Since the birth of our country, and even before, men died for the cause of freedom. They were willing to sacrifice everything they had, including their very lives, because they dreamed of a better place and believed it enough to fight for that belief.
From the sacrifices made by the Revolutionary generation, America was born. But the men who fought so hard for that freedom didn’t stop there. They moved forward, guided by the principle that if given the opportunity, people could and would govern themselves.
They met in the Summer of 1787 to lay the foundation for what would become the greatest democracy the world has ever known.
To them, the Constitution wasn’t just for their time, it was for all time. A living document that set forth the structure of our new government.
During that sweltering summer in Philadelphia, our Founding Fathers planned, debated, compromised, and ultimately gave us a Republic. A representative democracy that separated the powers of each branch of the new government, as well as national and state powers; provided checks and balances to ensure no single entity or group could assume, abuse, or seize power not meant to be theirs; and carefully created a system that provided for fair elections in which ALL states had a voice, not just the largest and most populated. Then they included a Bill of Rights to protect individual liberty, freedom, and opportunity.
They understood that this foundation, this Constitution, would have to be steadfast, but also flexible enough to change with changing times. So, they put in place a process for amending the original document. One that was carefully crafted to encourage change without weakening the foundation.
Since the unanimous ratification of the Constitution in 1788, the Bill of Rights, containing the first ten amendments, was certified (1791). Only 17 amendments have been added since that time. Most of those extended individual freedoms and rights, while others fortified state’s rights. Our election processes, term limits, and our tax laws were all established through the amendment process. Only one amendment has been repealed, the eighteenth, by the twenty-first which ended Prohibition.
Through the years, each successive generation has grown, has stood against tyranny and oppression, and has fought diligently to advance, not only our continued success but human rights and freedoms across the globe. They’ve defended our Constitution and our flag without question and without fail.
We’ve grown as a people and as a country. Regardless of the current climate of unrest and division, we have inherited a country that has worked tirelessly to right past wrongs, defend our founding principles, and strengthen America’s presence and example in the world.
From humble beginnings, we’ve become a nation of freedom and prosperity for millions of people who continue to come to our shores filled with hope and gratitude for the chance to build a better life for themselves and their families.
Now, that very foundation is being challenged. Our system of government, our democracy, our freedoms, and our futures are under attack. Not just financially, but philosophically, morally, and ethically.
In the past few decades, the very things that strengthened us, that made us different from other countries across the globe have been weakened and undermined. Our foundation is crumbling and when it finally collapses, where will we be? What will become of us?
Our education system has let us down. Our justice system, our legislative system, our voting system, our communication system, our democratic processes, and our Constitutional rights are being compromised with impunity.
With so much at stake and with the flow of information increasingly under the control of a biased mainstream media along with big tech, our voices and our right to the free flow of information protected by the First Amendment are being undermined at every turn.
The Second Amendment, which protects our “right to bear and keep arms without infringement” is indeed being infringed upon.
The Fourth Amendment, which protects our person and property from unlawful search and seizure is also being threatened by a two-tiered justice system that seems to be more politically motivated than serving as the advocates for justice they are supposed to be.
The Fifth Amendment is also under attack as supposed perpetrators of the January 6th insurrection are most definitely being deprived of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
And the infringements and abuses go on.
We are engaged in a battle for our very way of life. For the rights and freedoms contained within and protected by our Constitution, and for the preservation of our patriotism, faith, and our heritage.
It’s long been held that a civil society need not be governed. Our society, in the last year and a half especially, has been anything but civil. The powers that be have willingly sacrificed our prosperity and our safety on the altar of an elitist and progressive agenda, that promises security for the few at the expense of the many.
We are standing at the precipice and the only thing standing between them and us is the upcoming mid-term elections. This election is not just about a changing of the guard, it’s about America. What she’s stood for since her birth, and what she will become if the powers working tirelessly to reimagine her go unchecked.
Our election process, despite attempts to hijack and subvert it, is the only thing left at our disposal and our voices have never been more important. Perhaps we are being asked to trust in a process that is no longer trustworthy, but what other choice do we have?
America’s future, our own futures, and that of our children are on the line. Like the perseverance of generations past who, despite every obstacle they faced, rose up to defend and protect her, it is our time now, our responsibility, to raise our voices loudly, decisively, and without hesitation or fear to ensure that “government of the people, by the people, and for the people does not perish from the earth,” Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1963.
That is our right. Protected by our Constitution, ensured by the sacrifices of generations past, and exercised in faith for all the generations yet to come.
JN Fenwick, former American History teacher, history lover, and proud American