On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will make an oath to the American people and the world. He will raise his hand and repeat, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
At that moment, I’d like to imagine that every American will be taking a similar oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully hold the President and every elected representative accountable to their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Every elected official works for us. We, the People are the actual protectors and defenders of the Rule of Law.
How will we restrain government if we do not know the Law that guards our Liberties?
Let us then, resolve to learn it.
Our first task is to learn the purposes of our Constitution. This establishes a strong foundation for the Articles to follow.
The Preamble to the Constitution is simple and limited in scope.
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.
We the People: our government was designed and established by citizens who considered themselves to be common folk. Our founders did not foist an elitist, royal decree upon their subjects. They empowered us to be the restraining force as well as the benefactors of a limited government whose power would always be derived from the consent of the governed.
If our government has grown too big and overreaching, limiting our liberties, it is because We the People have allowed it.
Perhaps our first order of business is to RESTORE the Constitution as it was intended.
We, the People wanted a better way to govern than what history had wrought. Monarchy, plutarchy, oligarchy, and even the thought of pure democracy was anathema to our founders. They wanted a “more perfect union” of citizen-rulers who would protect the rule of law by electing representatives to govern with the restraint that held our liberties to be their highest regard.
Justice, established through the impartial rule of law, instead of the whims of a particular ruler or mob, was their first priority.
Domestic Tranquility, or peace, would only be achieved through the commitment to equal protection under the law. The historic and common practice of countries that suffered under the strife of caste systems would be rejected by Americans.
Common Defense: self-preservation was a priority that would enshrine the protection of the whole of the United States into the purposes of our laws.
General Welfare would be promoted by laws which empowered both individual and corporate private industry and motivation under free market principles. The original intent was to reward the efforts of citizens to provide for their own needs and those of their family while protecting the incentives of capitalism to enrich the states’ and nation’s economies through the hard work, invention, and innovation of free citizens.
The founders also knew that morality and Divine Providence would be needed to guarantee the Blessings of Liberty upon ourselves and our posterity. The unalienable rights recorded in the Declaration of Independence (life, liberty, and property) were purchased at the cost of a Creator, and would become meaningless, if not corrupted, by an amoral or immoral people.
These were the purposes of ordaining our Constitution.
Let us then, resolve to re-establish these purposes in our minds and hearts as we re-acquaint ourselves with the Rule of Law that was established to protect our God-ordained liberties.