Parsing the Preamble

constitution_quill_penThomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created, equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…"

"…serving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

From where does the US government receive the consent of the governed and how is that government instituted? From the US Constitution. When you look at the Constitution you can't help but notice the first three words: WE the People.

Now if this document had been written in modern days by say me, you could chalk up the huge font to Dave once again being slayed by the Microsoft Word font beast. However Jacob Shallus, under the guidance of the Committee of Style, wrote the Preamble purposefully.

Many of you might still be able to recite the Preamble, but most of us would be at a loss to explain the three questions answered in it. The first question answered, and the most important one is: Who? Answer: "WE the People of the United States…"

The second question is: Why Answer: " Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."

The third question is: What? Answer: "…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The Random House Dictionary in its second definition defines ordain as "to enact or establish by law, edict, etc." The example given is "to ordain a new government."

So the government of the United States of America was enacted and established by WE the People. What does that mean to us? Look at the first three articles of the Constitution: Article I establishes the legislative branch; Article II establishes the executive branch; and Article III establishes the judicial branch.

How many believe that these branches are listed in the Constitution by some random order and not having to do with any importance or precedence in the minds of the 39 signatories? If you believe that it is apparent you not only went to a government school but also possibly to a liberal college.

So why the history lesson? Because WE the People have been asleep at the wheel for far too long and have neglected the single most powerful weapon we have in defending liberty: the ballot.

The question is, will we use it.

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