History to Celebrate
On September 17, 1787, forty-two of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day, to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. The delegates had gathered daily to work on this document since May 25, 1787.
It had not all been smooth sailing. According to James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention, on June 28, 1787, the delegates had reached an impasse in the development of the Constitution. Small states wanted one-man, one-vote, while the larger states wanted representation apportioned by population. At this point, the 82-year old Benjamin Franklin stood to plea for compromise, making a motion
… that the assembly institute “prayers imploring for the assistance of heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, (to) be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.” Roger Sherman seconded the motion.
Madison notes that the motion did not pass, notwithstanding the ‘mythology ‘ (?) that exists today regarding the role of prayer and fasting in seeking guidance for the drafting of the Constitution.
After the Constitution was signed in September,
Congress sent printed copies of the Constitution to the state legislatures for ratification. In the months that followed, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay would write the Federalist Papers in support, while Patrick Henry, Elbridge Gerry, and George Mason would organize the opposition to the new Constitution. By June 21, 1788, nine states had approved the Constitution, finally forming “a more perfect Union.”
Foundings to Remember and Protect
In a brilliant analysis by this author, the Constitution is an ‘expression of the American mind’. In its drafting, there were ‘ethical disruptions‘ of this American mind, by its failure to address both slavery and Native Americans. But the failings do not justify abandoning it. Instead, our Constitution-in part because of its flaws–commits America to justice.
The Constitution is not a ‘doctrine of negative liberties’, as Obama claimed in a 2001 Chicago Public Radio interview that has now been scrubbed from youtube. From memory, his statement, ‘the Constitution describes what the government can’t do, but doesn’t describe what government should do‘ is chillingly telling. It is the worst kind of tyranny, done ‘for your own good’…who decides that?
With this in mind, notice in the video below Obama’s immature understanding of and rhetoric about the flaws in the Constitution, and what to do about them. There is no mention of how America has grown to amend its constitution to address those gaps and move the country forward:
The Constitution Center
On the blogroll is the link to the Constitution Center, which is in Philadelphia and contains a nice meeting and outdoor space, exhibits, and educational materials for school-children.
It is also largely funded by the Chicago Annenberg Foundation, which has an interesting educational curriculum for children. Take a look, I am not sure you will like what you see. I am struck by the initial page of this link, which goes to ‘case law’, and not the Constitution, as a base for understanding America. It seems deceptive to me.
There have been many discussions on this blog and others about what our children are learning in school, and where the disrespect for and lack of thought/knowledge about the Constitution and our Country are coming from. I think the Annenberg influence at the Constitution Center and its curriculum just confirms the deep connection of essentially-anti-American sentiment that has seeped into philanthropy, education, media, the arts, and control of government institutions.
Take a Stand, Patriots!
Stand by celebrating this day, reminding others, talking with your children and neighbors. As one sign at the D.C. Rally said:
Party like its 1776!
As a wonderful gift, try picking up a copy of Rise to Rebellion, a novel of the American revolution. It will inspire those who read it! (h/t dissent)