December 28, 2020

The Constitution: The Preamble

The Constitution: The Preamble. Thoughts from Mike Helmers

The Constitution: The Preamble

The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription from The National Archives

What am I doing? Well, it's been awhile since I actually read the Constitution, and now that I'm deployed "defending" the Constitution, I thought this is a good opportunity to take a look and provide my thoughts. I'm writing this at an interesting time in our country's history. President Trump is going out of his way to challenge the legitimacy of the United State's election process. Republicans have thrown out all decorum and placed a new conservative judge on the Supreme Court, threatening to undo years of advances in civil liberties.

I hear the Right consistently talk about Constitutional Originalism, an idea that what the writers intended at the time is the only way to interpret the Constitution. To me, this is madness. With that view, the 3/5 Compromise should be considered valid and women wouldn't have the right to vote.

So I'm going to take a dive into this probably outdated document and share my thoughts, just like a real Supreme Court Justice!

Today I start with the Preamble.

The Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Preamble is the opening the The Constitution of the United States. It's the statement that says what's about to happen. Here's how I break it down and interpret what the Constitution is supposed to do.

  • Establish Justice- Provide policy and procedures how justice should be dispenesed. Hopefully our founders created a process that occasionally allows for second chances and is equitable.
  • Insure domestic Tranquility- Build a foundation that is consistent and allows all people in the United States to live their best lives. Knowing that the Civil War happens, I question how well this was spelled out.
  • Provide for the common defense- We all know what defense means, but were they thinking about defense from external forces, internal, or both? The current lack of "law enforcement" oversight seems to lead me to believe that our Founders didn't think this one through a ton.
  • Promote the general Welfare- I assume this is why we are guaranteed healthcare in this country and UBI is a thing. /s
  • Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity- Well, as a parent decent human, I feel it's my place to leave the world a better place than I found it. Especially for James. But it's more than that. I'm glad that our Founders wanted the Constitution to last beyond their years and ensure that all Americans from their time to ours have access to the same liberties. That's worth striving for.

This was fun. I'm excited to keep reading and talk about this important document. As we continue forward in this election, to quote Ed Murrow, "Good night, and good luck."