America: Her Greatness Is Being Weighed in the Balances

Updated on July 8, 2018
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Through his travels and reading, Chris gathers information and writes about historical events and concepts which are often overlooked.

What Photo Would You Choose to Represent a Great America?

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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 thirteen 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 thirteen 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

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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?

  1. A Union

  2. Justice

  3. Tranquility

  4. Defense

  5. Welfare/wellbeing of all

  6. Liberty and its blessings

  7. For now and ever

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A Union

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?

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Jusice

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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Tranquility

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, 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?

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Defense

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.

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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.

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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.

Questions & Answers

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      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Gilbert, I realize that there will always be some homeless people because, like the hobos, some choose this lifestyle. But most are homeless because of circumstances beyond their control, i.e. finances or mental illness.

      • rebelogilbert profile image

        Gilbert Arevalo 

        2 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

        I agree with you about the expenditure requirement, Chris. I think we both agree that for the short term it's impossible. The immigration laws in our country were in place long before Donald Trump became president, and we'll still have them afterwards. We'll continue to have strong spirited debates that wielders of our national political power can handle immigration problems in a smarter humane way.

      • Mr. Happy profile image

        Mr. Happy 

        2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

        "Shyron, we need good people to run for office who get back to the basics of governing. Where do we find these people?" - Look in the mirror Amigo. : )

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Shyron, we need good people to run for office who get back to the basics of governing. Where do we find these people?

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Mr. Happy, I travel for my work. The last two cities I've worked in have had unbelievable numbers of homeless. The cops tell them to leave whatever park they are spending the day in. Where are they supposed to stand for the day? They can't loiter on the street. Many shelters require them to leave for the day. Where are they supposed to stand until the shelter opens up again? It seems we have to define homeless for our government. Greeting to our friends up north.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Gilbert, one has to wonder why the people must insist on humane treatment of fellow human being even if they are illegal immigrants. Sure, immigration must be by the legal route. We are all aware of that fact. And this nation must ante up if we are going to solve the immigration problems. It won't be cheap whatever way we go. At this rate, we will be having the same discussions a decade from now.

      • Shyron E Shenko profile image

        Shyron E Shenko 

        2 months ago from Texas

        Chris, thank you for writing this. If only everyone would read it. I fear for our beautiful country and what the people want to do to us, I know these people who would do away of our liberties and weakening of our these are people who do not care about anything other than lining their pockets.

        Blessings my friend.

      • Mr. Happy profile image

        Mr. Happy 

        2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

        "Open your eyes to the homeless again. Stop treating them like ghosts in the street. Talk to them. I do." - I do too. I grew up in a dictatorship. I know what going to bed hungry means. I know what lack of opportunity means. I know what oppression and unfariness means. Any one of us can end-up on the street, if Life takes a few unexpected turns. Compassion and understanding are the keys here, in my opinion.

        "We are not the followers of a piece of paper called the Constitution...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." - A quote comes to mind here: "A Republic, if you can keep it." Dr. Benjamin Franklin.

        All the best to You guys down South! You're in a world of hurt but maybe there's something to learn from all this.

        Thank You for your piece of writing. Best of Luck!

      • rebelogilbert profile image

        Gilbert Arevalo 

        2 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

        Your article is very significant remembering this past fourth of July weekend, Chris. It's impossible to act ignorant about you're content. I wouldn't want a job as a border immigration control officer. I've heard too many hot-headed people speak on the news. Many people from foreign nations flee to our side because they're terrorized of gun violence. A system has to be worked out where immigrants are placed in a comfortable environment. I hate to see unfortunate families receive bad treatment, but I also have a heart for people working in the immigration department; they have to work out an effective solution for more people than they know what to do with.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Sean, I agree that some of the greatest spirits in history collaborated to produce our Constitution. It is a much lesser spirit who seeks to twist that document for selfish political ends. I'm afraid today we have very few if any men and women of the caliber of our founders.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        manatita, We really only have two options when it comes to mistakes, whether personal or as a nation. We can learn from them, as you have said, or we can ignore them. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Venkatachari M, Thank you. I appreciate all you have said and that in my article, you can see a description of the real America.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Audrey, There exists a line that separates those who desire a fresh and vibrant application of the Constitution from those who demand adherence to exact wording by people who could never have foreseen the issues of 21st century America.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Linda, thank you for taking an interest in this conversation. These principles are not purely American, so the discussion can benefit all nations.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Doris, that is a good reminder. The Preamble was written by Gouverneur Morris. He was adamantly against slavery. He was the most vocal of those attending the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and was the man who wrote the final draft of the Constitution. At least from this perspective, "We the People," meant more than rich white men. Thanks for reading and for your valuable input.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Shyron, Getting 300 million people to agree on any one thing is probably an impossibility, but good leadership helps in that regard a great deal.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        2 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        That is a brave article, my brother, Chris! It needs the courage to stand and face the truth the way you do because I see -as an outside observer - that you - the U.S.A. citizens - have moved away from this Great Constitution, which I think is one of the most revolutionary and humanistic texts man has written. I wish most people, not only Americans, but people of all the nations to embrace the principles of this Constitution, that is written by some of the greatest Spirits that have walked this planet. I really think that is another "Ten Commandments case" and if humanity adopts these principles we can make a Home Planet for all beings, not only humans!

        Respect for Great America, respect to you Chris.

        An immigrant of Earth,

        Sean

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        2 months ago from london

        A beautiful, soul-stirring and soul-searching piece.

        One can only pray that we learn from our mistakes. Peace Bro!

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        What a beautiful presentation of the real message of America! I am full of joy reading this article. Christ, you presented the essence of it all that was meant by those forefathers and visionaries of United States of America. Hats off to you and Hats off to that Wonderful Real America.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        2 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        I love America! Enough said. Excellent article Chris. Glad I read this and support your closing paragraph, "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.

        Thumbs up!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Like John, I'm not American and I don't know much about the Constitution of the United States. I think you've raised some excellent points, though. The wellbeing of everyone is a very important consideration in America, Canada, and many other places.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 

        2 months ago

        People forget that equality for "We the People" meant free White males. White women couldn't vote, neither could Blacks of either sex, nor other peoples of color. Native Americans received their citizenship in 1924, and then not all were allowed to vote because voting rights were up to the individual states. Slaves were counted as 3/5 of a person. It's been a long hard haul for many of those "immigrants" to receive full rights of citizenship. It is no wonder that certain classes of people resent the new immigrants who come it and partake so freely of what their grandparents worked so hard to attain. Some people just don't like to share. Not saying that I agree or approve, just that I do understand where they may be coming from.

      • Shyron E Shenko profile image

        Shyron E Shenko 

        2 months ago from Texas

        Chris, this is a fantastic hub! I believe in our Constitution and the liberty it stands for and we will all have to fight to keep it from being hijacked and changed to fit what it did not stand for and save what it does stand for i.e. we the people not just some, but all of us.

        Blessings my friend.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Paula, Bill has his Mailbag and Eric has his Sunday Sermons. I suppose this is one of my Weekend Rants. I just get this head of steam built up about issues and have to let it out somehow. I think the homeless problem is the one that makes me most angry. I see my friends at the park, minding their own business. A cop comes along and tells them they have to leave. They tell the cops they will leave when the park closes for the day. But if they go and stand in the wrong place on the street, the same cop will tell them they can't stand there. I suppose what the cop wants to say is "Go home." But they don't have one. Where does a homeless person go? Now I expect you to come back and answer all these questions. haha, thanks for reading Paula.

      • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        John, it must be interesting to watch from outside as this nation rediscovers its founding principles. But maybe it is the same for every nation.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Beautiful words my friend, and I agree with every single one of them. I love the Constitution. I taught classes about it. It is a beautiful document but in the end it is worthless if we do not pay attention to its basic principles and live them. I believe in this country, and I believe in its people. We must find a way to rebuild together.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        I really like this area. I really really liked this piece. Written by a great writer about a great nation and exhorting us to do better. Right on!

        Thank you.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Good Morning, Chris. What very vital and moving words you have given me to begin my new day. Thank you. IMHO, you have said it truthfully, clearly and convincingly. Not much at all need be added and I cannot imagine replying with a single disagreement.

        Wishing you a peaceful, productive day! Paula

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I am not an American, Chris, so I don't know everything contained in the constitution, but I am aware of the basics it was built on. Watching American movies since my childhood has entrenched that.

        Unfortunately, it is easy for people to forget the values our countries were founded on. This was interesting and educational with a great message.

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