“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The above is the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. In law, the preamble is defined as the introductory part of a statute or deed, stating its purpose, aims, and justification. The Preamble above contains just 52 words, but those 52 words are a part of the entire document and set the basic parameters. Let us look a bit closer look at a few of the key phrases.
We the People... Who are “We the People”? Does it say, “We the Wealthiest People”? I think not. Does it say “We The Most Powerful People”? No, it does not. It states, simply, “We the People”. That includes me, it includes you, and yes, it also includes Ivanka Trump, Rick Perry, Mitch McConnell, Bob Corker, and David & Charles Koch. But it does not, anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, state that any one of those people is to be placed ahead of another, or given more importance or higher value.
Establish Justice … What, exactly, did the framers mean? People looked forward to a nation with a level playing field, one where everybody would be treated equally and fairly.
Insure Domestic Tranquility … The federal government was tasked with keeping the peace, resolving disputes peacefully, rather than encouraging bloodshed in the streets.
Promote the General Welfare … To allow every state and every citizen of those states to benefit from what the government could provide.
Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity … The framers were very concerned that they were creating a nation that would resemble something of a paradise for liberty, as opposed to the tyranny of a monarchy, where citizens could look forward to being free as opposed to looking out for the interests of a king. And more than for themselves, they wanted to be sure that the future generations of Americans would enjoy the same.
Each and every one of these phrases have been violated repeatedly in the eleven months since Donald Trump took office and since the 115th Congress was seated. Time and time again they have made a mockery of not only the preamble, but of the entire U.S. Constitution. There is no more glaring example than the unconscionable “tax reform bill” that was signed into law yesterday. The man in the Oval Office and each and every member of the House of Representatives and the Senate have let We the People down and have effectively thumbed their collective noses at the idea of a democratic republic, turning our government into a plutocracy as surely as I am breathing.
Donald Trump has never read the U.S. Constitution. It is just over 8,000 words, including amendments and takes about 2 hours to read thoroughly. I know, for I have read it many times. I have serious doubts that many members of the 115th Congress have read the document. And yet, each of these people have sworn to uphold the principles put forth within its articles and amendments.
We have all commented, sometimes jokingly, about “alternative facts”, “alternative vocabulary”, and “Newspeak”, comparing the Trump administration to Orwell’s 1984. Well guess what, folks, it’s no longer funny, no longer a joke. We the People has been redefined to mean “They the Wealthy”. Establish justice now means establish a system of tiers of wealth where those in the top tiers are the privileged few. Insure domestic tranquility now means widen the gap between right and left, republicans and democrats, in order to ensure that there will be no cohesive body of citizenry that might stage an uprising against the injustices. Promote the general welfare? This now means cut services to the poor in order to fund the exploits of the wealthy … the general welfare? I think not. And lastly … secure the blessings of liberty must simply be disregarded, for we are now moving ever closer to an autocracy under the wanna-be-king, Donald Trump.
On 20 January 2017, Donald Trump took an oath, swearing to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Within eleven days, he had shredded that document with his unconstitutional Muslim ban, and ever since, he has done everything in his power to circumvent or kick aside the U.S. Constitution. Yesterday’s tax bill favouring 1% of the people of this nation and stomping on the rest of us is yet one more step away from the ideals that are enmeshed in the Constitution. 37% of the people in this nation let it happen, and the rest of us were powerless to stop it. Those 37% deserve what is coming. The rest of us do not.