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Lay claim to Constitution — or lose it?

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posted on May, 16 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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I ran across this article and thought it really expressed what a lot of people are feeling.

It is not party related - it is citizen related.


Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 7:09 am, Sun May 16, 2010.
By FRANK MIELE/Daily Inter Lake

One of the most worrisome social trends today is that many Americans no longer claim ownership of the Constitution.


I lay the blame on teachers and parents for the very first sentence in this article. I have seen what I can only presume to be younger people say the Constitution doesn't matter, it is an antiquated piece of paper.

That very sentiment tends to anger and even enrage people who grew up not only understanding it, but fighting for it, and rightly so.

The Constitution is not a living document, and if someone tells you that, they have an agenda to sell you. It is not American to undermine the depth, meaning, and usefulness of the Constitution.


Every time I write about some constitutional issue, I inevitably hear from some smug liberal scoffing at how "Frank the Constitutional Scholar" knows more than the judges and congressmen who reign in Washington. Apparently we are supposed to be comfortable with the idea of letting President Obama, Harry Reid and the judges they appoint and confirm tell us what the Constitution means.


The Constitution was written in plain, understandable English for a reason. It leaves very little wiggle room, intentionally, very little room to bend and twist the words to ones personal needs.

In both reading the Constitution, and reading history, it is very clear that it was written carefully with these very thoughts in mind, and I feel this is undeniable fact.


This is a scary thought. First, it is the judges, congressmen and presidents in Washington which the Constitution is supposed to protect us from. It codifies the LIMITS of their power over "we the people." Second, why should anyone in America be made to feel ashamed for holding up the Constitution as their shield of liberty? Should it not be as familiar to us, and as vital, as the air we breathe?


Read that first sentence again and again, until you fully understand this. The people in government are not your "friends". They should be watched over to make certain they are doing what they should do, *not* what we want them to do. There is a difference.

Why indeed, should anyone be ashamed, riduculed, accused of nefarious intent, or otherwise labeled "for holding up the Constitution as their shield of liberty?"


If "we the people" surrender interpretation of the Constitution to those in power, then we have abrogated our responsibility as sovereign citizens.


(snip)


Indeed, the fact that people in this country don't understand their responsibilities as the guardians of the Constitution is a damning indictment of our educational system.


(snip)


As much as anything, the Tea Party Movement is a reaction to just that haughtiness of Washington, D.C. The ruling elites have used the Constitution as their equivalent of a get-rich scheme for too many years, and the people are sick of it. Now, finally, we are seeing signs that "we the people" will not go down without a fight.

And a terrific fight it promises to be. We could even be in the midst of the country's most serious constitutional crisis since the 1800s.


Understand, We The People are not black, nor white. We are neither Democrat nor Republican. We are Citizens of the United States, and any differences that we have now, or have had in the past need so desperately to be put aside for another time and place. But it simply has no place during a time where our country is flailing and threatening to become something it was never meant to be.


Indeed, some politicians seem to find the Constitution a bit inconvenient, whether it was George W. Bush with the Patriot Act or Barack Obama with the Health-Insurance Mandate. There is an oft-repeated story that President Bush dismissed the Constitution as a troublesome "piece of paper." That may be apocryphal, but there is ample evidence that his successor did call the Constitution "an imperfect document and ... a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture."

Perhaps that view of the Constitution is why President Obama once famously pledged that if elected that he would be "fundamentally transforming" the United States of America.


Do not shoot the messengers, do not attack the person bringing the message no matter whom it may be, because in effect, it is attacking the very thing that should be protecting you.

The article is excellent, and I urge anyone and everyone to read it.

Read more here.

ETA link: *bonks self in the head*


[edit on 16-5-2010 by Libertygal]




posted on May, 16 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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I agree 100% with your sentiments about the Constitution Libertygal. It is not a "living document" in the sense that it needs frequent reinterpretation but perhaps is a living document in that it continues to protect our rights today and tomorrow.
I think that the real reason the Constitution and it's principles are in trouble is because we have a culture of moral relativism that justifies one's actions by self-interest, i.e. - if it's good for me, it's justifiable.
Of course the biggest winners in the losing of our Constitutional prinicples are the Corporations who have usurped the rights of the individual and subborned us all to the interests of the almighty dollar.
Which is to say we have been sold out somewhere.
While many doomsayers out there decry our loss of freedoms there is hope in that the worse it gets, the more likely the people are to react. One day it will reach a tipping point and either freedom will win or the interests of the Corporate/Banker/Oligarchs will.
It would help if you inclued a link to the article you quote



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:17 PM
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Great piece Libertygal.

The problem is the current adminstration is in the proces of dismantling it before our very eyes.

I dare say you/we won't have to worry about the Cont. if Obama get re-elected and the Conservatives don't gain a strong foothold in Congress.

That may not do it either. It may be time for another revolution.

Seriously, if the Senate is going to construct laws with provision in them that they can't be changed or overturned, whats the sense of sending people back? Just most drity tricks-and the people are P.O'ed about it.

[edit on 5/16/2010 by anon72]



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


Thanks I fixed it. :blush:



Which is to say we have been sold out somewhere.


I could not agree more.


One day it will reach a tipping point and either freedom will win or the interests of the Corporate/Banker/Oligarchs will.


I think this is the most worrisome aspect of it, not to be a doomsayer, but I fear it may take the collapse of society to achieve anything. That is not what worries me so much as who is going to be there to pick it back up again.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 06:20 PM
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I don't understand why we need a document to define our "rights" as humans. Do we not have an intuitive ability to care about other people unconditionally? Mybe this whole idea of our need to have a written definition to guide people away from sadistic, selfish behaviors is apart of the problem to begin with.

What is real?

I am not trying to put you down in the least bit, i am just trying to have an alternative perspective.

Divide an conquer -

Give them rules to fight over and they will fight over them.

[edit on 16-5-2010 by onequestion]



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by onequestion
I don't understand why we need a document to define our "rights" as humans.

What is real?

I am not trying to put you down in the least bit, i am just trying to have an alternative perspective.

Divide an conquer -

Give them rules to fight over and they will fight over them.

[edit on 16-5-2010 by onequestion]


I don't take your reply as putting me down in the least, no worries.


May I ask you a question? And, this in all seriousness, I am not trying to be mean or facetious. Have you ever read the Constitution?

There is a very simple reason I am asking, and that is because of this quote from the article:


It codifies the LIMITS of their power over "we the people.


The Constitution is not so much about our rights, it is about limiting the rights and powers of the government *over* the people. We obtain our rights by natural law. We allow only some control to be placed on us, in limited fashion, via the Constitution. Without some control, there would be anarchy.

Our forefathers really only intended for us to be just this side of anarchy. That is what a true republic would be.

The reason that people are upset with the government is because they are overstepping the bounds, or limits put into place to protect the people from overzealous government.

This is why states are coming forward to reassert their 10th Ammendment rights as given under the Constitution.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

www.usconstitution.net...

I think one of the problems some people have is exactly what you are saying, that our rights are limited by an outdated document, and that is erroneous.

Our rights are being restricted by an evergrowing, out of control government.

This isn't so much about divide and conquer, it really all comes down to people truly understanding their natural rights vs the limits of the government to intrude upon our lives.


Do we not have an intuitive ability to care about other people unconditionally? Mybe this whole idea of our need to have a written definition to guide people away from sadistic, selfish behaviors is apart of the problem to begin with.


This is a very good point. We do have the ability. However, without some laws, we would be a total anarchy. Some people do not have that same intuitition.

The Constitution does not have anything to do with guiding people away from sadisitc or selfish behaviours.

If anything, the abandonment of the Constitution is what is leading to that.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 

Thanks for taking the time for such a reply.

Ok, from this perspective i will agree with you on the fact that it is to limit the power of the government.

I think i was trying to make another point but kind of went astray.

Mybe it stems from my ideas and questions regarding the need for government.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by onequestion
 


No problem, happens to me, too.

I do think we need governing, because without it, like I said, there woild be anarchy.

I would just like less governing.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 09:34 PM
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S&F no further comments needed for this thread!!



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


Good job and THANK YOU! Libertygal. I hate the thought of disregarding or subjugating the Constitution of the United States of America.

I have to disagree a tad with the quote from the site you posted though........... I believe the Constitution IS a living document in that it can be modified or amended with a majority vote "of the people". What really @#$@#%s me off though, is the notion that and end-run can be made around it.

The Constitution has -- unlike most modern legal documents -- very clear and precise language. It leaves little to interpretation. Much has been said about the 2nd Amendment, for example....... whether it grants American citizens the right to own guns, or whether it refers to a standing militia. I've read it dozens of times. It is clear. So are all the other preceps of this precious document. It can be amended. It cannot be tricked, nor fooled, nor danced around.

The author of your link said something like, "if anyone tells you that the Constitution is a 'living document' they are deceiving you. Well, I understand where they are coming from in that many people view that term -- living document -- as meaning that it is flexible and interpretive.

I wish we had folks of the ilk of the founding fathers (and mothers) within our system today. People who wanted to honor the ideals of Constitution and enforce them. It's not a perfect document. It is nearly so. It should be honored.



posted on May, 16 2010 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by argentus
reply to post by Libertygal
 


Good job and THANK YOU! Libertygal. I hate the thought of disregarding or subjugating the Constitution of the United States of America.

I have to disagree a tad with the quote from the site you posted though........... I believe the Constitution IS a living document in that it can be modified or amended with a majority vote "of the people". What really @#$@#%s me off though, is the notion that and end-run can be made around it.


I agree with you on all points, and thank you for the kind words.

The Constitution surely can be ammended, but those ammendments are rather uncommon, though they do happen.



The Constitution has -- unlike most modern legal documents -- very clear and precise language. It leaves little to interpretation. Much has been said about the 2nd Amendment, for example....... whether it grants American citizens the right to own guns, or whether it refers to a standing militia. I've read it dozens of times. It is clear. So are all the other preceps of this precious document. It can be amended. It cannot be tricked, nor fooled, nor danced around.


Exactly! The language is so simple, and so exact. I am sometimes amazed by the language of the Constitution, and I often wonder exactly how long it took to be written. I can only imagine many hours, because it almost seems like they worked out almost all possibilities of a misinterpretation.

Here is one answer, but it only refers to the Convention:


Q87. "How long did it take to write the original Constitution?"

A. The question is not as straight forward as it might sound. The Constitutional Convention made many drafts and many revisions to the Constitution. Better, perhaps, to note when the Convention started, May 25, 1787; and when it adjourned, September 17, 1787, or 116 days.




The author of your link said something like, "if anyone tells you that the Constitution is a 'living document' they are deceiving you. Well, I understand where they are coming from in that many people view that term -- living document -- as meaning that it is flexible and interpretive.


Actually, that was my comment. I was referring to it in the context that has been being used the past couple of years in that it needs to be dramatically changed or simply ignored because the times have changed. I largely disagree with that, and that is what I was trying to get across.



I wish we had folks of the ilk of the founding fathers (and mothers) within our system today. People who wanted to honor the ideals of Constitution and enforce them. It's not a perfect document. It is nearly so. It should be honored.


I could not have said that better myself. Thank you again for the reply and sharing your thoughts.



posted on May, 17 2010 @ 06:52 AM
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Man this has been a very informative discussion.

I have to admit that I had gotten away from understanding the Const.

Been years since I have read it. One of those things you read and think you know/knew or will remember all of it. Not so.

I wish more people would have engauge in conversation here as I am sure there are many of minds on ATS that could contribute to this one.

Thanks again for posting.



posted on May, 17 2010 @ 07:03 AM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


Read the OP. Just a couple things.

I am not a citizen of the United States.

I am a citizen of the Republic of Wisconsin in the United States of America.

I am sovereign of all my absolute rights, of Life, Liberty and Property.

Any member of the Constitutional authorized components of government are my employees. I watch my employees because they are a bunch of corrupt criminals. Anyone that is a member of the un Constitutional government components are usurpers of my rights.

People need to learn their inherent rights and learn that the government is not your buddy. They are not your governors. They are to do a job for you.

I think it is time to fire a lot of our employees and tear down a lot of un Constitutionally authorized government agencies.

S&F OP



posted on May, 17 2010 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by endisnighe
 


Thanks End, I appreciate your input.

I do agree with you about the agencies, as well. We have a far reaching government, well over what it was meant to be. Unfortunately, when you have bias in any direction in government, you have to take your personal liberty and freedoms back as you have done.

Thanks again.



posted on May, 17 2010 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


Beyond the nonsensical attribution of The Constitution being a "living, breathing document", I have heard many claim that what makes this document unique and unlike any other is that it can be changed. Of course, as you mentioned in your original post, a sense of history, and even just recent history, reveals how ridiculous that statement is. Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, had a constitution, but that guy is gone now, and so Iraq changed their constitution, and will likely change it again in the near future. The Constitution for the United States of America is indeed unique, but what makes it unique in is in its enumeration of rights, which are not granted by government, but rather acknowledged as being Inalienable in nature.



posted on May, 17 2010 @ 02:47 PM
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S&F for the post Libtertygal!

This one document is still one of the few things that can still give me goose bumps every time I read it or any part of it. Our ancestors escaped tight government controls and set out on a path to avoid the problems of the past. They outlined these ideals in a very well thought out and worded manner so simple that the masses could understand what their intentions were. Is it perfect? Nothing in this world is. But it is the best outline for the way a nation should work that we have. We must keep these ideals alive, and we can each do this by passing these ideals on to our own children and grandchildren. I really worry about my granddaughters and what they will endure in the years ahead.

I have to agree with endisnighe, in that we need to fire all of the unproductive employees who are doing nothing more than siding with those forces our ancestors fought so hard to get away from.

You know...on some things bigger is definitely not better, and government is one of those things.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 01:42 PM
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I agree with your feelings. We need to bring the Constitution back to the wonderful, most important document in the world. It should be taught, read, and understood by every single American citizen. No question.



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