In the Founder’s Corner
Scott N. Bradley
Part One of a Seven Part Series
In order to make appropriate decisions regarding government and governance, proper principle must be understood and applied. Principle must begin to take precedence over party and popularity if nations, states, and communities are to begin again to enjoy the fruits of proper government!
Proper principle, and proper government, can be found within the scope and bounds defined within the United States Constitution! It is sound and good! We must use all of the influence we can rightfully bring to bear to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound.
The purpose of this seven part series is to introduce and review a few points which are critical to the survival of our liberty under the United States Constitution. These points are not the sum and substance of all the critical points which need be understood, but they are a beginning, and apply to all other issues. Several high-level, broad-brush points that are essential to the preservation of our proper government and our liberty will be briefly touched upon. The words of the Founding Fathers of this nation will be used to demonstrate their position in regards to each of these principles. While the constraints inherent within a brief column will prevent a full exposition of each principle, it is hoped that there will be enough information for thoughtful readers to digest and retain these pivotal points which may be applied to any subject pertaining to the national government.
All of the points made will hearken back to what we term the “original intent” of the founders of this nation.
As he assumed the office of President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson confirmed the importance of keeping the Constitution within the bounds of “original intent,” saying:
“The Constitution on which our Union rests shall be administered by me according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption—a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated, not those who opposed it.…These explanations are preserved in the publications of the time.” (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Bergh 10:248. [1801.])
It is from this perspective that these issues shall be addressed.
The first point that must be made pertains to the Source of our Rights—that source is God. We look to the Declaration of Independence, wherein we read:
“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...”
Government is NOT to be the source of rights, for what it grants, it may remove.
The second point that must be understood is the Purpose of Government. Again we go to the Declaration of Independence to read the concise purpose as defined by the Founding Fathers. Therein we read:
“...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it....”
So, it is the purpose of government to preserve God-given Rights, and it is the right of the people to alter or abolish any government which is destructive of this purpose.
If freedom is to prevail, government must have a very specific and limited purpose. Liberty cannot reign if government becomes the all encompassing leviathan that American government has metastasized into. If government encroaches into virtually every aspect of our lives, we have strayed far from the divine formula for freedom which was established as this nation was founded.