Constitution Tutorial

Introduction

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God”. (Congressional Oath of Office)

A number of years ago I became concerned about the track America had taken toward a socialist  form of government.  I had passively watched the progress of socialism all my life, but like most Americans, I assumed there was not much I could do about it and, anyway I had my own problems to deal with.  I didn’t have the time to devote to politics and little interest in what was going on.

However, as the government began to encroach with ever increasing frequency into my personal life, I began to pay more attention.  After retiring in 1996, I started doing research into politics, government and early American history. It soon became evident that there was little resemblance between the mixed socialist-capitalist system  I had lived with and accepted for most of my life and the Constitutional republican form of government established by the Founding Fathers.

What really surprised me was how little the average government official seemed to honor, or even understand, the purpose or objective of the Constitution.  This in spite of the fact that every elected official for over two hundred years has taken an oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States”.  Unfortunately, for many the oath of office is simply a formality they are required by law to endure before taking office.  It seems that few are concerned about the significance of their oath, or see any need to consider it in carrying out the duties they have been elected to perform.

This tutorial is intended as a refresher course on the Constitution and our founding principles. In it, we deal with the most common myths that have evolved concerning the Constitution during the past two hundred and twenty two years.  The material is thoroughly researched and relies heavily on the writings of the federalists and anti-federalists who debated and ratified the Constitution in 1788. It is written in plain language that may seem simplistic to some, however the questions raised will hopefully, encourage the reader to think differently about some of the theories they have always taken for granted.

The buttons at the top of the page will help you navigate through the Tutorial. Each segment is a stand-alone unit and does not have to be read in any particular order.  There is an opportunity on each page for your comments if you would like to agree or disagree with the concepts presented.

Contents

Introduction

Limited Powers of Congress

Common Myths About Constitution

  1. The Constitution is a “living document” that changes with the times.
  2. The Supreme Court determines meaning of Constitution.
  3. The Congress can pass any law that is for “the general welfare”.
  4. The Congress can pass any law that is “necessary and proper”.
  5. The “Commerce clause” authorizes Congress to regulate business.
  6. The Constitution places “a wall of separation between church and state”.
  7. The Majority Leader is the Constitutional leader of the Senate.

The Founding Principles

  1. Faith.
  2. Equality.
  3. Unalienable Rights.
  4. Role of government.



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