Cannonball Read V: The Constitution of the United States
Here's the thing. I am a liberal. Unabashed. Unapologetic. Unlikely (Born and lived my entire life in Texas).
As a Texan I hear quite a lot of talk from conservatives. Or from those who call themselves Conservatives. Capital C. They tend to be pretty loud and like to refer to things as being unconstitutional. Some of their favorite phrases are FOUNDING FATHERS! and ORIGINAL INTENT! And TENTH AMENDMENT!
So, I decided to take up arms. By reading the actual document again. And the Federalist Papers. And the Anti-Federalist Papers. And just for good measure the Declaration of Independence and the Mayflower Compact. That's a lot of eighteenth century language to absorb but I think I have a pretty good feel for what these guys were going for when they put together this country I live in.
It's pretty simple, really.
Freedom. For all.
Well, for most, at first. Women and minorities came later, but that is an important point, I believe. They DID come later. Because the country changed. Became more enlightened. We figured out that All means ALL. Not just the moneyed few. Not just the land owners. The Constitution does not refer to "tax payers". When rights are mentioned, it doesn't call us "voters". It talks about people and citizens. This is a distinction that gets missed but it may be the most important thing to take away when reading this document.
I have a few friends, yes, friends, who are Republicans. One man I consider to be one of my best friends. He knows I would do anything for him and I know the reverse is true. We disagree on most political matters, but we are able to talk about those differences, usually calmly. We probably haven't changed each other minds on much, if anything, but we maintain a dialogue, and have remained friends.
When reading about the writing of The Constitution and the establishment of the government, it becomes apparent that these men did not agree on everything. Things sometimes got heated and angry words were exchanged. But in the end, they got the job done. People holding opposing sides of an issue made compromises for the betterment of this infant country.
The Constitution started out as an imperfect document, and there have been a few challenges over the years. But along the way, I think we have striven to "form a more perfect union."
May that always be the case.
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