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July 10, 2014

#4 What is the purpose of government?

"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."
The definition of government is a group of people who control or make decisions for a country or state.  There are technically two types of government; democracy and dictatorship.  Everything else, whether a president, king, or parliament rules will fall into these two categories; no matter what Wikipedia says.  People will have difference of opinion when it comes to what the government can do or what it is meant to do and that causes the variances.  But in the United States it is clear what type we are supposed to have and what they are supposed to do.  Yet, people living in the United States are either ignorant to what the Constitution actually says or they refuse to live by it.

The articles of the Constitution explain the type.  We are a federal republic, or more specifically, a presidential democracy.  A democracy led by an elected president but with three separate branches of government to ensure that no one person could become too powerful.  It is also separated to ensure that laws that are created are for the progress of the electors and not for the elected.  But how?  This is where those famous words written in 1781 become so important.
  • We the People of the United States.  Many will argue that this statement written back in 1787 was a racist/discriminatory remark.  And left alone in its historical context could be made out to be that way.  Was it meant for only male, white, property owners?  Again, by itself, maybe.  But read on.  They knew that white male property owners were "in charge".  But they did not use that language.  They easily could have.  This they knew would leave room for future discussion.  Today it means anyone who is an American citizen.  But the most important issue of this statement is that the people are in control, not the government.  The people should have more power than the government.  Small government.
  • in Order to form a more perfect Union.  The framers knew they had come from a non-perfect world.  They knew what they were doing was not perfect either.  They wanted a MORE perfect union.  This means they knew in the future it would have to be changed.  But for now the laws they were establishing would serve as a better way to life than Britain.
  • establish Justice.  Not to perfect justice, but establish it.  They were laying the foundations for a system that would create fairness.  But again, a more perfect union.  Justice may not always seem fair.  Some will always be on the short end of the stick.  What is fair for some may not be fair for others.
  • insure domestic Tranquility.  Peace within our borders was one of our first and foremost priorities.
  • provide for the common defence.  Securing our borders was another priority.
  • promote the general Welfare.  The welfare this speaks of is not the Welfare System.  Oddly enough there are people who quote this line and say people should get everything provided by the government.  The goal here is to promote general welfare, not to provide for it.  Welfare also means how people are doing, not what they are given.  The system is supposed to promote ways for people to do better, not provide people things to be better.  Plus, the word general means "overall" not "everyone".
  • and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.  It all comes down to this.  They created this paper so the future will have a chance.
  • do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.  Establish again means to start, not to end.  This was the beginning of an experiment.  No one had ever created what we were about to create.  A new nation is now upon the face of the earth.  One that will be watched for almost 240 years now.  Many will hate it.  Many will want to destroy it.  But it can not be argued, most want to be it.
Why was it written? he American people just ten years earlier were being treated unfairly.  Laws were passed that they deemed were biased and hurt them only, economically and politically.  But it is more than just what was being passed.  It was more about who was passing them; a foreign land, someone who knew nothing about the American culture anymore.  A tyrant in our eyes since he did not allow the people to speak.  Anyone who said things against this tyrant could have had major penalties placed upon them.   Any action without justification would be met with unwarranted oppression.  That is where the Declaration of Independence comes in.  The early Americans committed treason but luckily won the war.  The ones who wrote this paper would either be considered heroes or traitors.  They needed to write something with purpose. 

Then after the war the framers wanted to form a government that was opposite of what they just broke away from.  The result?  The Articles of Confederation, a failure.  Why?  Because they allowed too much individualism.  The need for a new government was imminent.  The Preamble paves the way for that new government; one with a purpose.  This Constitution is by far the government paper that has changed the world more than any other ever before and so far ever since.  The original purpose of the Constitution still stands.  And that is what conservatives should fight for.

Those who are ignorant about the Constitution should get an education.  Those who refuse to live by it can leave.

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