The five pages

A scant five pieces of paper is all that were required to begin the most exceptional and successful experiment in government ever seen by mankind, and today represent the least understood by those who should know them best.

I perceive today, there is little real recognition of the content in these five pages, but, perhaps more importantly, there is a lack of understanding about what is not said than what is clearly spelled out.

Two sentences from two of these pages set forth what most should understand about the United States: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Secondly, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice4, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for common defence, 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.”

In no small way, these two single sentence phrases provide the solid foundation upon which this country was built more than 200 years ago. It is folly, though, to end one’s search into the soul of this nation here, although most seem to do so.

The Declaration of Independence, a a single, hand-written page, sets forth the clear reasons the Founding Fathers of the United States set aside their own personal safety, and pronounced the colonies separated from England. It is not enough to end one’s examination of the Declaration with reading only the first paragraph, something all too many do. The logic and purposes for which the colonists put themselves and others into jeopardy are set forth in the balance of the Declaration of Independence most fail to read thoroughly.

Apparently, discussions of the Constitution, too, are limited to the single sentence quoted above, or to paragraphs limiting discussions to self interests. Certainly, the document, within its three pages, identifies how the three branches of government are established–Legislative, Executive, Judicial–but, it is the Bill of Rights that sets forth the real liberty foundations for the American People. In a single page, the Bill of Rights identifies personal liberty and the limits of government.

All too often, citizens read into these five pages meanings not present. “Interpretation” is said to be open for discussion, even without clear rulings from the Supreme Court.

The United States is NOT a democracy. Let me say that again: The United States is not a true democracy. Rather, America, is a representative republic, citizens electing citizens to work in the government as their chosen representatives. In a true democracy, it would be quite possible to remove one segment of our society in favor of another, to take material possessions from one and give to another by simple majority vote. It is the most misunderstood tenant of the United States.

Why is it the American People have less understanding about their form of government than they do about the operation of their cell phone? Why is it the American People are seemingly more interested in what ball game is on television than preservation of their own liberties? Why do United States citizens abdicate their will to a few employees who are more interested in power, prestige and personal wealth that they are in providing the representation needed to protect those who elected them?

The apparent answers are simple: Americans have become lazy, complacent and self-indulgent. Too, Americans fear the government they have allowed to become far to large and powerful. We sit and await the largesse of government to return a hand out of our own money.

Corrections are needed and will require time and courage to resolve.