by Brent West, College Republican Vice President
This Saturday, Sept. 17, is Constitution day. On this date in 1787, the United States Constitution was adopted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This document, which has remained the supreme law of the United States for over 200 years, has provided the structure of one of the most successful Constitutional Republics of the modern world, as well as safeguarded American freedom.
Despite it being written so many years ago by men who lived drastically different lives from the typical modern American, it is still relevant in the daily lives of American citizens.
So how does it affect the lives of the American people today and why should people care about it’s continuation? The answer lies in the basic principles laid out by the Founding Fathers. The great majority of the delegates were adults during the revolutionary war and had recent memories of the rule of Great Britain.
They saw the problems with a Parliamentarian government that did not represent all of its population, a King that had too much power without proper checks, and the dangers of having an established state religion with the King at its head.
What they created was not just a government, but a government with restraints, proper checks of power, and the duty to protect the inalienable rights of its citizens. They had the foresight to leave it in more general terms so that it would cause debate, lead to compromises, and to not limit its usefulness to future generations.
Without it, there would be no basis for the government to create laws nor any restrictions on its power, subjecting the people to arbitrary rule without any representation.
The Constitution is far too important to be taken for granted, however. It must be defended actively.
As history shows, the Federal government has at times violated it in cases such as putting Japanese-American citizens in internment camps during World War II, gag acts, and the unequal treatment of people due to their religion, race, and creed.
It is the duty of United States citizens to know their rights, the limitations of its government, and to defend the guiding principles of America by any enemy. For it is not simply ink on parchment written by aging white males, but a way of life for its citizens.