xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Editorial: Celebrate our Constitution

While there's a lot of talk these days about government overreach, rhetoric about how government is "trampling on the Constitution" and how we need to "take back our country," it is important to recognize that the country our founding fathers conceived is based on the principle of people deciding for themselves how they will be governed.
Sept. 17-23 is Constitution Week, a good time to review the document that has guided our country for more than 200 years and the freedoms that it guarantees and the responsibilities that come with those freedoms.
Too many people wrap themselves in the flag and proclaim that government has gone too far. But the very concept of government overreach is subjective. What is going too far for one person is seen as not doing enough by another. Our founding fathers recognized the issues that would come with having people govern themselves, and that is why the Constitution was developed in an arena of compromise that allowed for changes as society developed.
Sure, there are literalists who profess that nothing in the Constitution should ever be changed. If that were the case, slavery would still be the law of the land. When our founding fathers compromised over population apportionment for the U.S. House of Representatives, those slaves each equaled three-fifths of a person. That doesn't match the "all men are created equal" that has been the hallmark of our country, but it was a major battle and compromise that was made by wise men who understood that sometimes you have to make changes in incremental moves.
Freedom of assembly is guaranteed under the Constitution, but over the years time, place and manner limits to that have been enacted. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, but over the years restrictions have been placed on gun ownership as technology has advanced. The press is supposed to be free of government, yet our Justice Department has issued subpoenas to journalists to get information.
In some cases government action was taken without public consent, and there can be legitimate arguments in those cases that government overreached its authority. But in most cases it was the people themselves who decided what they wanted, compromises were reached and the country as a whole has continued to move forward.
People who profess to know exactly what our founding fathers wanted, and who decry compromise of any sort, more often than not are talking from the vantage point of promoting a specific agenda. If you look deeply into their arguments, in most cases they do not hold water.
We are a country made up of many different people, each with their own ideas on how the nation should operate. We need to maintain our vigilance and always strive to keep our government in check, but we also have to understand that, like slavery, the right of women to vote and in other areas, we are a country that is constantly changing, and only through working together can we continue to succeed.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement