The Constitution-America’s Path Forward or Propoganda?

Posted on January 6, 2011


First page of Constitution of the United States

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Today my hope that the voice of the American people might have a chance of being heard might have been raised a bit more. Yesterday began the 112th Congress and members took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. During the last 2 years-the Constitution was not really a major concern as our government plowed through a progressive agenda-despite the outcries of many state attorneys and from citizens resulting in the rise of the Tea Party.  These last 2 years have resulted in one of the largest power and money grab by our Federal Government that has ever been witnessed in our history-resulting in severe reductions of our individual rights and liberties as well as states rights as more and more regulation and laws were put in place.

But today, a historic event will take place. The Constitution will be read by both Republicans and Democrats on the floor of the Congress. This simple yet profound idea was put forth by Virginia’s Representative Bob Goodlatte. He said he had received the idea from Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who is spearheading the overturn of Obama care on constitutional grounds in the courts. Another idea in addition to this reading is that each bill submitted will need to include reasons and proof for its adherence to the Constitution.

My experience studying civics and political science in high school and college is that not enough emphasis has been placed on learning the significance of this document. There is no document like it on the face of this planet. We were the first government formed that placed power in the hands of the people-but also the responsibility. The wisdom encased in this document has kept us together as a country during the tragic Civil War. It provided the frame-work for us as we dealt with difficult issues like suffrage, civil rights, and much more. It is not perfect and it can and is amended as times and situations have warranted. It defines that we are a nation of laws, not ideologies, not of men. We need to look to improve our education and this notion was not made more clear than when Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) was quoted as saying “They are reading it like a sacred text,” and calling this document “propaganda.” He did say that we need to govern by it and not worship it. I do agree with the last point-but reading it is not worshiping it. If anything-it is bringing forward the opportunity to discuss it, which is not done enough.

I think a wonderful example of providing our students with working knowledge of the Constitution can be found in Maine. Hats off to the teacher of Zack Parker who gave out an assignment to her class to choose a cause and to act on it. Young Mr. Parker is getting a lesson on Constitutional Law as he seeks to protect the rights of family members of fallen veterans to have funerals without the intrusion of protesters. He is going through the process of proposing legislation to ban protest from military funerals. He has sought the support of his representation and he is working to put together a bill to submit. This is a wonderful learning experience we can all benefit from as we follow his journey. No doubt we all will learn a bit about the 1st amendment.

I must say what I take away from this is that I need to really study my representation or potential representation to see how well they adhere and respect the document that should be guiding this country as we move forward through difficult times. The Constitution can be looked in no other way than as a map with road signs along the way, a blueprint that forms the structure that defines this country and how it should be run.


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