As an American I feel the need to make an exploration into the US Constitution. The climate it was written under, and maybe some of the impacts that document has on our daily lives.
I begin by asking the question, “What should the Constitution mean to me?” Way back in High School civics we spent an entire semester on the subject, holding mock Congress with a mock President and VP, passing laws that the President would Veto and having to work with our classmates to achieve balance and learn to compromise. We essentially learned how the Government should function. What I can say is that the President had very little power over anything, veto power over new law really. In our simplified examples the power of the Presidency wasn’t the focus, but rather how the Congress should function and maybe a venture into the US Supreme Court. I would like to think most people had such an experience, but the more I see how things are going, the more I understand most schools didn’t even broach the subject of how Govt. is supposed to work.
I’ll start off in a very unlikely place, the 10th Amendment. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. This is a significant Amendment in that it gives the power to the states and the people when the subject matter is outside of the Constitutional bounds. Why is this important? If you consider how voting works, ask yourself if your vote carries more weight in a local city, County, State or Federal Election? How many other voices does it take to drown yours out? Using that as the premise, the Founders knew that having local laws in which the people felt included would essentially create a happier people, more in control of their own destiny. Contrast that with the present day conditions, wherein your vote and your voice is among a vast ocean of others and you begin to see the relevance of the Amendment. The landmark decision of Citizens United should ring a bell, wherein the US Supreme Court found that it is legal for corporations to give huge sums to the candidates for office, under the table and behind closed doors. Do you feel your voice heard?
Using this knowledge, we will begin to investigate the remainder of the Document and begin to see what the Federal Govt. is authorized to do and be able to contrast that with what it is actually doing.
Until then,.. Peace, law, and Justice be with you.