Monday, July 2, 2012

What was the Founder’s greatest fear?

I enjoy reading about the founding of our nation. I have read many books, articles, and often re-read sections of the Constitution when I have questions. When I go back and read the founding documents whether it is the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or the Federalist Papers, the common thread throughout is the dis-trust of centralized authority.

I believe we have lost interest and the understanding of how this great nation was founded, why, and how it has become the most prosperous nation on the earth. The fact that we have stopped teaching the principles of self-governance and instead spend time learning dates and specific events as students, has resulted in the loss of the most important part of our founding; the context in which the documents were created.

Context is often overlooked but an extremely important aspect of learning history. Unless the context is clear about an event, it is hard to understand the true intentions of the people involved in the event. How can you make a judgment about someone’s actions if you don’t have all the facts about what lead to those actions? It is not only true in history but every day events. For example: if you were to learn someone killed another person by shooting them with their handgun, could you convict them on that fact? Unless you know that the murdered person was an armed robber and entered the house with the intent of killing the inhabitants and robbing them of their possessions, you would have incomplete context.

The context of our founding must be understood to apply the constitution correctly. Our founder’s greatest fear was a central authority with the power to dictate and impose on the freedom of the individual. They had just fought a revolution and risked their life, possessions, and sacred honor in the pursuit of freedom and self-governance. They saw central authority as evil and believed that men involved in the free pursuit of their dreams, engaging in economic activity between each other, were the best arbiters of happiness.

To understand the constitution is to understand the time, the reason, and the vision of why it was created. It was created to limit the central government’s power and protect the individual and state’s rights to operate and pursue happiness. Even the context of “happiness” needs to be reviewed. Happiness at the time of our founding was a much simpler concept. It was pursuing a trade, taking care of your family, and living in freedom from government rule. After all this was the first experiment in self-rule without a class structure.

The constitution is not “living or breathing” it is a solid set of laws limiting central authority (Federal Government).  What we have seen in the healthcare ruling that was ruled on by the SCOTUS is a disregard of the context and intention of the Constitution. It is no more complex than that. We have lawyers that debate over what the word is, is, but to any common soul like myself that studies human nature, the founding, and believes that individuals, not bureaucrats in some far off concrete building are better judges of their own fate, suffered  a great blow to liberty and self-rule.

The people that are cheering this decision will come to realize if it is fully implemented that they have given up their freedom and will be told how to live by some central authority bureaucrat. Healthcare is not free or a right, it is an economic pact between two individual parties. Being free to decide your own fate is a right protected by the Constitution and that right was just trampled by the Supreme Court of the United States…

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