Celebrate Our Constitution

One more guest post from Larry Hodgden. We are greatly appreciative of his contributions. 

Larry is a retired Viet Nam era veteran of the USAF. He and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, have three children and seven grandchildren who keep him very busy. Family, education, church and politics have been a lifelong passion.

On September 17th we  observed 225 years since the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. This document is recognized as one of the greatest ever written in the creation of a government and we are indeed fortunate to be living in a country with this Constitution as the law of the land. It took four months of hard work and compromise by the “Founding Fathers” to complete our Constitution after which 39 of 42 delegates signed it.

One of the most important features of our Constitution has been the ability to amend the document as circumstances changed and as our citizens evolved in their attitudes and appreciation for the rights of our fellow citizens. This process began even before the document was ratified by the states when the Federalists compromised with the Antifederalists to gather enough support. The resulting “Bill of Rights”, our first 10 amendments, were all about guaranteeing freedoms and basic judicial rights for the citizens of the United States of America.

The brilliance of the “Founding Fathers” can be seen in a balance of the possibility of amendment with the difficulty of doing so. In the 220 years since the “Bill of Rights” our Constitution has been amended only 17 additional times and the majority of these were to guarantee additional equal rights including the right to vote.

That is why it is so troubling to see recent efforts by Republicans to deprive and make more difficult the right of so many of our citizens to vote. There are ways to control voter fraud, which is very rare, without jeopardizing whole classes of citizens’ right to vote. Nothing is more sacred in a democracy than the right to vote and we should all defend this right as guaranteed in our Constitution.

These same Republicans would also make a mockery of our 14th Amendment which guarantees “equal protection under the law” for all of our citizens. What part of “equal” don’t they understand? A majority of Americans know that it applies to every citizen in their “pursuit of happiness” as spelled out in the Preamble to our Constitution, not just a few who pass the Republican test.

We should not be surprised that a political Party which doesn’t accept evolution as a fact would not be able to keep up with the evolving of our society and our Constitution. In this election we need to be wary of Republican candidates, like John Archer, who wave the Constitution while picking and choosing which parts they want to support.

While we may not all agree with the interpretation of everything in this great document, we should all be able to agree on the importance of defending and the need to “Celebrate our Constitution”.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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