The Purpose of Government as Defined by the US Constitution

The framers of the US Constitution, meeting in Philadelphia in 1787 were tasked with codifying the framework of government that the newly independent, loosely confederated American colonies might adopt as its charter, founding document, it’s raison d’être, to borrow a wonderful French term, its ”reason for being”,… its purpose.

The framers don’t leave the reader in suspense very long. In the opening words, the famous Preamble, they lay out the ends they seek, the purpose for which their labors to craft a document for consideration has been undertaken. 

I quote directly, the elegantly stated opening of the wikipedia page on the Preamble:

”The Preamble to the United States Constitution, beginning with the words We the People, is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution’s fundamental purposes and guiding principles. Courts have referred to it as reliable evidence of the Founding Fathers’ intentions regarding the Constitution’s meaning and what they hoped the Constitution would achieve.”

And the Preamble itself:

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.

There are six, integrated, delineated co-equal ”reasons” listed in sequence in the Preamble, that the Constitution and the Government it establishes is designed to achieve. Or six problems that the Constitution and resultant Government, taken as a whole, must solve. 

They are:

  1. to form a more perfect Union
  2. establish Justice
  3. insure domestic Tranquility
  4. provide for the common defence [sic]
  5. promote the general Welfare
  6. secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

This will be basic for some readers. Others, many of my acquaintance, ascribe to themselves knowledge of the purpose of the Constitution, and yet are ignorant, having never really read and internalized these six, foundational reasons for the existence of the government of the United States of America as framed by the Constitution. 

This ignorance allows for one to be led astray and taken captive by charisma and falsehood towards a version of America the framers never envisioned.

Any politician or political party that does not fully embrace and tirelessly commit to ALL six of these reasons as the ends they seek to achieve by their rhetoric and their policies, has abandoned the foundational principles of the American experiment. Likewise, such an entity makes themselves an enemy of the State. These should serve as the guiding beacon to all citizens when considering candidates for political office. These should serve as the standard to which all elected officials are held in their official capacities, statements, and efforts.

Though, I am the least qualified person to do an exhaustive study of the questions involved, nevertheless, I will make an attempt, in language that is my own, to look at these six stated reasons, believing, as I do, that the only hope of the America we know and love surviving the recent turmoil and attacks against Her, requires that those of us who love Her, do our utmost to guide ourselves and each other back to the founding principles.

2 thoughts on “The Purpose of Government as Defined by the US Constitution”

  1. Pingback: The 4th of July, 5 Uses of Rights in the Declaration, and the Idea of America : Greg Proffit Writing

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