The Constitution IS RELEVANT TODAY

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Marlin, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    This item by the President of Hillsdale College is very apropos on this Independence Day.

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    Today, the Constitution is Relevant
    By Dr. Larry P. Arnn
    President
    Hillsdale College


    The 4th of July cover article of Time magazine claims that the Constitution is irrelevant.

    Frightening.

    As proof of its irrelevance, Time lists a dozen products of modern society inconceivable to the framers, including antibiotics, "sexting," and Medicare. The Constitution's only virtue, they say, is that it has many meanings and thus leaves us able to do whatever we want to do.

    But not everything has changed since 1787. When it comes to ordering society under the rule of law, what is most important? Knowledge of "collateralized debt obligations" or knowledge of human nature?

    Here are a few things the framers did know something about: Religious Freedom. Education. Tyranny. Friendship. Happiness. Sovereignty of the People. Virtue.

    The Constitution does not allow us to do whatever we want to do. In the words of James Madison, the Constitution was framed out of the belief that "it is the reason, alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government."

    The genius of the Constitution lies in its having a definite meaning on the fundamentals--that every individual has rights, that the people are sovereign, and that the governmental powers must remain separated--while leaving wide latitude to local government, or the people themselves, on issues not specifically addressed in the Constitution.

    The framers were no gods; the amendment procedure was included for good reason. Yet for more than two centuries the United States has flourished in a project long thought impossible: self-government.
    Liberty. Equality. Self-government.

    If the Fourth of July is a celebration of these things, it is a celebration of the Constitution as much as the Declaration of Independence. No constitution in history has proven itself more deeply committed to these principles, and no nation has been more richly blessed in return.

    The basic truth within the Constitution is that the government cannot have limitless power, for the simple reason that government is made up of people. A Constitution with no definite meaning gives free reign to the passions of those people within and without the government. A Constitution with a meaning honored and obeyed becomes a guardian of all people, for it sustains a government that is strong within its defined powers but limited in order to protect the liberty and equality of citizens.

    Instead of scoffing at those Americans concerned that their federal government has overrun its limits in the name of energy and modernity, perhaps Time should consider what an American President said about the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution on the 150th anniversary of July 4th, 1776:

    "It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."

    - Calvin Coolidge
    July 5, 1926

    Read the entirety of President Coolidge's "Speech on the Occasion of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

    Dr. Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth President of Hillsdale College. Before coming to Hillsdale, Dr. Arnn was research assistant to Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill, and was the President of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. Each year, he teaches courses on the United States Constitution and the statesmanship of Churchill.

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  2. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Active Member

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    Inferring that the Constitution is irrelevant is like saying the Bible is irrelevant. Though loaded with parables of the times, the Bible is a road map for humans who believe in a higher power to live a sanctified life. The Constitution is so perfect, it has been reflected upon as being inspired by the same type of inspiration as the Bible. Coolidge was spot-on. To deny the validity of the Constitution's precepts is a step backward and in no way reflects anything but retrograde thinking. Those who think otherwise surely have an agenda that would deny the promise of liberty and freedom America has enjoyed for over 200 years. If we as a society are willing to change that, we deserve everything we get.
  3. Hatch

    Hatch Former Guest

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    I want to agree... BUT...

    when the constitution was penned... you had to be a land owner to vote
    so... you had skin in the game. You would NOT vote to raise taxes on your neighbor or friend Fred, because you knew it was bad for him, and likewise him to you

    You may donate to a church mission so they can provide shelter and food to folks less fortunate, but you do that of your own free will, not because the popular will of the people "voted it in" which is kind of.. I dont know... what we call welfare? bad times for everyone :(

    I think (some) people are just now waking up and saying "OMG! How did we get here?!?!?" and these are the people who NEVER voted, or who voted party line all the time because their parents did, or who listened to their friends who said if you don't vote for him, you're a racist. (or as there were actually Obama election ads, if you dont vote for Osama, you will not get sex) Seriously... google it or go to youtube and search it. I'm not kidding.


    So now that people are waking up, that's great!!! YAY!!! but my concern is... are we just postponing the inevitable? did we give away the golden age during the 70's, 80's and 90's to those of either party who were only in it for themselves?

    be aware, be prepared. Know what your abilities and limitations are and then start working on that. Be honest. With yourself! I think that's what I see more frequently... aside from the idiot saying "well I'll just come to your place" is "I can ride it out!!!" and they have 1 week of food, 1 day if you turn off the power.

    Oops!
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