Our Ageless Constitution
by TexasGOPVote on April 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM
The following comments were sent in by a TexasGOPVote reader:
Thank you for posting this teacher's unwittingly revealing, but distorted, analysis of the difference between what the teacher self-describes as what some label "liberals" and "conservatives" of today.
I say "unwittingly" because, clearly without understanding the underlying philosophical ideas of the Declaration of Independence and U. S. Constitution, this teacher has, in fact, hit on a critical point which all so-called "conservatives" should explore and articulate. That point is critical to a proper appreciation of the Constitution's limitations on coercive power by elected representatives in government and provisions for liberty for the individuals they represent.
In an essay entitled, "The Founding Fathers' Views of Human Nature - Critical to the Structure of the Constitution," in the 292-page volume, "Our Ageless Constitution," Dr George Carey, scholar and professor, explains the provisions and protections built into the Constitution by the Framers. He points out that the 85 essays written by Madison, Hamilton and Jay to explain the Constitution to the people of the day, bear out this "picture of the Framers' views regarding human nature" as being critical to an understanding of that great document's limitations of those elected to positions of power over citizens.
Perhaps you might want to visit and review "Our Ageless Constitution." It was originally published in 1987, the Constitution's Bicentennial Year, but recently has been reprinted. The web page's "Endorsements" section will list comments about the volume from many leading citizens of 1987, including those of President Reagan. The Carey essay appears on pp. xxvi-xxvii of the reprinted version only.
Your publication and circulation of that essay might help to clarify and put into perspective the teacher's distorted and extremely limited perspective on an important topic. A small sampling of Dr. Carey's analysis of "The Federalist Papers'" treatment of the subject is this:
"No effort is made in these essays (THE FEDERALIST) to gloss over man's imperfections and weaknesses. On the contrary, Alexander Hamilton, after surveying the experiences of both ancient and modern regimes, cautions his readers never to forget that 'men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious' and that governments are 'instituted. . . because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.' He warns them, as well, against 'Utopian speculations' about the natural benevolence of man and the delusion that they live in a 'golden age' which somehow exempts them 'from the imperfections, the weaknesses, and the evils incident to society in every shape.'"
All the protections and provisions of the United States Constitution were designed to preserve "ordered liberty" in the society, recognizing the imperfect nature of human beings and that those imperfect persons, when elected or appointed to positions of coercive power over other citizens' lives must have that power separated, limited, checked and balanced if "We, the People" are to enjoy the individual "pursuit of happiness." America's first 200 years proves the success of their undertaking.
That teacher's skewed analysis is simplistic and reflects a severely limited frame of understanding of subject matter and of the history of civilization. The real tragedy is that her "tunnel vision" is being passed on to a generation which deserves to inherit "the Blessings of Liberty" provided by their Constitution.