In 1787, representatives from the 13 established Colonies came together in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. The goal was to enhance the central government from its weakened state under the Articles of Confederation without taking the majority of the power out of the hands of the individual States and their citizens. Though many opinions came to sit at the table to represent their home States, the men discussed, debated and even argued for weeks on end, until a consensus could be reached. Thus, the Constitution was drafted, signed, and then Ratified among the 13 Colonies by 1789.
As a document that was written more than two-hundred years ago, it has sparked some discussion in recent years as to whether or not it is still a valid or useful text. In fact, the Constitution has been subverted on a regular basis by all three branches of government based on personal opinion, not legal, standings on the validity of its governing requirements, but that’s a whole other discussion in itself.
In regards to the question as to whether the U.S. Constitution still holds validity and is still the best governing document for our country, I believe we must turn directly to the original authors for our answer. Thomas Jefferson answered the question best when he stated that "the issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." Is this issue invalid today? Do we really want to be controlled by small elite who consider their own best interests before those of all U.S. citizens?
Our Founders wrote the Constitution in an effort to avoid rule by a small elite, because they experienced first-hand the effects of a government that was not accountable to the people. They lived under a government that took more from its citizens every time they made more, so a regular person could never “get ahead”; free markets did not exist. A government that dictated the spiritual rights of its citizens; freedom of religion did not exist. A government that confiscated all guns from its citizens to prevent them from opposing unethical government rule; the right to keep and bear arms did not exist. A government that barged into and searched citizens’ homes without justifiable cause; the right to privacy did not exist. They lived under a monarch; the right for citizens to choose who would represent them did not exist.
Our Founders saw the need for change because they lived under this type of rule, and they were suppressed by it. Sure, they lived under a government that claimed responsibility for providing everything its citizens needed in order to survive. It sounds nice, right? Except, when the government failed to provide its citizens with what they needed, the citizens had no legal right to provide for themselves, nor did they have the means to fight for it. There were no checks and balances, so the small elite had no limitations and no constraint to act in the best interest of its citizens.
With every subversion and willful misinterpretation of the Constitution, we fall further and further back toward the very type of fate that our Founders fought so hard to spare us from; the type of fate that is both chosen for us by the government and for the government. Our Constitution provides us with a government that is chosen by the people and for the people. Our country was founded on the people’s right to liberty for the pursuit happiness, the freedom for each of us to make a better life for ourselves through free market opportunities, and limited government to avoid an elitist power.
“…the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another.” – George Washington
More than fifty men came together over two-hundred years ago in order to collaborate for the survival of our then infant country, while ensuring that the United States would never become like the oppressive government they defeated in the Revolutionary War. This was the purpose of the Constitution, to make the USA the greatest country in the world by making it the land of opportunity. But, the bigger the government, the smaller the opportunity for the individual citizen. This is why the Constitution gave the majority of the power to the States and their citizens, so that the rights bestowed upon the people by the Constitution could not be stripped away by the government.
So, to answer the original question: Yes, the U.S. Constitution is still as valid today as it was when it was first written and ratified, especially when it seems that there are those within our own government today who would use their positions of power to trick us into believing that we no longer need our Constitution. It is imperative that we get back to the original values of our Constitution and elect more true Constitutionalists into office, or our great country will continue down a road that will lead only to destruction from within.
We encourage you to post your own thoughts for discussion!
Constitutional Limitations on Government. (2015, July 2). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/quotes/govt.html
Lee, M. (2016). Our lost Constitution: the willful subversion of Americas founding document. NY, NY: Sentinel.
Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs. (n.d.). Constitutional Convention and Ratification, 1787–1789. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://history.state.gov/milestones/1784-1800/convention-and-ratification
Salles, A. (2016, April 30). 5 Insightful George Washington Quotes on Politics. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://voicesofliberty.com/2015/02/20/5-insightful-george-washington-quotes-on-politics/