Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Taking “We the People” for Granted



Many people mistakenly take for granted “We the People.” It’s the entity with special font in the first three words of the signed United States Constitution. In Federalist 84, its modification to “We, the People” seems codified in all capital letters. It made America seem strong, with focus on “mother, God, and country.” “We the People” means voters, originally the landed gentry, but in 2014 every citizen and some residents of age, now eighteen. In all the struggles to understand and gain the rights to those three words, accomplished in the 14th, 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments, the power sought is in the truncation, “We the People . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
However, “We the People” is insufficient, as it omits the commitments. Justice is offered under “We the People of the United States” according to the seven goals stated in the preamble. What I call just civic governance by justly governed citizens can emerge only when US citizens establish the majority that fulfills “We the People of the United States” as defined in the preamble. Each person maintains cooperative autonomy so that each person can live according to personal opinion; not “under God” or the government, but on personal behavior.
     Citizens: Re-consider the preamble. Focus on it; paraphrase it; practice it; promote it. The preamble is copied below:
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.
A paraphrase for 2014 living follows:  citizens who comprehensively fulfill these goals--integrity, justice, civility, defense, perseverance, liberty, and continuity—justly govern the United States of America. Please post your paraphrase.
     Ask, “What would I need to do to perceive that I am of We the People of the United States as defined in the preamble?” Perhaps you'd need to amend it. We should stop being blinded by a “shining city on a hill,” uncooperative majority struggles, and American exceptionalism, to emerge as the majority according to the preamble, soon enough for our lives and the lives of our children.

     If you would like to consider how history has obscured the preamble, please read the essay posted on February 9, 2014, “Why ‘We the People of the United States’ is Important,” or the shorter version posted on February 10, 2014, “The Majority – According to the Preamble.”

Copyright©2014 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included.