Increasingly we hear “The Constitution is outdated.” We view the constitution, drafted largely by James Madison 230 years ago, as a set of laws governing an archaic society. The primary mode of transportation was shoe leather. News took weeks if not months to spread. “Society” was your family, neighbors, and church. As likely as not, your nearest neighbor was miles away.
There can be little doubt the constitution is flawed. While it proclaims all men to be created equal, it suffers one person to be owned by another. It hardly contemplates a network of post offices, let alone interstate highways, airports, space stations, cell phones, or the internet. It’s easy to muse, then, that we could do better. Maybe we need to scrap these moldy old laws in favor of something more progressive.
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But, the U.S. Constitution has little in common with laws. It is, and always has been, a contract under which the citizens of the United States collectively agreed to submit to the rule of a government. To be selected by the people, this government would be charged with certain rights, and in exchange, it has certain responsibilities it must faithfully discharge.
Those rights and responsibilities were strictly limited. The contract allowed the people to be governed by a complex three-tiered structure which made it difficult for the ruling class to oppress them through unnecessary edicts, excessive taxes, and laws designed to heard sheep into collective compliance. For the first time in history, a PEOPLE claimed all rights and yielded back to a group of temporary elected representatives only those rights which were absolutely necessary to protect the collective from enemies, both foreign and domestic.
The distinction between a benevolent government selectively bestowing rights on the people; and a free people yielding specified limited rights to the government is THE KEY underlying philosophy that enabled the United States to become the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth.
A contract in which one man leases a horse from another for a specific term, does not give the lessor ownership rights over the horse, the owner’s saddle, or any of his other property. The constitution is a lease agreement. It shares with certain transient elected officials, limited and specified control over the liberty owned by the people for a specific period of time.
Limitations contained in our lease agreement with these transient elected officials are of no value whatsoever if we allow those officials to steal our saddle, sharecrop our lands, and enslave our children. It is NOT the constitution that is outdated, it is the enforcement of the covenants it enshrines.
As a people, we have allowed these share-croppers to usurp our liberties, spend like drunken gamblers, tax us into poverty, embroil us in unnecessary conflicts, enrich themselves, carve out fiefdoms, and exalt themselves into latter day royalty. It is not the constitution that allowed this runaway freight train, but rather the citizens themselves. The citizens have allowed these share-croppers into our bedrooms, public bathrooms, classrooms, barns, and gun safes. WE have allowed our modern-day royalty to control every aspect of our lives.
The constitution is a lease agreement, not a suicide pact. A Convention of States is likely the only remaining obstacle standing between a free people and an even MORE totalitarian government. Contact your TEMPORARY elected officials and demand a Convention of States to impose term limits. It ain’t a magic elixir, but it’s a start on a long and arduous road back to our natural rights.