Of First Importance

by Whitney Pitcher

Today marks the 225th anniversary of signing of America’s Constitution. On September 17th, 1787, delegates to the convention met for the final time to sign the document they had spent four months crafting. The Constitution is quite possibly the most remarkable secular text ever written despite being a mere 7,200 words– or perhaps because it is a mere 7,200 words. This blueprint simply and succinctly lays out a system of government providing three branches of government–an executive branch, a bicameral legislature, and a judicial branch. This provided a solid, but not overreaching, federal government that the Articles of Confederation failed to do. Additionally, the Constitution extends powers to the states, provides the process of both amending and ratifying the document, and denotes the Constitution’s legal status. All of these functions are outlined in just seven relatively short articles. There’s beauty in succinctness and simplicity, yet too often ugliness in obfuscation and complexity.

It is interesting what the Founders chose to mention first in this document and its various sections, as often, what is mentioned first is what writers or speakers deem most important. The preamble to the Constitution begins with three simple words “We the people”. It wasn’t “we the delegates” or “we the states”. It was “we the people”. The individuals at the constitutional convention were delegates from their respective states, but they decided to begin the document as we the people. They did not give special credence to themselves as delegates, although they could have.The Founders were all well versed and intelligent. They did not necessarily even say we the states, although those delegates were representing the states. James Madison, often called the Father of the Constitution,  thought that the document was of “the people” because it was ratified by the state legislatures which represented the people. This is what separated a constitution from a league of states or a treaty of states.. A constitution of “we the people” is what made the states truly united as opposed to a loose confederation of states.

Additionally, the Founders chose to begin the Constitution by outlining the legislature, not the executive branch. James Madison often referred to the legislature as the “first branch”. The legislature is responsible for making laws. However, through abdications over the years, executive branch agencies and bureaucracies have been given powers by the legislature, except they are usually called regulations when implemented by those outside the legislative branch. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed out an executive order from President Nixon and was ratified by Congressional hearings. While its role is to implement laws passed by Congress, the specific regulations themselves–from light bulbs to power plants– are dictated by the EPA. More recently, with the passage of Obamacare in 2010, Congress again abdicated much of the control of Medicare spending to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) –“death panel”. As Independent Women’s Foundation policy analyst Hadley Heath notes:

Each year, the CMS director will submit to IPAB the per-capita growth rate in Medicare and the target per-capita growth rate. Undoubtedly, as health care costs continue on their upward spiral (fueled by government regulations), the growth rate will be higher than the target rate. The mission of IPAB will be to make the two rates match, by drafting a proposal for changes to the Medicare program. This proposal will become law unless Congress, by supermajority in both houses, votes to stop the proposal and comes up with its own plan to match IPAB’s savings.

Through the passage of Obamacare Congress essentially ceded their ability to provide necessary changes to Medicare to an agency director and an unelected panel appointed by the President. Despite these abdications of power, the Constitution provide a blueprint for what part of government was of first importance–Congress-the body given the power to make laws.

When it comes to the executive branch, the Founders saw one role of the executive to be most important–that of commander-in-chief. The second article of the Constitution describes the executive branch. The first section of this article focuses on the election,qualifications, and oath of office for the president. However, the second article, which lays out the role of the president, begins by laying out the president’s position as commander-in-chief. This is something that is unfortunately, for the most part,  lost on our current president, as Andrew McCarthy noted at National Review over the weekend:

Defense against foreign enemies is the primary job of the president of the United States. The rationale for the office’s creation is national defense — not green venture capitalism, not rationing medical care, not improving the self-image of the “Muslim world,” not leaving no child behind, not blowing out the Treasury’s credit line. Yet, though we are entering the late innings, foreign policy and national defense have not been factors in the 2012 campaign.

President Obama has not fulfilled his primary job–commander-in-chief– as is easily seen by the fact that he has attended less than half of his national security briefings. On the heels of the report of President Obama’s lack of attendance at national security briefings came the attacks on US embassies in Egypt and Libya and other areas throughout the Middle East. Attacks that resulted in the death of four Americans including an ambassador and two Marines. Mind you, this consulate that was attacked was in an unstable, Muslim country where there wasn’t sufficient security, and the attack occurred on the first September 11th following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Both parties are guilty of rejecting the ideas of “first importance” espoused by the Founders. Clinging to power, leaders have felt that their role should be “we the government”–that  they know better than us (we the people) how to run our lives and spend our money. At the same time, Congress has too frequently abdicated their role as a legislative body to a power thirsty executive branch. Presidents have acted as if meddling domestically in individuals lives is of first importance than the securing the nation, not in the sense of nation building or military overinvolvement, but of vigilance and deterrence. There is no reason to despair, however, the Founders knew quite well the imperfections of men.

Of second importance in the Constitution’s preamble was to “form a more perfect union”; a perfect or complete union was not possible, but getting closer to completion was indeed possible. They knew that perfection was impossible of a government of men, but they did not succumb to pessimism. Although he was not part of the constitutional convention, Thomas Jefferson once noted (emphasis added):

We owe every other sacrifice to ourselves, to our federal brethren, and to the world at large to pursue with temper and perseverance the great experiment which shall prove that man is capable of living in [a] society governing itself by laws self-imposed, and securing to its members the enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and peace; and further, to show that even when the government of its choice shall manifest a tendency to degeneracy, we are not at once to despair, but that the will and the watchfulness of its sounder parts will reform its aberrations, recall it to original and legitimate principles, and restrain it within the rightful limits of self-government.

We have the opportunity–both through our voice and our vote– to help reform the aberrations of our government and recall it to those original and sound principles–those first principles of self-government. It started with “we the people”, and that is how it should continue.

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3 responses to “Of First Importance

  1. Constitution= " We The People"

    This is a wonderful post and it highlights some things for me~!!!
    Hebrews 1:1-15
    1 In the past God spoke to [your] forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways~
    The ForeFathers who constructed and brought forth the Constitution to the people were Christians and because of such fell under this Biblical aspect~ However, no others ever have since then~ “A government’s existence is proof that it is ordained of God and that it possesses divinely delegated authority. Paul says, “those which exist are established by God.” God is SOVERIEGN (independent: self-governing and not ruled by any other state; ” We the People” are under HIM). He is in control of all things. He causes all things to “work together for good”. In days gone by, He raised up a disobedient Pharaoh, as well as Assyria and Babylon, as His chastening rod. Whether democratic or autocratic, heathen or God-fearing, every government which has the power to rule over its people has been granted that power and authority by God.”
    To the contrary belief, the Romans (Empire mentality) were ruled by a god on earth, [name of] Caesar~ As well, as todays elites are desiring~ So these people do not fall under the first paragraph, also explains why the elites are against the Constitution~ Jesus was tried for sedition (rebellion or incitement: actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority, or actual rebellion against government authority)( same thing can happen to me, so tone has been a focus). Once brought in: Mark 14:50 …From this point on Jesus was not free. He was the Property of the State, and the State planned to devour him. He was not the Son of God to them, he was a rebel rouser. He was a fake ( their defiance and dis-belief)
    Exodus 20:1-26 [Yet], God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not BOW down to them or SERVE [elites], for I the Lord your God am a [protective] God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, …
    And the ForeFathers understood all humans are imperfect beings subject to the same rights under God; not excluding, themselves~
    I Peter 3:18-22 For [ even] Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been “subjected to HIM”~
    So far, the Forefathers had it right and knew to an almost exact degree, what is needed for all people to be free from Government controls~ Trusted leaders and lovers of the Constitution is what [US] needs~ I can only think of three right now, who exist for sure~
    Moreover, the ” elites” it seems, have their own chosen and the Government itself to be God~ To the extreme opposite ” The Poeple” have their own and it isn’t the Government~ The self servant can secure nothing~ Anthony

    • America The Beautiful

      A certain faction of people injecting themselves into American politics regardless, of how far back in time, has been done so through monetarism (money itself), Unions(power of numbers), lobbying(buying officials) and votes etc, making changes that eventually, lead to the American people not having a choice of who is President, like 2012, for instance~ And though, slow moving and over time ” This is Treason” in its most literal sense~ And this is what “We” may have; what I am seeing from the Americans who are waking up is that they want a ” choice” this time ( to take some control over their own future)~ So, I consider this when I see or hear them going off the deep end, about it~ I mean honestly, these feelings have been created by the self servant running things in the first place~ I consider it part of the treason; as well, as what is done through education by dumming down the information and injecting hate and immorality more ( liberalness)~
      I will leave all with an example of what I am presenting~ After WWII, Britain promised Palestine to give them Israel~ In this video of Qadaffi, Qadaffi explains, that the Muslim world expected Obama to merge Israel and Palestine calling by the ancients or ancesters as wanted Israstine~ Moreover, a true American president would never do this to Israel but a injected British advocacy into American politics would~
      4:45 Mark http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnQaEPKGai4

      To be part of some solution:
      In this day and age, an Empire gets its only real power from monetarism for they are the ones who created it~ So the counter is to create policies that make that form of monetarism system obsolete (create our own)~

      Last, if Islam was created(on purpose by increasing populations through the use of multiple wifes and fighting to lessen other types of populations through other means so Islam grows quicker) just so, there were to eventually, be a war between it and Christianity that in expectation, outcome would inturn benefit the Godless~ People can take heed of America’s walls being dropped down like they are because Sharia etc can come mask over it before all know it, so you know~ I believe, that people would find it interesting to truly, know who created Islam or the Kuran for that matter, because it wasn’t an Islamist or Muslim, according to my looking into the matter~ Very important!

      “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” Edmond Burke

      I believe I have talked about this subject enough to give the general picture of what I am seeing~ So I will refrain from this information here on out~ I will conclude here that everything I say, is my assessment of the “Divide” part of “Divide and Conquer” mentality which exist based in a principle and by a pro-satanic Empire~ In absolution, I cannot forget, Jesus had to deal with this in his time~ The end of Empire discussion~ 10-4 Anthony

      • Please Prove Me Wrong

        Obama pledges his allegiance to who? Treason? PM makes light and fun of Britain attacking America, many, many, years ago~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRklvYOzG4k
        Keep in mind I am an independent, an undecided~ I have never voted in my life and I am 41~ I have no bias or the bias I have is in the realm of love and hate~ I am not affiliated with any group, whatsoever~ I take information from all sides and analyze it~ The source of the video to me, advocates to much for Russia but knows history, real well~ Before last year I knew nothing about history but I do now~ All of it may not be truth but some of it is~ And I make it my goal to weed out the bias~ Only the minute biased will have an accepting open mind to information thus virtually, learn all and different angles of it~ The biased will stick what they know, making what they know, all they ever will~ Choice is everyone’s of which one of these he or she may want to be~ Anthony

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