Understanding the Constitution

After listening to politicians from both political parties over the years I've come to the conclusion that very few people in this country A) read our Constitution at all and B) of those who do very few understand it.

Patrick Henry put it best when he described the Constitution in the following statement: "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."

It's clear that all the laws protecting us from ourselves or "for our own good" are out right anti-Constitutional in their very nature.  The ONLY role of the government is to protect us from others and to protect us from the government itself.

"No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words "no" and "not" employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights." - Edmund A. Opitz

The roles of the government are clearly defined in Article I Section 8 which reads as follows: 

 Section 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

 No one argues that military spending or running a federal post office is unconstitutional.  They are clearly both defined within the above text as are postal roads etc (although those are among the first thing tax and spenders cry will need to be cut any time someone mentions cutting back the government).

The crux of most anti-Constitutional spending comes down to two words "General Welfare".  It is by those two words alone that things like welfare, national health insurance etc are all justified yet anyone who's read any bit of Constitutional history would know that using those words in such a manor would be corrupting their true meaning.  Madison and Jefferson both made this clear in their writings.

Jefferson once said "Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.He also explained that general welfare meant nothing more then what was stated after it, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

Madison wrote in Federalist 45 "[Congressional jurisdiction of power] is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any."

And yet we allow government to continue to grow and expand its power and we sit around cheering for whichever candidate will give us the most stuff totally outside the powers listed above (paid for with our own money of course) allowing our Constitution to be continually ignored and manipulated.  We all look to the government for national health care, welfare for the poor, aid for victims of tragedy, etc etc etc and it is with each of these programs we allow the Constitution to grow less and less relevant.  It's no wonder we are debating laws limiting freedom of speech and laws talking away our rights to bear arms.  We allow it.  How much more will we allow before we wake up and realize we're no better off then the slaves building pyramids, for we too will be slaves of our government.