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What Does “We the People” Mean Anyways?

September 17th, 2012

They’re the first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution, but have you given any serious thought to what “We the People” really means?

Back when it was first written in September 1787, “We the People” referred to everyone who was living in the brand new America as a means to escape from an unfair government back in England.  By starting off the Preamble to the Constitution by talking about the people — instead of talking about the government — it was a clear sign that the government’s power came FROM the people it served.

But has the meaning of “We the People” changed since our forefathers wrote it down all those years ago?

Think about today’s political climate and how it affects “We the People”…

Does it refer to all Americans, regardless of race, marital status, religious views, political views, etc?

Does it refer to anyone who calls this country home — either legally or illegally?

Does it only refer to the “people” in power — like the members of a certain political party?

Does it only refer to people who have the means to get their message heard — like in TV commercials, in giant Facebook marketing campaigns, or in loud protests?

Does it only refer to the people who vote?

Does it only refer to the majority?

Does it only refer to the people who work on Capitol Hill?

 

One important thing to remember — when our forefathers came up with the term “We the People”, they weren’t just giving the American people rights.  The term was also used to describe the “people” responsible for upholding the foundations of the Constitution.

So, what do you think?  Are the “people” doing a good job of that today?

A President with No Political Party

September 8th, 2012

In today’s day and age, it’s unfathomable that someone could be elected President of the United States without any kind of political party affiliation — but that’s exactly what happened when George Washington took over!

Oh, sure, back in Washington’s days, there was plenty of political debate.  However, it was restricted to beer halls and assembly houses — and it was on a much smaller scale.  People had their own independent opinions about how the country should be run, but they weren’t part of any kind of political party.  Even when Washington was re-elected in 1793, he still didn’t have a political party attached to his name.

And that’s just how he wanted it!

In fact, Washington HATED the idea of political parties.  He was afraid that they would grow too powerful and, as a result, damage the country as a whole.  Washington thought that a young America couldn’t withstand political opponents trying to exact revenge on one another (and, to him, that’s all political parties were about — getting revenge on your enemies).  He thought political parties would be a distraction to the government — or, worse, that they would lead to people losing their freedoms.

Right before Washington left office, he made sure to let Americans know exactly what he thought of political parties — in hopes that they wouldn’t take over after he was gone.  In his farewell speech, Washington said, “…the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of the party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Wonder what Washington would think of today’s political climate?!

 

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