Sunday, June 11, 2017

Civics 191 -- The Miracle and the Optimism -- Corrected Font -- Why Gmail changes fonts is beyond me. I hope this is sent corrected

The miracle is that seven principal Founders of our American Republic, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were the prime movers of our Federalist Republic among many others who were Constitutional signatories. The miracle is that nearly 230 years ago these men of varying origin, different ideas, and an argumentative penchant created the first American experiment in self government testing whether it was even possible that men some of moral integrity and some with a potential for moral hubris and turpitude could come together to create a document so brilliant and so miraculous it would stand the test of time and many other nations would seek to emulate it.

What is so miraculous about the essence of our Constitutional Republic? It is that a ​few men of the Enlightenment familiar with European history and its morally corrupt leaders and kings knew that man had the capacity to show the better angels of his nature but also knew man's tendency to abuse power, keep and not relinquish it when they, through birth or war, got it. They knew the corrupting ways of power and the money it gleans because they experienced it and saw it written into the marrow of Europe's historical bones. They knew power once achieved would not easily be relinquished and so the miracle really is a way they founded to divide government into three branches -- two branches of which were elected directly or indirectly by the people. Each branch would act as a check -- one branch upon the other. The birth of national genius was the separation of the powers of government into the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches as they birthed a nation of limited government so that power could be restricted in time unchaining it and the people from its corrupting penchant.

To be sure the Constitutional document remained fluid to bend and stretch with man's ability to create social change. To be sure there were and have been disagreements, including a civil war fought over those disagreements, specifically slavery, but the Constitution could be amended and parts of it could be repealed. It remains 230 years later amended but intact.

Within it, some think, including the writer, the most important amendments would be referred to as the Bill of Rights or the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution. These precious amendments are the important restrictions of the state and in the powers of government, the entirety of which, I have no doubt, our current president has neither read nor could understand their monumental significance. In short, the Constitution with its Bill of Rights dictates Donald J. Trump is NOT a king. He is not the CEO of a corporation large or small but is, rather, one branch of this three branch system. The Legislative first branch is given preeminence over the second, the Executive and the third, the Courts, through, initially, Marbury v. Madison 5 U.S. 137 (​1803) gave the courts the power of judicial review. The Courts could overturn Congressional law and Executive power.

I am optimistic that our separation of powers is working, if sorely tested by this unconventional mentally disturbed
​and mendacious ​Trump presidency. It is a Republic if, Benjamin Franklin said at​ the country's birth, we can keep it. I think we have, are and in perpetuity will!

I offer, as I see it, the enumeration of the greatest part of our Constitutional miracle, The Bill of Rights (link below.) It has been emulated throughout the world and has kept us a free people. These rights are etched in the gravestones of Arlington, Gettysburg, Normandy, the Ardennes, WWI Belleau in Northern France and other places all over the world. Not even a malevolent, hateful, incompetent and corrupt Donald J. Trump no matter how much power he thinks he has will take them away but, sadly, he can try.