Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. The Elected or We the People? Who Has the Power? It definitely is a question for our times as we observe the world around us, liberty’s status, and the people’s response to it. Read on, and see what you think. Also, I hope you are finding our newsletter informative, and it’s arrival in your email to be a more convenient time on Saturdays rather than Mondays. So grab your favorite beverage and let’s begin with our first article.
Who in our Constitutional Republic holds the greater power based on our founding documents and principles? Is it We the People or the elected or appointed among us?
You be the judge.
These three words introduce the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution:
“We the People…” The Preamble declares our purpose: to 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. It does not say “We the Powerful” or “They the Elected.” It says, “We the People….”
The Declaration of Independence tells us who grants power to our government: “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men (in other words, the People), deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (you and me).”
What did Abraham Lincoln say about the American form of government in his Gettysburg Address?
“that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Lincoln, then, reiterates where governing power originates in our Constitutional Republic.
ARTICLE II OF the U.S. Constitution establishes the Executive Branch (the Presidency).
The President is to carry out and enforce federal law. Also, the President:
Takes an oath to preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution
Serves as Commander in Chief of the Army, Navy, and state militias (when called into Federal service when war is officially declared)
Gives day-to-day orders and more specific regulations as Commander in Chief
May require the written opinion of cabinet officials
Pardon offenses (before, during, or after indictment or conviction) except impeachment
Makes treaties with consent of two-thirds of the Senate
Appoint Supreme Court Justices, Ambassadors, principal Federal officers with advice and consent of the majority of the Senate
Gives information to Congress
The Tenth Amendment states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
So, if it’s not in the Constitution and not prohibited by the Constitution, the power then goes to the States or to the People. In other words, the federal government only has the power that We the People delegate to it through the Constitution.
So, who has the greater power? How we answer this question dramatically affects our lives.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸