We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
For anyone that does not recognize that, the preceding is the preamble to the Constitution. The role of this critical piece of our nation’s history provides context for the rest of the document, it provides context for interpretation. This is similar to the role of legislative history in interpreting a statute; the process of interpretation begins with looking at the plain language of the text, and then, where the plain text is ambiguous, we look for context. So let’s look at the context this provides for the foundation of our nation’s legal system.
The first and most important phrase here is “we the people.” This is the foundation of freedom and is the ultimate guard against tyranny. Our nation was founded on the basis of a representative government. A government in which the people were represented rather than lead. Everything else that follows stems from the premise that our government is a representative form of government who’s purpose is…
After “we the people” the preamble continues to explain the purpose of the government being formed. “In order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…” This is the explanation for why “we the people” decided to form this nation and represents the foundation for which the rest of the Constitution should be interpreted.
By no means do I have the time to argue the implications of this interpretive approach to all of the laws of the nation in this piece but, in light of current events, I think it important to remind people that this line of thinking is critical. Further, to support that this approach is not outdated, I remind everyone of Article V of the Constitution that provides for the amendment process. Our founders were brilliant enough to allow for changes to be made should the document become outdated but made sure the process was difficult enough that it could not occur arbitrarily.
With all this in mind, let’s talk about current events. On September 1, 2022, Joe Biden gave a political speech with a military presence in an ominous red background. He appeared more dictator than President and quite clearly positioned himself as an appointed leader rather than a representative of the people. In fact, he actually suggested that approximately half of the people in this country were potential threats to our nation’s security. I am unsure how this fits with a government formed by “we the people” in which he is to be a representative of our nation’s interests.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic,” said Biden. “MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of the law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election.” Does this sound like he is working to “establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity?” If you think so I would have to question your integrity.
There are serious threats to the foundations of our republic at this point, but they are not coming from “MAGA Republicans” that are engaging in their responsibility to preserve freedom by remaining eternally vigilant; it is coming from those that state that questioning the government of “we the people” is somehow wrong. Not only did Biden’s speech represent a real threat to our republic, it also was the epitome of hypocrisy. After 4 years of endless attacks on the Trump administration, the people most behind it are now stating that we “do not recognize the will of the people.” Were they recognizing the will of the people when facilitating Russiagate? How about when they were trying to impeach Trump on false charges… multiple times?
In light of this, I ask whether Joe Biden’s speech or recent actions has been in line with anything in the purpose statement of our Constitution? Has his FBI raid on Mar O Lago established justice? Did the divisive nature of his speech or implied threats against a huge portion of Americans ensure domestic tranquility? Did the military presence at his speech demonstrate a common defense? Have his numerous policies promoting censorship and discrimination based on ideology, religion, or health promoted general welfare as opposed to resulting in people with differing views losing their jobs and being ostracized? And most importantly, have his constant attacks on the First Amendment (and the rest of the Constitution) done ANYTHING to secure the BLESSINGS of liberty (I think he would reject the word blessings)? Ultimately, I would say the answer is clear, the question is what are you doing about it?