A CONSTITUTIONAL PATH TO RESTORING AMERICA'S GREATNESS.
Our United States of America is an exceptional country. No other nation has afforded such a wealth of opportunities to its citizens, and none has provided an environment conducive to such immense achievements in such little time. But these are not the primary reasons for her exceptionality. Rather, America's greatness stems from three foundational qualities: 1) her people's fervent faith in God; 2) a constitutional foundation for laws that protect the rights, properties, and liberties of her citizens; and 3) an economic system that incentivizes personal achievement and rewards innovation.
Over the past century, however, America has relaxed her jealous protections over these precious foundational attributes. Her peoples' reliance on government has increased at the expense of their reliance on God and family. Her citizens' sense of morals and ethics has diminished. Americans' valuation of individual achievement has eroded. And these trends have continued unchecked at a time when she is faced with some of the most daunting challenges in her history.
Traditionally, when faced with common enemies, Americans have relied on their strength and on their seemingly unending resolve to persevere. However, today, Americans doubt whether their great country will meet the overwhelming challenges facing her. They wonder if their nation even has the capacity to succeed. But in their doubts, they forget the tools that propelled the nation to greatness.
Two hundred twenty seven years ago, our country was on the brink of collapse. There was no set of rights enshrined around the individual, no workable structure for governance, no centralized system of currency, no authority for creating and maintaining a standing militia, no ability to compel the states or the people to supply funds in support of the national government, no consolidated leader, no ability to regulate commerce between the various states, and no unified approach to relations with other nations. Faced with these overwhelming challenges, the nation's leaders united to create a groundbreaking framework through which to forge a new nation. Despite the immensity of the issues that divided them, despite their wide cultural differences, and despite their questionable authority to even engage in a meeting to create a new government, these men identified the problems poised to destroy their country and arrived at a solution. That solution was the United States Constitution. This astonishing document not only saved the nation from certain ruin, it propelled the United States to unparalleled greatness.
True to their belief in a government grounded upon the will of the people, the Framers would not force their plan upon their fellow citizens. Instead, they demanded it be the citizenry's decision whether to approve their blueprint for a new government.
In the state of New York, three men- Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay- combined their efforts to dispel the misrepresentations and skepticisms that emerged among the populace. Towards this end, they wrote a series of 85 articles between 1787 and 1788 designed for publication in the popular press. The articles, named The Federalist by Hamilton, were eventually known as The Federalist Papers, and through them, these men created, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "the best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written." Largely due to their efforts cataloguing these timeless principles, the Constitution was ultimately adopted, the country was saved, and the United States was born.
Today, we face different challenges, some of which are possibly as threatening as those that afflicted our fledgling country at the time of its formation. Once again, the citizenry finds itself looking for solutions. Now, as then, there is a need for leadership to rise and boldly face these problems. But our abilities to respond are in many ways more hampered than they were in the 1780s and 1790s, for back then, the people had faith that they would eventually overcome their challenges. Today's America finds itself questioning whether the tools necessary to solve the problems plaguing modern American society are even available.
I submit that the solutions and tools needed to meet and overcome the nation's challenges are not unobtainable. They have merely been abandoned. Corresponding with this idea, the purpose of this work is to reexamine and re-acknowledge the greatness of America's foundations and to identify how those foundations are as equally applicable today as they were 227 years ago. Our voyage begins by recounting the events leading to the creation of our Constitution and the forces of human nature the Framers tried to address in devising their new government. We will visit the original workings of our Constitution as the Framers intended them and discuss how its present manifestation differs from the original version. We will then examine some of the factors that weakened our great nation and evaluate how they may be overcome with the aim of restoring a nation.
Ultimately, I hope this effort will be part of a bigger movement aimed at allowing our nation to overcome the challenges afflicting her. Most of all, I hope the insights gained from this work endow its readers with a renewed vigor for the pursuit of a greater happiness and a resolve to aim for levels of national greatness that had not previously been achieved.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
The Federalist Pages.
Available October 19, 2016.
A Must-Read Book by Dr. Julio Gonzalez
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