Originally Published: September 15, 2016 6 a.m.
The U.S. Constitution. Am I the only one who has never read it?
I am 69 years old, born in the USA, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and am college educated.
I have no excuses, but I have never fully read or understood America’s most important document … the Constitution.
Oh yes, I have read the preamble many times and practically know it by heart.
“We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union” … and so on.
I have even read some of the Articles … but then would skip to the Bill of Rights. I suppose they are the Constitution to most Americans as they are always talking about their First and Second amendment rights.
In my books I recently stumbled upon a little pocket-sized booklet of the Constitution. It had the stamp of a California Congressman on the back. Of course, I had more important things to do, like watch TV, but I decided to once and for all read it. And so I did and I suggest you do the same, if you want to know how and why our federal government works in relation to the various states.
I should let you know that I have never fully read the Declaration of Independence either. I apologize to my high school civics teacher. The little booklet also contained that document.
They say the Declaration was the promise, and the Constitution was the fulfillment of that promise. That is true.
The Declaration contains the list of grievances the people of the USA leveled against the King of Great Britain. The Articles of the Constitution are the solutions put into national law to eradicate and prevent the atrocities of injustice, cruelty and unfairness as practiced by the British during the colonial period.
To protect these laws and rights wars were fought. My ancestors, right up to my dad and myself, served to protect our way of life that is guaranteed in the words of the Constitution.
Read it and the Declaration of Independence but realize … we are guaranteed these rights only when we fight to keep them and support a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Our elected officials are servants of the people they represent. Their power doesn’t extend beyond that. Our representatives deserve respect and support only when they are doing their jobs to improve the living conditions for the people they represent.
The real true power of the Constitution lies with us, the citizens of the United States of America! Keep it that way. The President takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. You do the same.
Wayne T. Nelson