January 11, 2013

Any government is the natural enemy of its people’s liberty and freedoms. The objective of those in government, even if they’re not aware of it, is to centralize government control and consolidate its power, depriving its citizens of rights and freedoms in the process. If a people have nothing to protect them from their government, they are nothing but slaves.

The writers of the American constitution knew that. They had just dealt with an oppressive government, so the constitution was to be a contract between the American government and its people that would itemize what the government could do, and specifically prohibit it from doing certain things.

In the debate over ratification of the constitution, some saw that the constitution as written was insufficient to protect Americans’ liberty, so they proposed a Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the constitution. It is probable that the constitution would not have been ratified without those first ten amendments. Those amendments embody our best chance to remain free from government tyranny.

The constitution afforded Americans not only protections against the government depriving its citizens of their freedoms, but protection against the will of a misguided majority acting in haste to take away the freedoms of the minority.

Because a majority can act unwisely in an emotionally charged situation, changing the constitution requires that a proposed amendment be ratified by three-fourths of the states to become law. In this way, during the time required for ratification, cooler heads can prevail and an unwise change be averted.

The greatest danger to Americans comes when the people react without careful reflection in a crisis or as the result of an emotionally charged event, and the government, seizing the opportunity to take away freedoms, quickly passes laws or executive actions that abrogate constitutional protections.

Now some government officials and private citizens are suggesting executive action and/or passing laws in contravention of one of the first ten amendments. If changing one of our basic protections to our liberty is a good idea, then it should be done by an amendment to the constitution, not by government fiat.

Americans will remain free only as long as they demand that the government hold fast to the terms of the contract that protects us: the Constitution.