As a college professor for 40 years, I instructed the Constitution and Current Events classes and still teach both in LibertyUnderFire.com columns online such as this one. I know the Constitution worked well for every situation this nation confronted in those 40 years.
My current events classes began, "You are not Democrats or Republicans, you are constitutionalists. Every issue presented here will be debated and resolved with this document."
When applied as written it has never failed us and students learned how to use and love it.
The following parts of the Constitution, when followed, demonstrate why tyranny can never gain hold in the United States and why the Constitution remains its principle antidote. Follow along with your own copy of the Constitution.
Every single law must be initiated and passed by elected members of Congress -- the Legislature. After signed into law, the executive and judicial branches were given power only to act on existing law, one to administer and the other to adjudicate.
Lawmakers initially had limited time to make law. Congress assembled on the first Monday in December (Article I, Section 4 ) and our Christian founders wanted to be home for Christmas, December 25. Getting home in time, in a horse and buggy day, gave them less than three weeks to make law. Such limited time was practiced until changed by the 20th Amendment ratified on Jan. 23, 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted the federal government to meet continually.
Lawmakers must adhere to a list in making law, not just make it up (Article I, Section 8). Today neither political party pays any attention to this list. The list gives them only four areas from which to make law: taxes, paying debts, providing for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. The remainder of this, originally one long sentence of 17 paragraphs, were qualifiers on these last two powers, common defense and general welfare so that these were further restricted. The Founders had no intention of leaving these broad phrases unspecified.
The Federal government was limited in the amount of property it could hold to just 10 square miles for a capitol and only land for military purposes which must be purchased and approved by the state legislatures from which taken (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17). Today, federal land encompasses about a third of the U.S., this without any approval other than its own.
Presidents must adhere to a list of areas where they can execute the law found in Article II, Sections 2 and 3. There never was, nor is there today, constitutional language authorizing presidents to make law, executive orders, decrees or mandates. Nor can they combine ancient pieces of law to create a new law. Initially, executive orders were interdepartmental directives.
The Supreme Court must adhere to a list of areas where it can adjudicate the law and be in compliance with two types of adjudication -- original and appellate (Article III, Section 2). There exists no constitutional language authorizing ruling in such a way as to create new law because that belongs to the legislative branch alone. Nor does any language exist enabling the high court to undermine or destroy federalism. Remember the states created the Constitution. Housed permanently within it is shared government or federalism (See Article V and Amendment 10).
The Constitution allows change to it but only through 3/4 vote consent of the states (federalism) -- no exceptions (Article V). This is why enemies of the Republic despise it. They can't go through it, around it or over it. They tried. The Constitution also has no language allowing any authority to be passed to a higher government than itself, such as the United Nations. Globalists have wanted world government since Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations.
States would not ratify the Constitution without a specific list of things the government could not do to them, a Bill of Rights, arranged in order of their preference -- "thou shalt nots." These include Amendment I, the expression rights: religion, speech, press and assembly specifically were denied government control. Amendment II was especially important as it included the right of revolution, the same authority used to revolt against British tyranny. This could not be denied their posterity should government tyranny again prevail. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms" was made nonnegotiable, by "shall not be infringed."
The first three words of the Constitution were "We the People." Amendment 9 wanted it understood that any "enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights" of the people could never mean that these alone were their rights. It would always be "We the People."
But Amendment 10 is today probably the most important sentence in the Bill of Rights and in the Constitution as it places the states between the individual and the federal government to protect him or her from federal tyranny. It established federalism as the heart and protector of the Constitution. It defined how the entire Constitution is to be interpreted. "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." But today it is one of the least applied sentences.
Finally, every officeholder, federal, state and local, is required to give an oath of allegiance to the Constitution. From the president down to every person employed in the armed services, it is in substance similar to the following for the president: "I do solemnly swear ... that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
For these reasons, tyranny can never prevail in America with the Constitution as written. But when it is shredded, as is happening, tyranny will rip through American like a whirlwind.
Harold W. Pease, Ph.D., is an expert on the United States Constitution and a syndicated columnist. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for more than 30 years. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.