Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our founding principles transcend time

In an email from The Cato Institute:

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, together, address mankind's most basic political questions. Resting on a firm moral foundation, they articulate the first principles of political organization. Thus, they were meant to serve not merely the 18th century but generations to come, which would face those same basic questions, whatever their particular circumstances, whatever their state of material progress. Because the principles the Founders articulated transcend both time and technology, they will serve us well as we move through the 21st century, if only we understand them correctly and apply them well.

This is why we should always look to the basic principle of an issue - not the issue itself or whether a potential governmental action is 'needed,' 'wanted' or a 'good idea' before acting on it.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson also realized that not only would the Constitution give us a foundation, it was written to prevent unlimited power for a governmental structure, thus ensuring that the basic principles would be adhered to over time.

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people' (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition."

Do you agree?

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