Mike Friesen, i don't know where you are from, but i can't expect you to understand something you have never had. no where else on the planet do you have the freedoms liberties and protections from intrusions upon by the government no matter the pretenses.
"Why do they change it every once in a while?"
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe."
"We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts--not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
yes the constitution was fallible, everything man kind does is fallible, we are but mere imperfection striving for better or for worse. spying is not wrong in many parts of the world, not every one was raised with the sense of right and wrong you have. the world does not follow the roman codes of law still, but those roman codes as imperfect as they were still influence the world today chief among them money, government of many instead of by one individual from the greeks.
Moses gave the children of Israel the most sublime principles of government and human behavior, which would have led them to the most prosperous society ever. But he seemed to know that after his departure it would be difficult to hold. No doubt he knew from personal experiences that the Israelites would soon depart from his inspired counsel. He said: "For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?" (Deuteronomy 31:27) He even predicted that they would eventually fall from being the most prosperous and blessed nation on earth into a state of slavery, devoured by other nations, and losing the great blessings of freedom.
The Warnings of Benjamin Franklin
Franklin served as one of the foremost architects in structuring the Constitution, and while most of the Founders were congratulating one another on their remarkable charter of liberty, Benjamin Franklin injected this note of prophetic insight.
"I agree to this Constitution ... and I believe, further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other."
All of this went along with Franklin's basic philosophy of sound government; namely, that no people can remain free if they become wicked and immoral.
When a society decays to the point where people begin to fear for their lives and their property, the demands for a police state have always been inevitable.
The Warnings of George Washington
One of the most significant doctrines set forth in the Farewell Address was Washington's extremely insightful warning concerning the peril of allowing candidates to be nominated and national policies to be promoted by competing political parties. In fact, he prophesied exactly what would happen if the American leaders ever fell into the seductive trap of trying to run the nation with opposing parties. He said:
"They serve to organize factions ... to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority....
"Let me ... warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party...."
Almost prophetically he anticipated the encroachment of one branch of government over the others. He said:
"It is important ... that ... those entrusted with its administration ... confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department any encroachment upon another.... The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create ... a real despotism."
Nothing aroused the wrath of Washington more than arrogant bureaucrats actually changing the fundamental structure of government by sheer despotic assertion of administrative power. He said:
"If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpations; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."
The Warning of John Adams
Among the warning voices of the Founders none was more forceful in proclaiming the need for a virtuous people to make the Constitution function than John Adams. He said:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
The Warnings of Thomas Jefferson
During his two terms as President, Jefferson detected some evil and subversive trends which were luring the American people away from the original Constitution. Notice how direct he was in pointing the finger of accusation at the judiciary for corrupting the original constitutional plan:
"Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit, by consolidation first, and then corruption.... The engine of consolidation will be the federal judiciary; the two other branches the corrupting and corrupted instruments."
In other words, the Supreme Court uses its judicial mandates to draw more and more power to Washington; then the Congress and the Executive use this new power to shatter the Constitution and corrupt the dual federalism which was designed to balance the political powers between the government and the states.
Once Jefferson's distant cousin, John Marshall, became chief justice of the Supreme Court, Marshall set himself and his associates up as the "final arbiter" on all constitutional issues. Nowhere in the Constitution was the federal judiciary given the power to enforce its will on the states or the other two federal departments. Jefferson had the Supreme Court in his gun sights when he wrote:
"The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting with noiseless foot and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step and holding what it gains, is engulfing insidiously the [state] governments into the jaws of that [federal government] which feeds them."
The Warnings of James Madison
Madison was known to be the philosophical soul-mate of Thomas Jefferson, but sometimes his contemporaries considered him somewhat paranoid and suffering from fears for the nation that would never happen. But the passing of time was to prove him more insightful than many of his contemporaries had thought. He said:
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely, for the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, the establishing in like manner schools throughout the union; they may assume the provision of the poor.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America."
The Warnings of Abraham Lincoln
At the age of twenty-eight, Abraham Lincoln gave one of the great speeches of his life. He had been asked to speak at the Young Men's Lyceum at Springfield, the capital city of Illinois. He chose as his subject, "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions." The date was January 27, 1837. Lincoln deplored the spirit of lawlessness that was increasing among the people. He said:
"There is even now something of ill omen amongst us. I mean that increasing disregard for law which pervades the country -- the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passion in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice. The disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours ... it would be a violation of truth to deny."
He was not afraid of invasion from without, but he saw the ominous possibility of self-destruction from within. He said:
"At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reaches us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide."
Special Introduction By Hon. John T. Morgan
In the eleven years that separated the Declaration of the Independence of the United States from the completion of that act in the ordination of our written Constitution, the great minds of America were bent upon the study of the principles of government that were essential to the preservation of the liberties which had been won at great cost and with heroic labors and sacrifices. Their studies were conducted in view of the imperfections that experience had developed in the government of the Confederation, and they were, therefore, practical and thorough.
When the Constitution was thus perfected and established, a new form of government was created, but it was neither speculative nor experimental as to the principles on which it was based. If they were true principles, as they were, the government founded upon them was destined to a life and an influence that would continue while the liberties it was intended to preserve should be valued by the human family. Those liberties had been wrung from reluctant monarchs in many contests, in many countries, and were grouped into creeds and established in ordinances sealed with blood, in many great struggles of the people. They were not new to the people. They were consecrated theories, but no government had been previously established for the great purpose of their preservation and enforcement. That which was experimental in our plan of government was the question whether democratic rule could be so organized and conducted that it would not degenerate into license and result in the tyranny of absolutism, without saving to the people the power so often found necessary of repressing or destroying their enemy, when he was found in the person of a single despot.
When, in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville came to study Democracy in America, the trial of nearly a half-century of the working of our system had been made, and it had been proved, by many crucial tests, to be a government of "liberty regulated by law," with such results in the development of strength, in population, wealth, and military and commercial power, as no age had ever witnessed.
[See Alexis De Tocqueville]
De Tocqueville had a special inquiry to prosecute, in his visit to America, in which his generous and faithful soul and the powers of his great intellect were engaged in the patriotic effort to secure to the people of France the blessings that Democracy in America had ordained and established throughout nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. He had read the story of the French Revolution, much of which had been recently written in the blood of men and women of great distinction who were his progenitors; and had witnessed the agitations and terrors of the Restoration and of the Second Republic, fruitful in crime and sacrifice, and barren of any good to mankind.
He had just witnessed the spread of republican government through all the vast continental possessions of Spain in America, and the loss of her great colonies. He had seen that these revolutions were accomplished almost without the shedding of blood, and he was filled with anxiety to learn the causes that had placed republican government, in France, in such contrast with Democracy in America.
gutenberg.org/ (Enter Democracy in America in the title field and you’ll find both volumes. Even if you just read the beginning of volume one, you’ll begin to better understand what the Great American Experiment is all about.
The Warnings of Alex De Tocqueville
In 1830 a young judge from France arrived in America. His name was Alexis de Tocqueville. He came to study the American system. He and his friend soaked up more information about the great American experiment in ten months than most scholars absorb in a lifetime.
Returning to France, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote a two-volume work entitled, Democracy in America . De Tocqueville saw the people of the United States passing through several distinct stages.
First of all, he saw the strength of character and moral integrity that would make them prosperous. But as they became self-sufficient he saw that they would be less concerned about each other and much less concerned about the principles that made them a great people. This would leave them vulnerable to the manipulation of clever politicians who would begin to promise them perpetual security if they accepted certain schemes contrived by some of their leaders. He then described what modern students have been led to identify as "democratic socialism.":
"That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood; it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.
"For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances -- what remains, to spare them all the care of thinking and the trouble of living."
"After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned them at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.
"The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided -- men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till [the] nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."
Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that... the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.
"On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry
ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect
the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning
may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the
probable one in which it was passed."
"The legitimate powers
of government extend to such acts
only as are injurious to others.
But it does me no injury
for my neighbor to say
there are twenty gods, or no God.
It neither picks my pocket
nor breaks my leg."
reasons for changing the constitution were because the founders knew it was not perfect and at that time could not come to a consensus based upon the values every one was equal, thomas jefferson was against slavery, but had he come right out and said that all slave owners or representatives of slave states would have refused to sign any agreement or pact with him, so as a writer and framer he and others settled for leaving or contract with the government amendable for change, for the world does not always stay the same and there was room for greater improvements that they all could not agree upon at the time, and did not have centuries to hammer out. here is an example surmised by abraham lincoln:
"I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence," he said in 1861. Those sentiments sprang from the Declaration's most important, animating idea, that all men are created equal. Not equal in what they were or what they had made of themselves, perhaps, but equal in the common possession of the same quotient of natural rights with which everyone else was equipped. "The authors of that notable instrument," he had once cautioned, "did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects." But they did define "with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal—equal in certain inalienable rights.... This they said and this they meant." In Lincoln's understanding, all men are created equal meant that the most ordinary of people had been created with the same set of rights to life, to liberty, and to self-advancement as the most extraordinary, that no one was born either with a crown upon his head or a saddle upon his back. "Most governments," he wrote in a brief sketch in 1854, "have been based, practically, on the denial of equal rights of men." The American Founders had taken a different route; they made what Lincoln called "an experiment," to see whether in fact democratic self-government was really a possibility.
More than the founders had any reason to expect, Lincoln believed that this "undecided experiment" had now emerged as a "successful one." Of course, that depended on how one defined success. The reply of the cynics, the aristocrats, and the disappointed was that the American success was only temporary. Let some challenge of continental proportions overtake them, and all of these equal men would begin quarrelling obscenely with one another. With no superior class to restrain them, these noisy, self-advancing boors would tear the country apart, while the rest of this shopkeeper nation would scarcely bother to turn their attention away from the pursuit of business. "When you have governed men for several years," Otto von Bismarck warned France's Jules Favre, "you will become a Monarchist. Believe me, one cannot lead or bring to prosperity a great nation without the principle of authority—that is, the Monarchy."
Precisely such an issue was buried deep in the beginnings of the American republic itself. The founders tolerated the existence of chattel slavery in the new "experiment," despite its obvious contradiction of the principle that everyone was, by nature, free and equal. But the founders also expected that this was a problem which could be left to cure itself. Lincoln concluded that "[t]he framers of the Constitution intended and expected the ultimate extinction of that institution." So the Constitution in 1787 permitted the Northwest Ordinance (banning slavery from the Northwest Territories) to stay in effect, sanctioned the banning of the slave trade, and even turned linguistic somersaults to avoid actually using the word slave. "The theory of our government is Universal Freedom," Lincoln insisted, which is why "the word Slavery is not found," and euphemisms are instead substituted in which "the slave is spoken of as a person held to service or labor.... Thus, the thing is hid away, in the constitution" and deliberately "omitted that future generations might not know such a thing ever existed."
an america founder said:
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government,
so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution
so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31)
not a founding father but still an american president:
"Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.... If the next centennial does not find us a great nation ... it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."
James Garfield, the twentieth president of the United States, 1877
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."
"Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom."
"History, in general, only informs us what bad government is."
Thomas Jefferson (1807)
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."