by Thomas Sowell
Part 1 :
“We the people” are the familiar opening words of the Constitution of the United States– the framework for a self-governing people, free from the arbitrary edicts of rulers. It was the blueprint for America, and the success of America made that blueprint something that other nations sought to follow.
At the time when it was written, however, the Constitution was a radical departure from the autocratic governments of the 18th century. Since it was something so new and different, the reasons for the Constitution’s provisions were spelled out in “The Federalist,” a book written by three of the writers of the Constitution, as a sort of instruction guide to a new product.
The Constitution was not only a challenge to the despotic governments of its time, it has been a continuing challenge– to this day– to all those who think that ordinary people should be ruled by their betters, whether an elite of blood, or of books or of whatever else gives people a puffed-up sense of importance.
“We the people” are the central concern of the Constitution, as well as its opening words, since it is a Constitution for a self-governing nation. But “we the people” are treated as an obstacle to circumvent by the current administration in Washington.
One way of circumventing the people is to rush legislation through Congress so fast that no one knows what is buried in it. Did you know that the so-called health care reform bill contained a provision creating a tax on people who buy and sell gold coins?
You might debate whether that tax is a good or a bad idea. But the whole point of burying it in legislation about medical insurance is to make sure “we the people” don’t even know about it, much less have a chance to debate it, before it becomes law.