Through his travels and reading, Chris gathers information and writes about historical events and concepts that are often overlooked.
What Photo Would You Choose to Represent a Great America?
Our Constitution and Our Greatness
Among our forefathers were a few who truly believed that all human beings are equal. These individuals produced a document called the Constitution of the United States of America.
Our greatness is not due to the existence of our constitution. Our constitution reflects who we are. The Preamble to the constitution is often memorized and then forgotten. It is hailed for its brevity and grandeur but is ignored regarding its content. The Preamble to the Constitution does not make America great. The people of the 13 colonies were the original parchment upon which these truths first appeared. They were the ink that first published the desires of We the People. The author of the Preamble simply recorded what he saw on the faces and in the hearts of the colonists.
Gouverneur Morris, the author of the Preamble, resisted pressure to name the 13 colonies as the establishers of the new government. In the end, all were persuaded that the people were the power behind the birth of a new nation.
We the People
We the People of the United States, in 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, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
What Were "We the People" Concerned About?
- A Union
- Welfare/wellbeing of all
- Liberty and its blessings
- For now and ever
Of colonies? Of states? No, of people. What was that early population? Immigrants, one and all. And they wanted to become one. We use those words, to become one, to describe marriage. Think of this Union as a kind of marriage. It isn’t a piece of paper that declares me a citizen. The union is me with you. It is me with my friend and neighbor who is from someplace else entirely, but he wants to be part of a Union of souls.
We as natural born citizens have a lot to learn about the founding and the sustaining of this Union. It was and is a Union of very different people. We were at the beginning and are today a Union of immigrants. I am not speaking of illegal immigration. That is a topic that must be discussed and resolved. But if and when that issue is resolved, will you embrace the legal immigrants as brothers and sisters, as members of this Union?
The quality of being just, impartial and fair. (Webster) These are not institutional words, they are words that describe relationship. This brings us back to We The People. We desired a Union of immigrants which would become a new nation of people. We also desired justice, fairness, impartiality in our relationships. Is that how you view your fellow Americans? All of them? Do you want justice for that person walking toward you on the street? Justice is first and foremost a term of relationship, not of courts of law.
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It is not simply the absence of war with other countries. Tranquility is an atmosphere in which we thrive. The opposite of tranquility is turbulence, violence, and agitation. The people who founded this country desired that it be a place characterized by calmness, serenity, and restfulness.
Does your behavior with your fellow Americans fit that description? Are you promoting one of the foundational elements of this country in your relationships with those around you or are you one of those who promotes unrest because everyone doesn’t agree with your politics?
At What Point Does Defense Become Offense?
I think this is one of the most critical points for us to understand. Many consider the current influx of immigrants to be an invasion of our country. This is my interpretation of what I hear. Clearly, there are bad people who want to enter our country for frightening reasons. But does that mean we should treat all immigrants as if they were potential terrorists? Shame on you if you feel that way. America has been and always will be a nation of immigrants. Shame on you for wanting to treat families and children who simply want to become part of this Union of souls as terrorists.
For our country to truly defend itself against real enemies means that we must get serious about identifying the real threats to our sovereignty. We must find a way to welcome those who want to become Americans for all the right reasons. If you despise people simply because they are from someplace else on this planet, and if you consider them to be an enemy from whom we need to be defended, then you are attempting to build an America vastly different from that which our founding fathers envisioned.
The General Welfare/Well Being for All
Open your eyes, America. People are falling through the cracks. If a statistic I recently heard has any merit, seven out of every ten people you pass on the street is financially broke. He or she is living paycheck to paycheck hoping nothing serious happens. But something serious does happen and that man or woman or family suddenly has no home.
Open your eyes to the homeless again. Stop treating them like ghosts in the street. Talk to them. I do. A couple of times a week I visit with them when I go to the park to walk my dog. If you believe in the Preamble to the Constitution of our nation, you must come face to face with the homeless crisis. We the People have said we desire a country that promotes the general well being of all its citizens. In my way of thinking, if you simply blow off the issue of homelessness in this country, you are not a great American.
The Blessings of Liberty
I suppose Gouverneur Morris might have written, “And to promote these blessings of liberty.” It seems to be the aforementioned list to which he refers. We the People promote the blessings of liberty. We don’t simply let whatever happens, happen. If we are serious about being Americans, we will be purposeful about seeing to it that all our people enjoy the blessings of liberty, namely, a union of souls, justice, tranquility, not being treated as the enemy, and general well being.
To Ourselves and Our Posterity
Human nature has not changed since those words were printed. Nothing has changed regarding what We the People should expect of ourselves. And nothing will change in the future regarding the nature of our children and grandchildren. What changes is our behavior, attitude, and expectations. The preamble states that which was, is, and always will be the heart and soul of what We the People should desire for America.
We Created the Constitution; It Did Not Create Us
Our definitions of what is a great America and what is a great American have become twisted and deformed beyond recognition.
We are not the followers of a piece of paper called the Constitution. We are a Union of people whose ancestors gave birth to that document. We do not serve it; the document serves us by reminding and guiding us to be the kind of country We the People chose to form long ago.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.