It will receive very little fanfare and my guess it will not even be mentioned in most public schools across this nation but the US Constitution is still a miraculous document. It is a pity to see how little time we spend on the founding of this great nation. Today is the two hundred and twenty fifth anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution.
Why is the Constitution still important? First, it is the rule of law that limits the role of the federal government to 18 enumerated powers. It is also the only Constitution that puts complete control of government in the people’s hands and not the other way around.
Prior to our constitution, it was assumed that the government controlled people’s lives. Many countries at the time (and even today) accepted the notion of nobility, cast systems, and family blood lines were the determining factors of what people could accomplish in their lives. That changed at the signing ceremony of the US Constitution.
The US Constitution was not perfect but it was the start of a movement to form a more perfect union. It is the reason slavery was abolished. It was forward thinking and set up a platform for future Americans to reference the constitution and make the changes needed to make all Americans equal. The US is often criticized for slavery but slavery was a common practice throughout the world and without our constitution there is no telling how much longer it would have lasted. It is still common practice in many parts of the world today.
The US Constitution is always under attack. The only way it survives is by Americans that are willing to defend it. After all, it simply is a document with the principles of this nation and it does not have a voice, we are the voice. I have argued that American students should study the Constitution all four years of High School. Anyone that believes that the current history curriculum in this country serves to protect our future as a nation and constitutional republic is kidding themselves.
The politicians that take the oath of office and swear to uphold the constitution often have limited understanding of the document. They ignore the context and use tortured arguments to justify federal expansion of power that has no authority in the constitution. Most politicians ignore it when it doesn’t support their programs, and tout its brilliance when it does.
We need to reaffirm our commitment to the document that changed the world for the better. It deserves a better placement in our education system, political system, and our lives. If we were abiding by the US Constitution today we would be much better off than we stand right now.
Make it your commitment to read and understand the context in which it was created. Start referencing it when you hear federal politicians promoting programs. Teach your kids about it. It was a miracle in 1787 and it is a miracle in 2012. We just need to treat it as such…