Constitutional Minute #20: The very idea of amendments – Part 1 of 3

Heed the words of Daniel Webster in his 4th of July Oration, 1802:


“The politician that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought as a farmer sets about mending his plow is no master of his trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in one will work an alteration in all; and this cobbler, however pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a miserable piece of patchwork.”


Statecraft is serious business which requires systematic study to master.  Do we have statesmen at any level of government, (federal, State, or local), that dare compare to our founders? Regrettably, it would be hard to name even one in today’s world!


Those who have read Article I, Sec.8, clauses 1-16 of our federal Constitution know that it delegates only a handful of powers (over the Country at large) to the federal government.


They also know that, for the last 100 years, the federal government has violated the Constitution by usurping thousands of powers not delegated.


So what do we do about it?


Those who lobby for amendments say that when the federal government violates the Constitution, the solution is to amend the Constitution.


Now think about that:


When a spouse violates the marriage vows, is the solution is to amend the marriage vows?


When people ignore speed limits, is the solution to amend the speed limits?


When people violate the Ten Commandments, is the solution to amend the Ten Commandments?


Of course not! The solution is to obey your vows, obey speed limits, obey the Ten Commandments,…… and obey the Constitution!!


Bob Hilliard