Ok, here we go again. It’s September 17, 2012, and that means, it’s “Constitution Day” in the United States. Two-hundred twenty five years ago today, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had drafted.
Sadly, though, this so-called national holiday is a sham.
Politicians who never follow the Constitution will tell us about its greatness. Pundits who could care less about Constitutional limits will wax eloquent about how we should all praise the wisdom of the Framers. And educators – under an unconstitutional federal mandate – will pretend to teach our children about the Constitution, even though they’re mostly clueless about it.
This “Constitution Day” wasn’t always a widespread date of importance in this country. Back in 2004, federal politicians passed a law mandating the teaching of the Constitution in schools that receive federal funds, as well as federal agencies. It stated, in part:
Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.
Public law 108-447 didn’t start out as a “civic education” bill – it was actually an appropriations bill. It included massive funding and subsidies for the FDA, agricultural programs, state and local “law enforcement assistance,” the department of energy, the export-import bank – including guaranteed loan programs, military funding for Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Sudan, Guatemala, Haiti, and Uganda, the world bank, federal unemployment programs, the department of education, the department of housing and urban development, and much more.
Think about that for just a moment.
Federal politicians, who are taking billions upon billions of dollars from the American people to carry out programs not authorized by the Constitution, are unconstitutionally mandating that schools unconstitutionally funded by the unconstitutional department of education will teach your kids about constitutional limits on federal power.
If that’s not some kind of sick joke, I don’t know what is.
THE REAL DEAL
Don’t get me wrong. I happen to like the idea of a “Constitution Day.” It’s just absurd to think that a federal mandate from an out-of-control federal government is ever going to teach your kids about Constitutional limits.
The federally-funded schools don’t educate them about this kind of stuff. Instead, they primarily focus on “Constitution Trivia” instead of what’s really important. While it may be good to teach your kids about how many years a Senator serves, or how Supreme Court justices are appointed, it’s not enough.
Seriously lacking in the public discourse is the actual purpose of the Constitution – its underlying principles.
When the Constitution was being considered for ratification, there was strong opposition from leading founders such as George Mason and Patrick Henry. One major reason for this was a fear of centralized power.
The founding generation spent their lives toiling under a tyranny – a government without limits. But, when the Constitution was written, it was done to codify in law that the powers of government would be limited to those which had been delegated to it – and nothing more The entire system was created under the principle of popular sovereignty – that ‘We the People of the Several States’ created the government, and not the other way around. And, all powers not delegated to the federal government in the constitution, were retained.
Those delegated powers? There’s not that many. Depending upon how you count them, there’s approximately thirty. You can read them all at this link.
But that’s not something you’re likely to hear from politicians in Washington DC, political pundits, schools, or just about anywhere else.
It’s generally not in their interest, either. If politicians and their backers were promoting such crazy ideas as “originalism” and “limited government” they’d never be able to convince you that they have the power to tell you what kind of health care plan you’ll have to get, how big your toilet can be, what kind of plants you’re allowed to grow in your backyard, where you’re allowed to exercise your “right” to free speech, whom you can buy and sell from, and even when you must send your children to die for them.
THE TOOLS YOU NEED
That’s why we believe it’s so important for people to get as much education as possible about the Constitution – all year long. We work hard to provide you the tools you need. There are featured articles throughout the week, and multiple blog posts every day.
We published an extremely important book – The Original Constitution: What it Actually Said and Meant – so you can be armed with knowledge and the truth about Constitutional limits. We also co-produced a powerful documentary film – Nullification: The Rightful Remedy – so you can learn what to do when the feds refuse to follow the Constitution.
We’ve held conferences around the country. We host a weekly online radio show and a weekly video newscast too. We provide model legislation for use in your state right now, and track their progress around the country. We’ve even put together an 18-page activist toolkit to give you what you need to build coalitions and advance the cause of liberty in your area.
NOT JUST ONCE A YEAR
For us here at the Tenth Amendment Center, Constitution day isn’t a once-a-year celebration. It’s not just a day to review historical trivia. It’s not a day to grandstand and pretend to support what the founding generation left us. Constitution Day is our way of life – every single day of the year.
Our efforts have seen triumphs and setbacks – and at times they may have seemed trivial. But, each step of the way has been yet another step forward in our mission. That’s the Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions and no excuses.