For many years, I’ve heard people (mostly on the left) refer to our Constitution and preamble in ways that were not in line with the historical background in which it was written. So I took the time to go through the whole preamble of our Constitution and break it down to what I think the meaning really is.
Preamble: an introductory statement; especially: the introductory part of a constitution or statute that usually states the reasons for and intent of the law.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
If we break it down to understand what our preamble is supposed to mean without lawyers involved (who often distort our founding document to benefit their agendas) – to me, it would be something like this:
We the people of the United States, – All Legal U.S. citizens (whether they deserve to be or not)
In Order to form a more perfect Union – have voted to take the following steps to create our own bond between our States which is not perfect, but more perfect than any other.
establish justice – Punish people who break our laws, our legs and steal from our wallets – politicians and movie stars included. This states that there will be some sort of police department as well as the court system to punish the offender and reward the victim.
insure domestic tranquility – Take necessary measures to make certain that the American streets and borders are safe, calm and free from disturbances. But even though measures have been taken to “insure”, it does not guarantee it. The same as if you purchased car insurance which does not guarantee that your car will not be involved in an accident. But what if someone breaks into your home anyway? What precautions have you taken to insure your tranquility? If Insurance usually fixes things after an incident, doesn’t that leave an un-armed person to almost certain doom? This particular phrase means more to me than most. In order to insure tranquility, I have to feel protected. This phrase confirms that we should take necessary precautions and be ready for any situation because, as we all know, not everyone follows the law.
provide for the common defense – Make sure that we fund a strong Military and give them the tools to defend America and it’s citizens from foreign threats. This is where most politicians get it wrong. When times are good, many Democrat politicians like to cut funding for military, pretending to balance the budget, leaving a gaping whole in our defenses. Ofcourse, the current president is cutting programs, like the F-22, missile defense as our enemies are ramping up their militaries in the middle of 2 wars. To protect America’s borders is the most basic duty that our government has but they insist on cutting military budgets rather than defunding studies that analyze the mating habits of field mice in California.
promote the general welfare – Create a level playing field or environment where all american citizens can achieve good fortune, happiness and well being. This does not mean that we are to “insure” the general welfare which is what Congress and many “unedumacated” folks claim it means. Welfare was not meant for financial aid. When this document was written, they were fighting for liberty. Not for workers rights or financial aid. In those days, the welfare program didn’t even exist. It was for the welfare or well being of American citizens as a whole.
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and or posterity – to keep the powers bestowed unto us by our Creator safe in order to pass it on to our children so that they can be blessed by liberty as well. We are lacking in this department and we should all take more active rolls by educating ourselves, our family and friends and by contacting our congressman in a civil fashion, letting them know how you feel about a certain vote that is on it’s way to the senate that may take away our Liberty. If we lose it, our children lose it. It is our duty to make sure our children get at least what we’ve received from this country.
do ordain and establish – officially invest in and create. Our Founding fathers invested in this document by placing everything they had on the line for us. Investment means that you have to place something of value at stake in order to benefit from its success. No investment in the blessings of liberty will ultimately lead to its loss. Our founders did the heavy lifting and all that is required of us is to invest some time learning truth and fact while educating those around you. An educated voter is a vested voter.
this Constitution for the United States of America – The finest document in the world. It’s not anarchy or tyranny but it lays somewhere in the middle and lays out the limits of our government to maximize our freedom. This same document numbered the days of slavery, and gave us the rules in order to fight our congress today – the same rules that are being ignored by our over-reaching elected officials who have appointed unaccountable, unelected “czars” to represent us, bypassing our checks and balances. The further we drift from this document, the faster things begin to change for the worse. Our Constitution is NOT a living and breathing document. If it were a living and breathing document, then why have rules for a super majority to change it? The fact is, that it takes a super majority to change this Constitution to insure that any changes were agreed upon by a majority of American citizens. A super majority is less likely to favor a certain group of people and most of the time, would result in multiple parties agreeing to the amendment. This is a safety mechanism to stop out of control parties from changing our Constitution to what they want it to be. Days like these are where I appreciate our Founders foresight – it may be the only thing that will keep us from Statism.
Independence day is fast approaching and for some reason, when I hear the distant sound of fireworks launched by impatient citizens, I have this ugly thought in the back of my mind. After so many years of bastardizing our Constitution, why do we celebrate anymore. I just don’t feel that I’m worthy to celebrate our Independence because my generation has been asleep at the wheel with the cruise-control set on free lunches and tyranny. The prior generation set the cruise-control but we haven’t done anything to stop it either. On the other hand, maybe we must celebrate harder to show everyone that we will not forget what principals this country was founded on. To show our country that we will not go quietly into the night. That there are many patriots who are willing to do some heavy lifting as well. To show our love for our country and scream out “U.S.A” every time we shoot off a rocket or mortar this forth of July. To show everyone that we are loud, proud Americans and we don’t want to be like Europeans. After all, that’s what Europe is for!
God Bless America!
“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
– James Madison