Yes, I feel it, too. What is going on in the nation? It’s been hard to discuss the Constitution when our country is grieving and a whirlwind is swirling around us. Frankly, one reader confided in me that they are confused. Since this is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship, let’s emphasize “common sense” as we read and respond.
“The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.”
Ok, let’s follow President Washington’s lead on this by going to Article II and discovering what it says about the Executive Branch. What powers and duties does the President have in times like these? Section 2 tells us:
-Commander-in-Chief of Army, Navy, and state militias when called into Federal service when war is officially declared.
-Power over the armed forces is shared between Congress, the President, and the States.
-Congress makes the basic, broader rules for the armed forces.
-The President gives day-to-day orders and more specific rules and regulations.
Why is this power shared? Because We the People elect Congress, the President, Governors, but not the Joint Chiefs of Staff or military commanders. However, members of the cabinet (like the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of State) may be asked for a written opinion. Our Founders reasoned that we could become a military state, not a free republic, if the military had sole power.
Section 3 states that the President “shall take Care (Our Founders didn’t have a shift key, so they used capital letters for emphasis) that the Laws be faithfully executed…” What happens if the Chief Executive does not take Care that laws are faithfully executed? The Constitution provides for impeachment in Section 4 or Amendment XXV where applicable.
The Preamble to the Constitution begins with “We the People.” One of the primary duties of We the People is “providing for the common defense.” What does that mean? We elect the President and Congress to provide for our national defense. Congress is in charge of protecting us at home and abroad by funding the military and declaring war. The President commands and controls military operations as a part of providing for the common defense. That is, he/she is to provide for our protection. The President also engages in diplomatic relations to keep the peace.
Common sense requires Americans to match up what they hear in the news against what the Constitution says. It also requires us to use a variety of news sources. Find sources dedicated to facts over emotions. You can provide your own feelings when you assess what you have heard. What We the People need is truthful facts.
Should official military advice and Congressional input be televised after the fact to protect our military and not give an edge to the enemy? How would this help We the People to provide for our common defense?
Do We the People leave one of us behind? How does this affect the common defense?
What happens when We the People abandon our responsibility to provide for our national common defense? We abandon our common defense when we dismiss what the federal government is doing and figure someone else will do it. How is our general welfare affected when you and I push our responsibilities on to others? How can we establish justice or ensure domestic tranquility (peace) if we read headlines but refuse to search for details?
Keeping the federal government accountable is vital. Why would we hire anyone to do a job and not make them accountable? What would happen if you ran your home or business that way? We the People still have the power and the responsibility for our common defense.
Feel free to comment, but please remember:
Comments need to reflect educational value to the reader; do not name, vent, blame, or shame people or political parties. Complaining doesn’t help. Speak to the points in the above post. No additional links or pictures, please.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸