Last Friday marked the 223rd anniversary of formal signing of the United States Constitution. Very little was mentioned in the media on about the significance of that date but the relevance of the Constitution is more than ever applicable to America today.
” We the People of the United States”, not we the government or we the special interests, are the first words of the constitution of the United States of America. These first words embody a key principle in the founding of our country, that the government derives its power from the consent of the governed. This power according to the constitution aims to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote (not provide) the general welfare and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves (the people) and our posterity.” When the source of this power or influence emanate from any where else but from the consent of the people such as from big government or special interest groups we the people have to pay attention. Why is it important to pay attention? , because we are on the path to lose the way of life we enjoy today and all the things that make America exceptional. Many in government would like to deviate from our founding principles such as individual liberty, limited government, traditional values, rule of law, private property, religious freedom, constitutionalism and a strong national defense. There are many that would rather govern based on their own liberal ideologies of big government. These ideologies increasingly supersedes the consent of the governed and are contrary to the principles and ideas which have made us the most prosperous, free, fair, and secure nation on earth.
If ‘We the People of The United States’ fail to pay attention to the real details of the issues that affect us and recognize how they stem from ideologies that contradict the first principles of our nations birth and success, we will continue to witness the erosion of our liberties, reduction in economic prosperity, the ascendancy of power being concentrated in the will of few to attain their political spoils, and the vulnerability of reduced national security. More so, if ‘We the People of the United States’ do not understand what ‘America’ really means, or the conservative ideas which created and nurtured her for over two centuries into a flourishing republic, we will not be able to protect or promote these ideas as solutions to 21st century issues.
Paying attention, also means asking questions. In an era of ‘hope and change’, we must ask what kind of change do politicians promise and what are the means of this change?. We must also ask ourselves what kind of change do we expect from our elected officials or do we rather seek a renewal to our founding principles and ideas which have made us the greatest country on earth?. Failing this, the identity of America as we know it today will be redefined into something else our founders or generations before us would not recognize. We will be accountable to our descendants as to why we did not pass on the kind of ‘America’ we ourselves had inherited.
Constituting America held a Constitution Day “We the People 9:17 contest” for short films, essays and poems submitted by students of schools nationwide. The winners and video clips including some from New York are shown here. The Heritage Foundation also published an article on the importance of the date and a video clip celebrating the day.