesia was a natural born citizen eligible to be President.
Happy days when USConstitution was created and confirmed by our fathers.
“What can we make of this? Darwin was wrong!” In other words, this devolution in statesmen was proof positive, at least politically, that we did not evolve into a higher species.
Evolution is the organism adapting to its environment, not a straight line ascent to what a human thinks is ‘higher.’ So Nixon was adapted to modern society, for better or worse.
“Happy birthday to the U. S. Constitution, a document that really lives.”
I’m sorry to say to you, that the U.S. Constitution was mortally wounded in the Civil war, when it lost the consent of the governed, and was buried all together during the Great depression, after finally dying in 1913.
Parts of the basic selection remains of the corpse of our Constitution. But the Document itself, along with its functional guts have been decayed away after more than a century of lawless and effectively unaccountable federal employee’s political edicts.
The U.S. Constitution does not survive today.
As depressing as that was to read, you are correct. Sigh.
“Evolution is the organism adapting to its environment, not a straight line ascent to what a human thinks is higher. So Nixon was adapted to modern society, for better or worse.”
I always find it funny when people uses the theory of evolution as if to infer it always means to improve while completely neglecting the basic mechanisms by which that improvement is achieved(natural Selection).
Politics may only be thought of as an example of evolution on a global scale among competing states. Politicians by contrast are also evolving but they are not the orgizm of the state but rather the parasites that live within it seeking to acquire personal power and influence from it.
Their evolution, and the evolution of their politics is to the detriment and destruction of the state. The state as a whole by contrast does not evolve at all for it is but a single lifeforms living a single life. It’s successors might be said to evolve only to the extent they outlive other states not so well designed to resist the corruption of said parasites and the competition of other state.
To this end the U.S. Constitution represents a very strong organism lasting 100+ years on the world stage before surcoming to its own parasites, and beginning the long slow death. It is not however invulnerable not is it as an individual evolving.
Another thread from this morning, this IS Constitution Day!
Happy Constitution Day!
Constitution Day ^ | September 17, 2017 | Staff
Posted on 9/17/2017, 7:51:08 AM by Diana in Wisconsin
Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.
Oops, here is the link to the above referenced thread:
What we’ve witnessed isn’t Darwin; it is poor maintenance.
By what twist of logic does the Constitution purport to speak for “we the people” when only 39 men, 0 women, signed it 230 years ago?
Does a citizen of the United States become a co-signer of the Constitution just by being born within United States borders?
“We the people” includes all of us that have faithfully served to defend the Constitution. I cannot speak for anyone else outside my family.
The most important question that was ever proposed to your decision, or to the decision of any people under heaven, is before you, and you are to decide upon it by men of your own election, chosen specially for this purpose. If the constitution, offered to your acceptance, be a wise one, calculated to preserve the invaluable blessings of liberty, to secure the inestimable rights of mankind, and promote human happiness, then, if you accept it, you will lay a lasting foundation of happiness for millions yet unborn; generations to come will rise up and call you blessed. You may rejoice in the prospects of this vast extended continent becoming filled with freemen, who will assert the dignity of human nature. You may solace yourselves with the idea, that society, in this favoured land, will fast advance to the highest point of perfection; the human mind will expand in knowledge and virtue, and the golden age be, in some measure, realised. But if, on the other hand, this form of government contains principles that will lead to the subversion of liberty if it tends to establish a despotism, or, what is worse, a tyrannic aristocracy; then, if you adopt it, this only remaining assylum for liberty will be shut up, and posterity will execrate your memory.
Momentous then is the question you have to determine, and you are called upon by every motive which should influence a noble and virtuous mind, to examine it well, and to make up a wise judgment. It is insisted, indeed, that this constitution must be received, be it ever so imperfect. If it has its defects, it is said, they can be best amended when they are experienced. But remember, when the people once part with power, they can seldom or never resume it again but by force. Many instances can be produced in which the people have voluntarily increased the powers of their rulers; but few, if any, in which rulers have willingly abridged their authority. This is a sufficient reason to induce you to be careful, in the first instance, how you deposit the powers of government.
So far therefore as its powers reach, all ideas of confederation are given up and lost. It is true this government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, some small degree of power is still left to the states, but a little attention to the powers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that if it is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual states must very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to the organization of the general government. The powers of the general legislature extend to every case that is of the least importance there is nothing valuable to human nature, nothing dear to freemen, but what is within its power. It has authority to make laws which will affect the lives, the liberty, and property of every man in the United States; nor can the constitution or laws of any state, in any way prevent or impede the full and complete execution of every power given. The legislative power is competent to lay taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; there is no limitation to this power
And are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the state governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual states, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter therefore will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over every thing that stands in their way. This disposition, which is implanted in human nature, will operate in the federal legislature to lessen and ultimately to subvert the state authority, and having such advantages, will most certainly succeed, if the federal government succeeds at all.
In a free republic
Brutus #1 - Anti-federalist
Check$ and Balance$?
US Constitution bump for later......
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.