U.S. Constitution: Can I really read it?

Yes! Absolutely! You CAN understand it. You don’t need an attorney.

While writing “How Government destroys Liberty & Freedom” I realized patents are included in our Constitution.  I learned it 20 years ago and had forgotten.  Patents MUST be really important.  Why do I say that?  What else is in this document?  Read it for yourself and find out.  Before you do, allow me to suggest a few concepts and constructs to you.

Start “small”.  Initially, concentrate on just the Original Constitution and ignore the Bill of Rights and the other Amendments to the Constitution. You can read them for more understanding later.  The version I am linking, underlines the parts that are changed by amendment.  Just ignore those parts.  If you try to read and comprehend everything, your mind will overload and “short circuit”.  You would not try to read the entire “bible” in one sitting would you?

Here is the link to a transcription of the U.S. Constitution that I printed and am referring to.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Print your own copy.  Highlight it.  Write your thoughts on it, etc.  See if you agree with me.

Notice how SHORT this document is.  7 pages of language. 1 page of signatures.  Only 7 pages?  Heck, the “Healthcare bill currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court is reported as being anywhere from 2,400-2,700 pages long.

I believe it helps to think of this document as a contract.  An Agreement.  Why is this important?  A contract must be clear.  Able to be understood by the parties to the contract.  Everyone that is a party to the contract must know what their requirements, duties, and limits are under the contract.  Our Constitution was written in PLAIN LANGUAGE so the common everyday American, “Joe the Plumber”, could understand what was required of him.  Additionally, PLAIN LANGUAGE  was used so our citizen servants, whom we elect, would understand their duties and their LIMITATIONS.  Notice our Constitution was NOT written for attorneys only.  Why do I believe that?  If it had been, then in the qualifications for each of the offices, along with age, length of citizenship, place of residence, etc. a qualification of Lawyer, Attorney, or Licensed to Practice Law would be included.  There is no Attorney Qualification for any office, so the intent of our Constitution’s authors must have been PLAIN & UNDERSTANDABLE LANGUAGE.

Our Constitution is divided into Articles.  Think of each Article as a chapter of a book.  A separate subject.  Article I speaks to the Legislative Powers.  Article II, the Executive Powers.  Article III, the Judicial Power.  Also note Article V, Amendments.

In page length, Article I, Congress’ legislative powers,  is almost 4 pages long.  The President’s executive powers are about 1 and 1/4 pages long.  The Judicial powers are a little over 1/2 a page long.

Why do legislative powers make up the majority of our Constitution?  4 of the 7 pages?

Look for these words in Article I, Section 1.  “All legislative Powers herein GRANTED shall be vested in a Congress…”

Next look in Article I, Section 8. “The Congress SHALL have POWER TO …”  and then follows what I call “the laundry list” of powers granted to Congress.

Section 8 is nearly 1 page long.  1/7 of our Constitution.  Why?  Because these are the Powers our founders argued about and for.  What is the saying ? “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely…”  Our founders understood this from experience.  They lived it.  They fought a war against it.  They lost family and friends and fortunes during the struggle from England.  Our founders also knew what powers they needed as our first constitution, the “Articles of Confederation” was not working.  Consequently, our founders were identifying, listing, WHAT specifically our new Government can do.  Nothing more, nothing less.  What SHALL our new Government be allowed to do?  Re-Read those words I have highlighted, in context.  This is where the theory of LIMITED GOVERNMENT comes from.  If the proposed action, POWER, is not included somewhere in this Constitution, or the 24 amendments later adopted, then our Federal Government is not suppose to be able to do it.  NOT Constitutionally authorized.

I want to leave you with this concept.  When 2 people enter into a written contract, a phrase is always included that says something like “This written contract is the entire agreement, no oral modification is allowed.  If the parties wish to modify their rights, duties, or responsibilities under this contract, then it SHALL, or must be, modified in writing, signed by both parties…”

Read Article V.  Why is an agreed way to modify or change our Constitution included in this “Contract”?  I submit to you our Founders understood there would be changing circumstances in the future.  The language they used was carefully chosen and clearly written so everyone understood their duties and responsibilities under this new “contract”.  No oral modifications.  Does that sound like “living and breathing” document to you, with changing meanings?  I argue NO.  If you don’t like what it says, then let us AMEND it as provided for in our contract.

May we all re-new our understanding of America’s Foundations.

19 thoughts on “U.S. Constitution: Can I really read it?

  1. I enjoyed your post……even though……………….. Texas has a whorehouse in it!!!
    It’s really a shame this isn’t a high school or college requirement….fundamental stuff, really.

    • Or Better. Except for Texas Constitution. Texas, unlike most of the other states was her own country prior to becoming a State. Texas’ Constitutional drafters made her Constitution long and unwieldy… Texans did everything they could to tie her legislator’s hands behind their backs. Limiting Congressional terms to 6 months every 2 years, and paying legislators almost nothing…

  2. But I thought y’all just got that new curriculum passed for your schools…

    Oh, and I reckon the boys in Missouri would tell ya they could show you somethin bigger and better. 😉

    • Texas has had too many progressives from the northeast, the west coast, and socialists from south of the border, infiltrate her and introduce regressive things…. (“we did this back home”…) Forgetting, maybe, the economy is better here due to a more free environment.

  3. Some not too smart guy wrote this a while back:

    “The founding document of our Republic contains 4,543 words, the Declaration has 1,458. If you figure an average of 500 words to an 8.5 X 11 page, that’s 9 pages for the former and 3 for the latter. The key foundational documents for creation and governance of the Republic of the United States total 12 pages. Compare that to a total of 2,409 pages/184,672 words for the health care “reform” bill.

    It is instructive that it takes more pages of documents to file a 1040 long form tax return than to establish a government. If this doesn’t illustrate the intent of the Founder’s for limited government and how far we have deviated, nothing will.”

    texas: good post. While I still have a bootlegged wireless signal – it takes British Telecom two weeks to do what Comcast does in 24 hours, I won’t have broadband until Wednesday – please insert a page break after the first 3-5 paragraphs of a long post to keep from pushing all the other posts off the top of the page. Appreciate it…

  4. I would continue my harping to make sure we all remember that the Constitution was written to protect the rights and liberties according the the understanding in the Declaration, but otherwise, solid post 🙂

    • You are correct. I wanted to concentrate on Constitution points, as you have explained about the Declaration of Independence several times:

      My interpretation of your beliefs: the Declaration of Independence is “America’s Soul”.
      The Declaration of Independance is the “WHY” and The Constitution is the “How”.

  5. Pingback: Constitution: Powers of the Executive | The Rio Norte Line

  6. Pingback: Constitution: Congress’ powers | The Rio Norte Line

  7. Pingback: CONSTITUTION: War making and police powers | The Rio Norte Line

  8. Great post and very interesting comments. It is really amazing how the concepts of limited government, individual freedom, free market capitalism and protections against government tyranny were captured in such few words. Those words have served to create the framework within which the most successful political and economic systems in human history have been sustained against all threats, foreign and domestic for over 200-years. In my view the most serious threats to America emerged in the late 19th century when Collectivism, in the form of the Progressive Movement emerged as America’s version of the zeitgeist that swept the world under various names: Socialism in the UK and France, Fascism in Spain and Italy, Nazism in Germany, Communism in Imperial Russia, China and elsewhere and Progressivism in the US. By operating under a false consciousness promoted most explicitly by Karl Marx and Joseph Engels, Collectivism has sought everywhere to subordinate individual freedoms to the welfare of the “broader society.” Collectivism has placed individual subjects under the absolute power of a bureaucratic “Nomenklatura,” a ruling class composed of the enlightened who know what’s best for the mere subjects (formerly citizens) and who have established coercive power to enforce their will. In Germany this coercion took the form of the Brownshirts, the Gestapo, and the SS, in Russia the KGB and in America it is emerging to be the IRS, Homeland Security and the FBI. Historically, Collectivism has always brought certain inescapable results: totalitarian rule, the cult of personality focused on the “Great Leader,” loss of individual freedom, coercive power vested in the government and economic failure for all but the Nomenklatura. Collectivism in all its forms has meant shared misery for the average citizens.

    Unfortunately, my friends, after failing utterly in the early 20th century, Progressivism has re-emerged under Our Dear Leader in a very dangerous form, with the support of most of the American media and a substantial portion of the economically powerful individuals and corporations in our country. Our Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence are under attack constantly from inside our own Federal government, with the strongest assault taking the form of the Obamites’ refusal to enforce the Constitution’s prohibitions against the government’s powers of coercion. By requiring that “new” laws be required to secure our freedoms, Obama and his henchmen are rendering the proven protections of the Constitution as insufficient in themselves. Of course “new” laws do not carry the weight of the Constitution, and will be more easily removed when the Obamites decide to do so. So without directly attacking the Constitution, the Liberal/Progressives will have destroyed our rights as Americans without ever obviously usurping the founding documents. All very clever and even more insidious. If the Lib/Prog’s were even remotely competent, the battle might be already lost. I don’t think it is yet, but I do regard the danger as real and pressing. Does this make sense to anyone else?

  9. Pingback: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers: US Constitution | The Rio Norte Line

Talk Amongst Yourselves:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.