Constitution 101: Opening Statements

const_flagPatriot’s Day: April 19, 2009 The Constitution for the United States of America is an amazing document. In its entirety it is only four pages long, hand written on parchment, measuring 28 3/4 by 23 5/8 inches, having a grand total of 4,543 words, if you include the signatures of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Yet in under 5000 words, the drafters of this document outlined an entire system of government. If you ask me, that is a pretty incredible accomplishment for a document that contains so few words. Compare that to the very first Harry Potter book, which contains 76,944 words.

It’s a shame so few people have taken the time to read it. It is sadly ironic that people will take the time to read their morning newspaper, which contains far more words, yet ignore the document that breathed life into their government.

It seems, particularly so amongst the younger Americans, that we have become a very uneducated, and ungrateful bunch of spoiled little brats. We take our liberty for granted, never thinking about the price paid by our founders to secure it for us.

I don’t know for sure who is to blame for this, but I am absolutely certain that our schools share a good portion of the blame. I know history is often a boring subject, but we ignore it at our own peril. Philosophers have said that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Maybe that is why Noah Webster said, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”

Anytime you wish to explain something to someone, it is essential that they understand the foundations, or principles upon which the topic rests upon. You would not tell someone to go make some adjustment to the engine of your car unless you were certain they understood how the engine worked, or what they were doing, would you?

I remember when I was visiting a friend, his sister came in and said her car kept overheating. My friend told her to go add some water to the radiator after it had cooled down. Awhile later we went out to see her standing there with the garden hose stuck into the oil filler cap. Needless to say, she had only made matters worse.

The same principle applies when discussing our government. If you don’t know the purpose and the limitations placed upon our government, how can you be expected to make informed decisions about something as important as to who will make a good President, or Congressman?

We have gone so long under the assumption that our government is our master, that they are there to dictate to us what we can and cannot do. That is not the case folks! Even the United States Senate says so, as stated on the U.S. Senate webpage,, “Written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in operation since 1789, the United States Constitution is the world’s longest surviving written charter of government. Its first three words – “We The People” – affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens.”

What they have been serving us is a different story altogether. All I can say is, that having studied the Constitution, and the writings of our founders, it isn’t what, those who fought and died to preserve our liberties, had intended.
Therefore, being the kind of guy that I am, always looking to assist people, I will just have to sit down and try to explain the Constitution to those who are unaware of what it says.

This will be an ongoing series, with segments done as time permits. I hope, in the end, that people will have a better understanding of what our founders intended, and how far we have strayed from their vision of a land of liberty and limited government.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
Satan shudders and says “OH SHIT!!…. HE’S AWAKE!!”

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

~ The Author ~
ross_authrNeal Ross can be reached for comments at Visit Neal’s Blog at

The Ross Archive on The Federal Observer

One thought on “Constitution 101: Opening Statements

  1. Tilghman Scott

    I congratulate you !

    At 79, I still read American History and I learn every day.

    Sincere thanks,

    Tilghman Scott


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