Quite frequently, it is said, that, our Founding Fathers, while being so brilliant, and so foresighted, could not have imagined the complex society that we live in today. This line, in my opinion, is often used as an excuse, by people who claim to support Limited, Constitutional Government, but, at the same time, want to find a way to justify their respective version of BIG GOVERNMENT.
There is, however, some truth to that claim: For example, The Founders did not know of airplanes, as they had not yet been discovered; let alone, being used as weapons, to be flown into high-rise buildings, in the middle of a highly populated area. Or, the splitting of an atom, which was used to create weapons of mass destruction. If we did not acknowledge some of these things, then, we are not truly being honest with ourselves.
My point of contention, however, is the notion that, our Federal Government, without the consent of The American people, via Constitutional Amendments, can just grow indefinitely, claiming that their intentions are benevolent, and absolutely necessary to keeping our country safe and secure. And, what is more bothersome is, many people just buy into this notion, without any other considerations; again, with the belief that, “if our Government said this needs to be done, then, surely, it must be right”!
To look at this argument with more clarity, I think it is important to look back in history, to the time of our Founders. And, if today’s society, when debating and writing The U.S. Constitution, was truly beyond the Founders’ foresight, then, I could easily argue that, many of the things that our Founders experienced, and many of which inspired their thoughts, when writing The Constitution, are things that are even beyond our imagination, as American citizens today.
• The Quartering Act of 1765, which forced The American Colonists to provide housing, and provisions, to British soldiers.
• The Revolutionary War, and The War of 1812, both, were fought on American soil.
• In the early days of our country, there were some hostile Indian tribes.
• Some Americans had to, endlessly, protect their own property, where little to no Government was available; particularly when pioneering The Western United States.
• Our Founders faced Pirates right off of our American shores.
• Foreign armies were stationed in areas that were not yet part of The United States, and not too far from the original 13 states. Which, likely, imposed an ever imminent threat to our original citizens.
The above, are but a few examples, which I’m sure could be added to; nonetheless, the above examples, demonstrate clearly, that our Founders experienced threats, and dangers, that Americans today could not even conceive of. Yet, this was the same generation of Americans who not only wrote, and ratified, the Constitution, but also governed according to it.
Clearly, our Congress, and President, have a Constitutional duty to provide for our “Common Defense.” And I am not disputing that. I am firmly in favor of rigorously defending our country from foreign hostilities, or invasions. What I, and many other Americans, do stand opposed to, is, this notion that our Federal Government can continually, endlessly, and needlessly, operate outside of their Limited Constitutional authority.
If we, as Americans, continue to enable our Federal Government to grow, endlessly, all in the name of safety, and security, then, we will surely end up with the same type of Government that our Founders so rigorously, and bravely, fought to rid themselves of. And, the very Constitution that they have passed onto us, will end up being no more then a once great document.