The Constitution and the Government of the People

Once again in history, the nation and its fundamental values are being challenged, and not only from without, but from within as well. Once again the American people have to hold steadfast to the fundamental principles which were laid as the building blocks of the nation.

By Howard Chandler Christy - The Indian Reporter, Public Domain,

SAN JOSE, September 17, 2016 —  On the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 this year, citizens in the United States and innocent people around the world are still under attack from angry militant Islamist terrorists. Unfortunately, since the days of 9/11/2001, Americans have become divided with regard to the value of law and order within our communities, and have become truly confused about the bedrock values that comprise the very foundation of America.

While Patriot Day has helped to heal the deep wounds inflicted from an insidious external threat to those values and to the very freedoms at the heart of the American way of life, several American citizens are oblivious to their own disconnect with those fundamental truths for which the Founding Fathers fought and died.

The people of the United States in 2016 have been observing the exposure of both political parties throughout this presidential election cycle, which has revealed the true intent of both political parties: to retain their political power no matter what, and it matters not if the will of the people suffers as collateral damage in the electoral process.

Despite what the citizens see, there is still a determination to see the election process succeed. But, what did the citizens see? For those not paying attention, the elitist Democrats put in place their “super delegates,” which ensured that any challenger to their anointed candidate would never win the nomination.

On the other extreme, the elitist Republicans – those in the shadows with deep pockets – have been doing everything they can publically get away with to discredit Donald Trump, and to trample the will of the American people in their support of Trump.

As Americans celebrate or honor Constitution Day this year, it is obvious that those at the core of either political party do not honor the Constitution. American values are already being trampled by those who call themselves Americans; so, one may wonder what the difference is between an external enemy seeking to destroy the nation, or an insidious internal enemy already working to undermine the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

During the GOP Primary, there was a very odd occasion in the state of Colorado in which the state GOP awarded their state’s votes to contender Ted Cruz, and from that “no vote victory,” various Cruz supporters attempted to paint the victory as the “way things are” based upon the existing rules of the Republican Party. Nevertheless, if Trump had won in like manner, those same Cruz supporters would have declared it an outrage and a travesty of justice. Later on during the primaries in New York, thousands upon thousands of citizens’ names were “erased” from the ballots. In each case, citizens were denied the right to vote in an election process that was designed to provide members of a political party the right to vote fairly in a preliminary selection process of candidates who would run for President of the United States.

In responding to the ineptitude of the New York fiasco, the New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, severely criticized the city’s Board of Elections and stated, “There is nothing more sacred in our nation than the right to vote, yet election after election, reports come in of people who were inexplicably purged from the polls…” So, is the right to vote only sacred in New York City, or only to certain people in New York, and not sacred in Colorado?

The normal citizen may not care if they have the right to vote or not because in general elections a good turnout of those who vote usually hovers around 50% of the eligible voters. Yet Stringer is correct: voting is a right that should be considered sacred by everyone – even those at the core of each political party.

The real irony is that on September 17th, the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, there are genuine distortions of the intent of that document by so many different factions of people and organizations in and out of the political arena that the nation now would be unrecognizable to America’s Founders. In the first place, there was nothing in the Constitution regarding the development of political parties. It is true that argument over the fundamental principles in the Constitution eventually evolved into two opposing sides in the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, but serious argument continued and ultimately led to the formal establishment of political parties.

George Washington, the nation’s first president and the President of the Constitutional Convention, warned that political parties had the potential to destroy the nation – yet those seeking to seize the political power of running the government ignored his warning. In 2016, those seeking to retain the political power of running the government ignore the people and their cries for true representative government that is accountable to the people, and do not value the “sacred right” of citizens to vote.

Was it not the “sacred right” of citizens to vote the reason why colonists rebelled against their own government in the 1770s? “No taxation without representation,” meant a great deal to colonists at the time. At the core of that concept was the genuine desire of the people to have  a voice in the running of the government. However, it is truly up to the people whether they recognize or utilize the sacredness of the right to help in determining the way their government is operating. Nevertheless, if that sacred right is now merely an illusion, it is the right of the people to question those who are entrenched in power, and to measure their actions according to the value they place on the right of the citizens to vote.

Was it not the “sacred right” of voting that black citizens fought for in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement? The right to vote, which had been denied for such a long time, was precious to black citizens in that day. At the core of that movement was the genuine desire of the black populace to have a voice in the running of the government in southern states. Yet, it was truly up to those people in that time whether they developed the courage to work for, or fight for, the right to help in determining the way their government was operating. In that time and place, the right was merely an illusion. Eventually, courage and truth challenged those who were entrenched in power, and the true value placed on the rights of citizens to vote became a cornerstone of freedom.

Was it not the right of voting for which people around the world envied American citizens? The right to vote, which is not guaranteed in all nations around the world, is still precious to people in this day. At the core of this perception is the genuine desire of people all around the planet to have a voice in the running of their respective governments. Yet, it will only materialize when the desire of those people in the various parts of the world will crystallize into courage to work for, or fight for, the right to help in determining the way their government operates. This is an issue of self-determination, of self-governance, and the preciousness of human freedom.

In a post 9/11 world, freedom can be elusive – not only throughout the world, but even in the United States of America. In more recent years, attacks have come upon the Constitution from officials in all three branches of the U.S. government in a more comprehensive or coordinated manner. In all probability, the Constitution has not been more strained and put under more internal political duress than in the days preceding and following the American Civil War. Despite all this, the seemingly greater threat to the U.S. Constitution is not from within the “hallowed halls” of the government, it is from the growing threat of political discontent and disorder around the planet.

Since the horrific tragedies of September 11, 2001, America and the entire Free World are continually being challenged by militant Islamist extremists committed to jihad against the entire Free World. Americans recently observed Patriot’s Day in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of others on 9/11. Since 2001, observing the holiday known as Constitution Day has taken on a whole new meaning. American citizens are renewing a sincere perception of how precious the Constitution is within such a turbulent world. Yet, if the United States is to deal effectively with global threats to freedom, Americans truly need to reaffirm the value they place upon their freedom and for the law of the land.

The American people have been through so much in the course of the nation’s history, but like the previous generations of citizens who were willing to sacrifice — even die — to remain a free people, Americans need to reaffirm their high regard for freedom and to reaffirm their respect for the Constitution.

Once again in history, the nation and its fundamental values are being challenged, and not only from without, but also from within. Once again the American people have to hold steadfast to the fundamental principles that were laid as the building blocks of the nation.

“We the people” need to reaffirm and resolve “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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Dennis Jamison reinvented his life after working for a multi-billion dollar division of Johnson & Johnson for several years. Now semi-retired, he is an adjunct faculty member at West Valley College in California. He currently writes a column on US history and one on American freedom for the Communities Digital News, as well as writing for other online publications. During the 2016 presidential primaries, he worked as the leader of a network of writers, bloggers, and editors who promoted the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. He founded the “We the People” Network of writers and the Citizen Sentinels Project to pro-actively promote the values and principles established at the founding of the United States, and to discover and support more morally centered citizen-candidates who sincerely seek election as public servants, not politicians.