Welcome back to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. I hope you will find our topics this week on the U.S. Constitution informative. The goal here is to help us ascertain what is going on in our government by looking through the lens of our founding American documents. More and more Americans tell me they are confused. They also don’t like terminology that is misleading or indirect. So, let’s begin with our first article that teaches us to discern truth from error with proposed changes in our government. It’s called “Evolutionaries and Constitutionalists.”
Do you think our culture is changing for the better over time? Well, some people do. It’s a “thing” now, I guess. The word “evolution” is being applied to our U.S. Constitution. It’s the idea that the Constitution follows downstream from culture. In other words, these people believe our founding documents need constant updating as the culture changes.
Of course, these “evolutionaries” believe humanity is changing for the better. This doesn’t seem right for any number of reasons. Consider twentieth-century history, the number of citizens killed, and many by their own rulers. Let’s lay out a few of these proposed changes from the evolutionary and constitutional sides so you can decide for yourself. As you read, ask yourself:
What is best for you and your fellow citizens?
What is behind the proposed changes? Who do the proposed changes benefit?
How do evolutionaries use persuasive language to convince the average citizen that what our Founders gave us is invalid, constraining, and outdated?
Checks and Balances
Evolutionaries want to eliminate checks and balances on the federal government because they consider it constraining and outdated.
Constitutionalists agree with the Founders that a check on power is essential to keeping the government balanced. If one branch of the government becomes too powerful, our Constitutional Republic is at risk.
The District of Columbia
Evolutionaries want to make Washington, D.C. a state. This would add two more senators and congress members in the House of Representatives.
Constitutionalists agree with the Founders in that our capital city should be independent. Article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution says that the Seat of the Government of the United States shall be a district that is not to exceed ten square miles. Congress is “to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District.” In other words, it is not designed to be a state. It is the seat of the United States government, not a state or a super-state.
Nationalize Voting Laws
Evolutionaries want to federalize our election system, which could potentially allow anyone to vote, regardless of citizenship or residency. Mail-in-only ballots could possibly become the norm.
The Constitution grants states broad powers to regulate elections in Article 1, section 4.
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the (state) Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.” Notice that first section before the semi-colon. It’s concrete about who’s in charge. Now, on the part about Congress… Here’s an example: let’s say that a state refused to hold congressional elections. Then, the Constitution allows Congress to step in and act to resolve the matter.
I ask, what is best for We the People? Is there an agenda behind proposed changes? If so, what is it? And what about words? Words mean things. What sounds like “fairness” could be an agenda not in line with the Constitution. We have a process for change. In fact, our Founders gave us several processes, like amendments, nullification, or even a constitutional convention. They did not allow change via edict or consensus by pop culture.
We are the keepers of liberty. Now’s our time.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸