It’s been more than two hundred years since the United States adopted the Constitution as its chief governing document, and the liberties secured within its text have continued to inspire people around the world. Though the nation’s Founders had many different ideas, they all shared a desire for a system of government that protected liberty. Sadly, there is an anti constitutionalism at work today that seeks to unravel their efforts.
These opponents of constitutional governance have gained power and influence in the media and academia, and thus have access to many of the most effective means available for spreading their worldview. That, more than anything else, has enabled them to garner increasing support over the last few generations. Today, it is difficult to find a college campus or major media outlet that does not offer some level of support to this philosophy.
The problem that many fail to recognize is that this philosophy is one that has has always existed in one form or another. Since man first arrived on the scene, the limits of individual liberty have almost always been subject to the whims of kings and other autocrats. That historical pattern was shattered when America’s Founders put into action ideas that a number of liberty-minded philosophers had been expressing for many decades.
In this different worldview, men have rights that come from their Creator or that exist solely by virtue of their humanity, and those rights cannot be violated or suppressed by government. Those basic human rights cannot be infringed upon by government, because they are not dependent upon government for their existence.
That was the purpose of the Constitution, after all: to establish competing branches of government with separated powers, and then restrict those powers to certain limited areas of authority that would not conflict with individual sovereignty. Those rights were further strengthened by the passage of the first ten Amendments to that document.
In the minds of those socialists and progressives who now battle to alter our Constitution, those restrictions on government simply cannot stand. They claim to have new ideas about governance, but merely advocate age-old ideologies. We’ve seen it before. The promotion of the collective over the individual has been a staple of kingdoms like Babylon and the Roman Empire, as well as tyrannies like the Soviet Union and North Korea.
Those who oppose strict constitutional governance today understand that the work of the Founders stands firmly in the path of their desire to control our common destiny. They have spent generations whittling away at the edges of the Constitution, expanding government’s reach, and reducing individual freedom. Today, they know that they are closer to their ultimate goal than at any time in history.
Americans today live in an age where their constitutional origins seem more removed than ever before. Centralized control is replacing personal freedom subtly, but steadily. If this trend continues, then the time is coming when the American citizens of our future will look with disgust upon this present generation and wonder with astonishment how we could ever be so easily tricked into surrendering the freedom that so many fought and died to secure.
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