We the People

2009 September 17

“Here sir, the people govern.”
Alexander Hamilton – 1788

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.

Today is Constitution Day.  On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed by delegates to the Constitutional Convention.  Our Constitution was ordained and established over 200 years ago and during that span of time it has been a model of liberty to all the world. I remember being required to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution when I was in high school. Never in my lifetime has it been so necessary that we as citizens remember the significance of the signing of our Constitution and recognize the arduous labor of thought, debate and effort put into this remarkable document by so many.

Madison wrote to Jefferson that the welding of these clashing interests was “a task more difficult than can be well conceived by those who were not concerned in the execution of it.” When the delegates left Philadelphia after the convention, few, if any, were convinced that the Constitution they had approved outlined the ideal form of government for the country. But late in his life James Madison scrawled out another letter, one never addressed. In it he declared that no government can be perfect, and “that which is the least imperfect is therefore the best government.”

During a time of great contention at the Convention, Benjamin Franklin had these words:

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how is it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings.

And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, the sacred writings, that `except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it.’

I firmly believe this, and I also believe without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this partial building no better than the builders of Babel. We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.

Franklin is also said to have had this interchange:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

It’s our Republic. Please God, may He still send His angel to ride in the whirlwind and direct this storm, enabling us to keep it.


Benjamin Franklin, Holograph manuscript copy, from Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

More history from The National Archives:  A More Perfect Union:  The Creation of the U.S. Constitution

H/T: Image:  Senator Jim DeMintThe Patriot Post – Founders Quote Database, The National Archives, www.govtrack.us, Library of Congress, www.bartelby.com, Wikipedia.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 September 17 4:17 am
    rightwingyahoo permalink

    A fine post. May God have mercy on our nation, and grant us the courage and wisdom to find our way back to the path of liberty.

    I was going to post on the missile shield. What a bitter post that would have been. We are truly back to the 70s. Can we escape this time?

  2. 2009 September 17 4:19 am

    INC. you are a treasure, without whom BJG would be all the poorer. Your well researched posts fill out the flesh of galt’s gulch. Kudos my dear.

  3. 2009 September 17 4:21 am

    Can we escape this time?___RWY

    Do we deserve to ❓

  4. 2009 September 17 5:12 am
    INC permalink

    Thank you, RWY and ip!

    We are in a storm right now–and although the storm may not have been brought on by all of us, no, collectively, we don’t deserve to escape it, but must ask a merciful God to turn our nation around.

    I’ve mentioned before that I get emails from Patriot Post during the week. This is today’s Founder’s quote:

    “[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes.” –Alexander Hamilton, letter to James Bayard, 1802

  5. 2009 September 17 5:19 am
    INC permalink

    I also wanted to mention that probably sometime today my computer will finally be packed up. When I realized Constitution Day was coming up this week, I wanted to do this post before we go into moving and a time of transition.

  6. 2009 September 17 5:31 am
    mulletover permalink

    Great post!

  7. 2009 September 17 5:48 am
    bc3b permalink

    O/T: On a positive note, ACORN scandal is #3 among Yahoo searches this morning.

  8. 2009 September 17 7:08 am
    INC permalink

    KLo from The Corner on Constitution Day:

    Do yourself and your country a favor and read it.

    Can anyone get that message to the White House and everyone in Congress?

    They need to do a lot more than read it–they need to remember their oath to preserve, protect and defend it!

  9. 2009 September 17 7:13 am
    INC permalink

    I haven’t had time to look much today, but I have been glad to see notice of Constitution Day at RedState as well as The Corner. I hope more blogs pick it up and mention it, because in light of current events this day is more important than ever. It’s been great to see the emphasis on the Constitution and the Founders at Tea Parties, Town Halls and protests! May we be that irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds until we are a majority!

  10. 2009 September 17 8:19 am
    conservativetony permalink

    Thanks, INC

    I needed an uplift this morning.

  11. 2009 September 17 8:52 am

    Happy move day INC.

    Do we deserve to – probably not.

  12. 2009 September 17 8:56 am
    JustMary permalink

    Wonderful post, INC. Thank you! I’ll be praying for your family.

  13. 2009 September 17 9:13 am

    RAS = 47/52

    Where’s the bounce?

  14. 2009 September 17 3:39 pm
    rightwingyahoo permalink

    The Klan rode off with it….or something.

  15. 2009 September 17 6:27 pm
    INC permalink

    Sarah Palin on Facebook:

    Constitution Day

    “The Constitution of the United States was created by the people of the United States composing the respective states, who alone had the right.” – James Madison

    Today marks the 222nd anniversary of the formation and signing of our Constitution. The United States Constitution is one of the greatest founding documents in history because it charted a bold new path in the realm of political theory. Not only does the Constitution establish checks and balances within the federal government, it also divides power among the federal government, the states, and the people. The Founders understood that it is the nature of government to grow at the expense of the people’s liberty; and with that in mind, they established a form of government that would be limited in scope and power in order to maximize power to the people.

    Today, let’s also take the opportunity to thank our armed forces. The weight of defending our liberty rests on their shoulders, and because of their efforts and sacrifice, we can celebrate the 222nd anniversary of the formation of our Constitution.

    – Sarah Palin

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