Many countries have claimed the title of “republic” throughout the centuries, but it was in name only. A republic is defined as representative government, representatives who are subject to the democratic voting public (citizens, usually men, but in the late 19th and early 20th century to include women). What has made the American republic unique, and still standing to this day? Our Constitution. This week passed the 230th anniversary of our Founding Document!
Progressives believe it should be a living, breathing document… that it changes with time. But that is because they wish to interpret it how they see fit, to change the culture without democratic debate. Conservatives align with the Founding Fathers – that the document should remain true to the Framer’s intent, which prevents rule by the mob. If you wish to change it, there is a process: amendments.
This week we celebrated Constitution Day on Monday, September 17th – and we are reminded of the importance of keeping its “original intent.” It should also be a reminder of how important this seminal document is to our history, our freedoms, and as we watch the news each day… our future!
I. Why the Constitution Should be Applied Utilizing the Framer’s “Original Intent”:
- Ensures that decisions are rooted in history, tradition, culture, and the rule of law. Critics of “originalism,” “strict constructionism,” and/or “original intent” usually follow the same script: minorities could not vote, women could not vote, and therefore the document is flawed. That of course is flawed thinking. The Framers were men of the Enlightenment, and as stated above, they left a process in place to make such changes – it was called amendments. And where the Constitution did not address a particular social injustice when signed – such as universal voting rights or the immorality of slavery – the amendment process eventually corrected those issues over time.
- Framers were enlightened men, inspired by divine guidance. John Adams said it best – “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Interpreting the Constitution with “original intent” helps us remain fervently committed to a just and moral foundation of right and wrong. Each ruling that has gone against the Framer’s intent has usually resulted in a decline in morality… that of course is self-evident today. And as morality and justice give way to progressivism, the social decline will continue.
- It works… always has. Recent cases such as DC v. Heller – which preserved the 2nd Amendment – helped preserve Constitutional protections for U.S. citizens. Without a Constitution that is foundational and fixed to certain moral and civic truths, then future governments can simply change the meaning of your rights as the mob of voters dictate. The Constitution is here not to give us our rights, but to protect us from government taking them. Freedom of speech, trial by jury, no search and seizure… American freedom from tyrannical government is enshrined in the hallowed words of our founding document!
“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon” – George Washington, 1795. It is pretty hard to argue with that sentiment, and it speaks to the finite nature of the document. How can something guide you if you are allowed to change it?
The country celebrated a week of important moments in American history, this past week, yet they were hard to notice from the news coverage. In addition to Constitution Day, we also celebrated the birthday of the Air Force and the CIA. Take a moment to reflect on the importance of these American institutions. They help protect our freedoms, and what protects our freedoms from government intervention – the Constitution – is the most important American institution of all!