April 17, 2010
Republicans: Stop the GimmicksBy Otis A. Glazebrook IV
The current Republican leadership proposes that America needs a "New Contract" [i].
We already have the finest social contract/compact ever devised by mankind. The historical basis of the Republican Party is to stand firm on those fundamental founding principles. That contract is the Constitution of the United States, which evolved from the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence.
This paragraph, from The Declaration of Independence, explains that our God-given natural rights are the fundamental basis for a free republic.
Stated as simply as possible, human beings are born into a natural state with certain inalienable rights. In order to form a more perfect union, American colonists had to relinquish some of their natural liberties and rights, and they had to assume certain duties and restrictions in order to form a union. They then lived in a state of society whereby their forfeited liberties became our collective powers that were to be exercised for the common good (weal).
This established the social contract, by mutual agreement, to live and work together in harmony for the citizens' combined benefit. The Framers defined these benefits as the citizens' right to speak freely (particularly on political matters), their right of self-defense (militia), their right to pursue commerce (property) freely, and the careful protection of their remaining natural rights by free, fair, and regularly scheduled elections.
The U.S. Constitution was adopted directly by the people of the several states (thus remedying a major defect of the "Articles of Confederation") by virtue of direct ratification without the filter of any legislative body. It was agreed to (ratified) as a binary choice by popular conventions, not by the several state legislatures.
This is the miracle of the United States of America.
We have no lesser authority on our Constitutional evolution than Abraham Lincoln from his First Inaugural Address:
For the first time in human history [ii], groups of people (States) freely entered into a national agreement for governing themselves. This is the contract. Each State's ratification is the last democratic event in its respective history.
Upon ratification the states automatically became part of a constitutional republic with certain limited powers. It is within those narrow, defined boundaries that the states agreed to stay.
The Constitution means what the Framers intended it to mean (unless properly amended as proscribed in Article V) on June 21st, 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it. That is the date the Constitution superseded the authority of the Articles of Confederation. As such, the Constitution is not a "living, breathing" instrument of nothingness. The words mean what they meant on the closing date, as they do in any contract.
The original contract with America became the law of the land on March 4, 1789. It is a perpetual contract freely entered into by our forefathers.
America's greatest Republican, Abraham Lincoln, confirmed his view that the Constitution is in fact a contract:
More than 500,000 Americans gave their lives in the Civil War to preserve that proposition.
What are you going to do save it? Every breach of this contract is our (individual) responsibility.
[i] - Contracts must meet five basic requirements to be valid:
[ii] - 1780 - Massachusetts was the first state to adopt its constitution directly by the popular convention.