235 years, are we the people still in charge?
Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022
BY SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN
Two hundred and thirty-five years ago, America’s founders endorsed a revolutionary idea: We the People should control the government, not a monarch or unelected council of bureaucrats. In the years since the Constitution’s signing, leftist political movements have waged unrelenting attacks against it. With Constitution Day quickly approaching, it is important to reflect on how our founding document has survived these challenges and remained a guiding light for the nation.
During its inception, each line in the Constitution came under extreme scrutiny and fierce debate. The 39 men who signed the Constitution had just rejected a monarch determined to wield his power over the new colonies and were careful not to foster this same environment on American soil. The Constitution made good on the promises of the Declaration of Independence by reserving most power for the states and the people and guaranteeing equal treatment under the law.
Forged in the wake of a hard-fought battle, the Constitution was designed to persevere, not crumble under political pressure. Its tenets make it a bulwark against tyranny but also a prime target for those looking to infringe on the will of the people. Last month, a New York Times guest essay called the Constitution “broken” and urged readers to defy it. A recent survey of Democrats found that nearly 60% think the Constitution is “sexist” and “rooted in racism,” and almost half believed it should be rewritten entirely.
This outcry is a direct result of the left’s inability to force their political agenda on the American people. Try as they might, legislation that would jeopardize the integrity of the ballot box, allow politicians to pack the Supreme Court, or redefine the meaning of “free speech” continues to fail in Congress. Still, radical politicians in Washington remain undeterred and have made it clear they will do whatever it takes to centralize power and reverse the intentional balance laid out in the Constitution.
But what party leaders don’t realize is that the Constitution itself was born out of rebellion. It was crafted to strengthen the individual, not the government. It pushed aside partisan priorities and put We the People at the center of our nation. It is these Constitutional values that have guided the United States of America to become a shiningCity upon a Hill.
On Constitution Day, we have the opportunity to appreciate the vision our founders laid out and work to preserve it for generations to come. In Tennessee, my office is dropping off copies of the Constitution to local schools to help ignite a conversation about civic engagement. Beginning these discussions early on will help instill the values that set this country apart. In our own communities, we can put these ideals into action by making our voices heard at city council meetings, running for office, and volunteering at the polls on Election Day.
The ideas established in our Constitution are still controversial 235 years later, but they remain just as important. The only way to defend them is for We the People to engage. By standing up to partisan attacks, we can help preserve the Constitution’s sacred purpose and protect the American Dream that our founders fought for.
(Sen. Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate.)