Defining America’s Most Monumental Statement – We The People
Newsletter | March 24, 2022
We at America’s Future see it as part of our core mission to encourage our fellow citizens to continue to revisit our history, reread our founding documents, and reassess the meaning of important phrases and words that have shaped our country’s character. In doing so, we find inspiration gifted by our predecessors, from the founding fathers to the greatest generation and on through the present moment.
So far we’ve looked at the Declaration of Independence, and the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. This framework offers a unique understanding and provides context for what is likely the most monumental phrase ever journaled in American history: the Preamble to the Constitution.
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 Preamble was added to the Constitution during the last days of the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia between May 25 and September 17, 1787. Authorship is typically credited to Founding Father Gouverneur Morris, an outspoken opponent of slavery who later served as the U.S. Ambassador to France and as a U.S. Senator, representing the great state of New York.
It may come as a surprise that the source of these famously rousing words of popular sentiment was the scion of a wealthy family that once owned a large part of what is now New York City. In 1790, his half-brother Lewis Morris, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, offered the family estate as the site of the federal capital. Morissania is a large neighborhood in the Bronx.
At first, the Preamble did not refer to the people of the United States. Rather, it referred to the people of the numerous states that, following the ratification of the Constitution, became the United States. The central fact, however, is in the phrase: We the People.
Morris and the framers of the Constitution began their document with those three words to signify that it is the people who give their consent to be governed by the political institutions defined in the Constitution. Consent of the governed refers to the concept that the power of government is justified and lawful only when the people consent to it. This contravenes the “divine rights of kings” doctrine and underscores the depravity and immorality of political regimes that rule by force and coercion.
The key point here is, in the United States of America, it is we the people and not the government who hold the decisive ultimate power. The government has no rights, no powers except what the people have willingly granted it, as stipulated in the Constitution. And should the people withdraw their consent, the government loses its legitimacy; its powers deemed unjust and unlawful.
This is why the phrase, “We the People” is so sacred to Americans. It is the basis of the contract we have made with our government — act unlawfully and unjustly and you risk losing our consent.
When Americans do things, it is to improve our lives and those of our neighbors, our communities and our country. We don’t pay taxes to fill the coffers of kings, but to fund the defense of our country and communities; to improve our infrastructure; to conserve our resources; and to help provide for the unfortunate, the impoverished, the elderly and the most vulnerable. When Americans go to war it is not to acquire land and plunder to advance the station of princes, but to preserve our way of life and all its liberties.
And yet of late, Americans have rightly been concerned that our government has acquired the habit of treating large parts of the country as serfs. Our money and resources are used to enrich ruling class allies and clients. Our young men and women are sent abroad to fight and die on behalf of uncertain causes in faraway lands. Americans exercising their God-given right to express themselves freely are locked away without the right to due process, speedy trial, or bail. Efforts to obtain justice and have a say in the doings of our government are undermined by trickery and manifest subterfuge.
May God grant our governments, federal, state, and local, the wisdom to be “of the people, by the people and for the people,” lest they risk us withdrawing our consent.
Our central mission at America’s Future is to celebrate our great nation and marshal the resourcefulness and resilience of our fellow countrymen. For we know that there is no power under God’s heaven more awesome than that of We the People.
Raise The Flag On America’s
Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29
On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam. Today, we commemorate the anniversary of that date as Vietnam War Veterans Day.
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, the Vietnam Veterans Day Coalition of States Council presented a letter to him and U.S. legislators requesting that the bill to establish March 29 as Vietnam War Veterans Day be one of the first passed and signed into law during the 115th Congress. On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Act of 2017, officially recognizing the 29th of March as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. According to the Act, the day is among other important dates when Americans are especially called on to display our nation’s flag.
The Vietnam War is probably the most controversial in American history. U.S. troops were sent to hold off communist North Vietnam in its efforts to topple the nominally pro-Western South Vietnamese government. The war was waged to prevent communism from spreading throughout the region — and it partly did stem the tide. But it also revealed large rifts in our society between working and middle-class Americans and the anti-American left wing that are even more pronounced today.
The young Americans drafted to serve in Vietnam understood that they were observing the same duty to their country that their fathers, grandfathers and generations before them had honored. When their country called, they answered.
aBut something had changed during the 1960s. Part of it had to do with American leadership. The historical record shows that neither President Kennedy nor President Johnson had a plan to win the war. Instead, their decisions to escalate the conflict were driven by public opinion, some of it was a genuine response to the failures of U.S. political and military officials.
Much of that public opinion however was influenced by the very enemies America was fighting — the communist regimes in Moscow and Beijing. While working and middle-class boys were fighting a communist insurgency, many young men their age, well-connected and wealthy enough to stay out of harm’s way, promoted communist causes on college campuses.
Nearly 60,000 Americans sent to fight thousands of miles from where they were born were killed abroad. More than 1600 Americans who served in Southeast Asia are still missing in action. And those who came home were often scapegoated for the failures of those who sent them to war. And they were cursed by the countrymen whose liberties they’d fought to protect. These young soldiers had survived a foreign war only to find themselves in the middle of a culture war at home, with them portrayed as the enemy.
What we see more clearly now is that the stakes were, and remain, high. The fight over the fate of our country — whether we will continue to honor the path of freedom and individual liberties laid down by our Founding Fathers, or instead drift into the viciously anti-humanist nightmare of collectivism that is communism. The veterans who returned from Vietnam nearly half a century ago were the first to engage in the life and death struggle for the future of our country. After they served abroad, they served again at home.
Vietnam War Veterans deserve our love and respect for their sacrifices abroad — and our admiration and awe for their continued dedication to American values here at home in the face of a vocal and extremist minority intent on destroying the foundations of our great nation — faith, family, community, and the Constitution.
We at America’s Future are grateful beyond words to those who served our nation and continue to serve. We thank and honor them on the occasion of this day of remembrance and every day.
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