How I’m Voting in 2012 or Why You Shouldn’t Vote Third Party This Year

I wanted to quickly list my reasons for voting for Romney and not voting for Obama, why I’m not voting for a third party (and why you shouldn’t either) and my prediction of who will win.

3D Scan of a 20 Week Old Abort-able “Fetus”

Obama has done nothing to stop abortion and supports broadening it. Historically he voted against Bush’s Born Alive Infant Act, not once but three times, saying things like the act “would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable.”  He only supported the bill when saying it contained language that protected the Roe v. Wade when a previous version of the bill was exactly the same.Showing his stripes, he immediately overturned Bush’s (marginal) protection of human beings by overturning the ban on testing embryos by signing an Executive Order (13505) on March 9th 2009 in direct opposition to the Dickey Wicker Amendment until it was overruled by the Appeals court allowing tax dollars to support murder (more on how this entire story was misreported). Obama backs the Freedom of Choice Act which was explicitly designed to flip the Supreme Court’s decision supporting the ban on partial birth abortions. It contains language that gives the right to terminate a pregnancy even after fetal viability to protect the mother’s life or health—where health is undefined and historically includes emotional health.

Obama’s character reflected with presenting the Affordable Health Care Act. Obama defended the taxes in the Affordable Health Care Act as a penalty and explicitly not a tax on the American People. Then, in front of the Supreme Court, his staff argued that it was a tax. The Supreme Court agreed that it was a tax. Obama showed his stripes in blatantly lying to get his way, and continues to applaud this as a win when it’s yet another tax burden on the American people who can’t afford it.

Obama has an explicit bias against a portion of the American population that carries the heaviest tax burden. This small percentage of people pays roughly 50% of the American taxes. Sure, Obama’s comments on the redistribution of wealth (2001) were taken out of context, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he keeps demanding the ones with the heaviest tax burden to pay more. His proposed taxes and policies have increasingly shown he has no problem turning the weight of the government against one class of people and thus setting a fiscally suspect and ill precedent

Obama’s use of the public while abusing Governmental power. He ran his first campaign on nothing but clever marketing  and slick deals and continued to do the same with his second campaign. He ran his first campaign on Bush blaming and continues it into the second: and it is all false (and here and here). This redounds back on his penchant to twist the public in whichever way he wants. It’s ill precedent. He waffles on the problems in Libya and turns our attention to a video casting aspersions on freedom of speech by his actions. He ignores the problems with Government Spending (regarding Social Security or Medicaid) and instead turns our attention to the Rich. He says he’s against extreme rendition and takes steps to prosecute the previous administration, but then silently re-signs his support of extreme rendition—and turns the public eye. He is against Guantanamo Bay, swears he’ll close it, turns the Public Eye and leaves it open. He repeatedly makes use of powers that previous administrations rarely used for the purpose of shutting up the media. He again deflected by placing the blame of certain decisions (sequestration) in the hands of congress. He enacts and upholds unconstitutional laws (NDAA) which outline the imprisonment of American Citizens for an indefinite amount of time and somehow gets it through even with so-called reservations. He points to how rich his opponent is and suddenly money from NoWhere fills his coffers in convenient small amounts so that he doesn’t have to report where the donations come from. No, not only the 2008 campaign, but again in 2012. He repeats the lie that Planned Parenthood is on the frontline of mammograms while they only really provide hands on breasts examination without x-rays. Again and again he turns the eye and refuses to deal with the fundamental problems or fulfill promises or address concerns. There’s a  list here of general character questioning scandals (some I’ve already mentioned), and some within the last month and a half. His character is lacking.

His policies are fundamentally political and then used as an instrument. Historically he didn’t support homosexual marriage until Biden made an “accidental” public remark. Once it was out, Obama came out the next day supporting homosexual marriage. Coincidentally, on the Presidential Election year.  If he had taken a stand on what he said he believed in, he would’ve taken extreme political heat but instead he politicized this and flopped. Now he uses it as a blunt instrument against the opposing party when this was a total politically motivated swing.  Abortion is a hot topic so he brings contraception to the fore with the HHS Mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act while demanding religious institutions to come on board. If not, those places are threatened. And as such, he uses this club to paint people who are against it as hateful religious bigots that need to shut down.

Other concerning things. He signed the Honoring America’s Veteran’s and Caring for Camp  Lejeune Families Act which, although generally alright, demarcates certain protests as not-protected by the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech by punishing them with criminal or civil action. Westboro is evil, but seriously: when you start attacking Freedom of Speech, where do you stop? Well, you keep going. Like the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act which makes it easier to bring criminal charges against protesters by allowing arbitrary redefinition of protected areas. Or the National Defense Authorization Act further expands governmental powers against terrorists but this time in the digital realm—including the detention of American citizens for an indefinite amount of time. He signed it even saying that he had “serious reservations”! If that’s the case, you don’t sign the bloody bill. But no, he merely expands unprecedented governmental powers and shrugs. People rightly flipped when Bush expanded the governmental powers in this way: why is no one flipping out now that Obama is “Bush on Steroids”.

Good outweighed by concerns. He has done some good things, this is true. Some of the bills he supports have good aspects. The Affordable Health Care Act has a bunch of good things. So does the Veteran’s Care. Even the NDAA. But they have a mess of bad things and he still supports them. And then his support of things that are outright evil should be troubling to anyone—especially Christians who should know better.

This leaves why I’m voting for Romney (a non-Christian) and not some other third party.

Not because of Mitt’s problems with Obamacare since he was the founding father of a health care plan that was an early model (though he rightly argues against. a national plan). Not because of Mitt’s flop against abortion which may not or may have been legitimate. Not for his seeming disconnectedness from the people (even though that is patently false if his time in Massachusetts were allowed to speak).

Partially because I think Paul Ryan has a ton of potential though even that isn’t a convincing reason. Mostly, but not primarily, because this upcoming President gets to choose a couple of Supreme Court justices.

There is no third party that has made any convincing waves. Third party votes will detract from where the main campaign is occurring and these policies need to be reigned in.

I’m voting for Romney because Obama shouldn’t be allowed to get a second term to do whatever he wanted to do, but couldn’t do during his first term.

I’m not sure Romney will overturn everything Obama has done; some things that Bush has done should be overturned. Romney has had chances to say and he hasn’t. But even so, I think a vote for him is better than a vote for a third party. I’ll vote for a third party candidate when I can (sometimes locally where it matters, also mid-term elections, maybe if there is someone who really stands out), but this election isn’t that election. I voted for other candidates during the primaries but now there are no viable third party options that stand against what I’ve brought up with the political clout to get it done.

Therefore, I’m voting Romney. You should too.

But even with all this that I’ve posted (and it’s out there), I think many of the American people have bought his act while ignoring his policies. My prediction is that Obama will win anyway. I hope not, but there you go.

Presidential Image: Designed For Voters

It’s that time of the season when the cherry blossoms are in bloom; the cardinals are frolicking with the robins; when the morning dew mingles with the morning showers; and where presidential hopefuls start putting their foot forward. Ah, can you smell feel it?

That’s right, we’re past the mid-term mark and political muscles are flexing while Presidential hopefuls aim at glomming onto any issue.

But in this virtual world, we find that although politics moves fast, image moves faster. And nothing moves your image like a web site, money, networking and a tight-brand: something that politicians before President Barack Obama didn’t really do successfully.


barackobama_07

The President is in the lead with the Dream Design Team. They maintained some of the same elements from the previous incarnation. The genius “O” logo is still prominent. The simplicity is still there. But they also did something very subtle.  The design elements from Barack Obama’s original site was carried over into the White House giving the site a gorgeous look. Previous administrations were big on giving as much information as possible on the White House page.


whitehouse_07

The new design team realized that the problem wasn’t that they had too much content to organize, it was that they had to simplify how it was being received. That they did with the same style of the original campaign site.


whitehouse

The President’s new site is not repeating all of the same design elements. It’s gotten even simpler. Social networking tools that worked for him n the past are in the fore. The call to actions are both prominently placed by yet another genius logo (2O12) . Just about every icon is explained but without being fussy. A solid site.


barackobama

Tim Pawlenty launched his site and it is also tight. The design team here isn’t trying to copy anyone beyond current web practice with a nicely organized and prettified site. The call to action is prominently located beneath the Log-In button (upper right hand corner is primo real estate) and the slider makes a point of constantly calling the reader to Learn More. It is a site that declares the campaign hopes with fists flailing.


timpawlenty

Enter Mitt Romney. When seeing Pawlenty’s site, I can’t help remembering Romney’s ’07 design. Romney, bravely facing the charge, information all prominent, American flag waving. It was so TA-DA! I WAS MADE TO BE YOUR PRESIDENT! It was also overload. The guy wanted to say so much that we couldn’t really see what he was saying. He didn’t learn the lesson of the better designed sites (like McCain’s and Obama’s) which focused on talking points and call to actions.


mittromney_07

The new Romney site is different from all of these while being very much the same. It recalls the simplistic elements of the Obama team—which comes off horrendously. It tries to incorporate the American flag and People into the R (recalling the Land-flag of the Obama logo), it uses a familiar tag line and a beloved typeface (which should have been avoided since it was also used by Obama), and it uses similar call to actions in prominent positions.


mittromney

But it is only a video of a man at a baseball field (recalling the American dream?) asking questions. Instead of flashiness, he’s going with being genuine. This dude has tons of money and could have plastered the site with a hot design but, for an understandable reason, chose something subtle. He wants to try to tap into a wide range of people—dissatisfied Democrats, Tea Partiers, Republicans, and Independents who aren’t committed to either party.  Is he successful? Well, design wise, not really. He could have done all that with a better design (definitely something else with the logo) but we can see what he’s aiming at. Romney for the People—not for Republicans. It’s probably why he’s getting nailed on both sides.

In all, I think that Obama still has the best site so far. It’s probably going to stay that way, too. The brand is consistent, the images are clear, the content unobtrusive, and the call to actions are clear: great job Mr. President.

The Constitution: Three Fifths

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (Previous sentence amended by the 14th Amendment, Section 2)

Although a person didn’t have to be royalty (or rich) to be part of Congress, there were still barriers. Native Americans (Indians), for example weren’t taxed so they didn’t get to be counted as part of the census—they’re not going to be part of Congress. Originally, representatives and “direct taxes” (whatever that means—apparently it could cover just about any form of taxes) to the government among the States of the Union (that being the States which are United under this Constitution thus forming a New Government), were figured out by the addition (or a counting) of all free individuals—including those who are contractually not-Free for a set amount of years.

And it’s here where we come face to face with the original 3/5th Person rule Compromise.

People like to make up things and say that slave owners counted their slaves as sub-human…only 3/5th of a person (like this recent New York Times editorial implies Republicans might push for by reading the Constitution:

In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation. Certainly the Republican leadership is not trying to suggest that African-Americans still be counted as three-fifths of a person.)

Get this: slave owners wanted slaves counted as full persons; abolitionists wanted them rated as non-persons.

Why?

Well, note what’s going on in this section. If you have a State that has more persons counted in a census, you get more representative power in Congress. If you get more representative power in Congress, you have the ability to ensure that the votes are favorable in your direction.

Abolitionists didn’t want to give the slavery-states that Representative power but there was no conceivable way, without destroying the infant Union before it was full born, to deny them some sort of power. Plus, the South had more clout: they were richer, smarter, and fairly powerful. The 3/5th of a person Compromise allowed the South to have their voting power and gave the North some sort of comfort, albeit with some very unfortunate repercussions.

The charts I made earlier can’t be made to work everywhere, I think I can use them here by saying that the Compromise could have been seen as an expansion of State Power but it was really just a way of playing the system.


gov_statepower

The North wound up getting more people and thus more Representatives. If a slave counts as 3/5th of a person, that means the South needed to increase the amount of slaves to ensure they maintain representative power. A slave owner with 100 slaves will need to up his holdings by 67 slaves to ensure he has a good number added to the census. With no language in the constitution addressing the issue (say a degrading scale or something which would make having more slaves eventually a very costly taxable commodity but the South wouldn’t have cared about because they would have been so ahead of the game they could’ve fixed it later or something), the slave business boomed.

That’s overly simplistic though since I’m not really dealing with the history of slavery in the United States but rather reading the Constitution. Anyway, the 14th Amendment adjusted some of that language from this section:

14th Amendment, Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

This, of course, occurred because of the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th amendment which reads:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

It was a point in American History where, if the Constitution were not ratified by the Southern States we would have been worrying about the wealthy Confederate States of America. But even with the ratified Constitution bearing the 13th Amendment we still had problems. Blacks were free, surely, but what rights did they have? Note:

But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Okay, so males over 21 have to be allowed to vote or the state takes a hit regarding their Representation and census counting. Hrmm, that doesn’t seem to get rid of the problem, does it? I mean, if you were a former slave-owner, what would scare you more: taking a Representative hit or having the people you used to own have the right to put new Representatives in place? Sure, no one wants to lose Representatives but Ex-Slaves With Power would have been frightening.

Enter the 15th, the last of the Reconstruction Amendments.

15th Amendment, Section 1 and 2.  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Now it’s made explicit: race, color, or previous state of servitude allows these persons, which are counted and added to the representative base, to vote. To be explicit, their right to vote cannot “be denied or shortened.” They have equal protection under the Constitution.

Of course, that didn’t end things in the South. The ex-slaves and blacks could still be counted as part of the census regarding the amount of Representatives, but they figured out all sorts of ways to stop them from voting. The burning cross on the lawn warned “You’re free to vote, but there will be consequences.”

Both of these Amendments were furthered by the 19th Amendment which states as follows:

19th Amendment The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

So now, we see that the right of citizens (which is the right to vote for representatives and to be taxed as a whole person) is extended to women. Congress is also granted power to implement laws to ensure that this right is not denied.

You would think that this is a power that infringes on the freedoms of the American public, but it technically isn’t. What the Government essentially said was “We are not a government that has Slavery” and “We are a government that doesn’t deny voting from its citizens” and the states ratified those things.

There’s a lot more that can be said but I want to keep trucking along.

Goodbye 2010: Decade in Review and Junk

In our lifetime we’ll only get a few moments to wax poetic and review things from our narcissist pinnacle, and with MCF now being gone from the blogging world, I am left picking up the slacker’s slack. In this post, I want to flashback over the last ten years and declare, as only a person who is overly self-assure can, what is the best-of-the-best-of-the-decade. Of course, this also being the end of 2010, I’ll have to also touch on the Best-of-the-Best of 2010. And maybe, I might just throw in the best of my blog posts, to put a cherry on top of my ego.

This was a crazy 10 years. I went from just getting married in 1999 to being a father of 3 and now owning a second dog. I moved from the capital of the World to the middle of No Where. I went from Art Director to Senior Art Director slash Web Designer. Life is crazy. And here’s the Decade in Review to prove it!

Music: Although somewhat hard, Pearl Jam and Nirvana‘s best stuff is firmly grounded in the 90s so I don’t have to care as much about my choices. And yet, the 2000’s gave us the return of Michael Jackson with Invincible, his first album in 6 years and the last album he’d produce before dying!

News:The news was CRAZY this decade so to try to pin it down only one story is ridiculous. Don’t mind me if I cheat by splitting the categories

Entertainment: I love me my entertainment and I would’ve had some serious problems but we’ve had some real stand outs this decade.

Books:

Tek: Yeah there’s been a whole mess of technological advances so I’m just going to list some tops.

Blog Posts: Narcissim at its best.

The Constitution: Representative Requirements

We noted that Congress is divided into two houses which are to balance each other before any mention of other governmental powers: the Senate and the House of the Representatives. These two form one portion of the powers granted to the government. In this section, it’s great seeing how they’re elected.

Section 2 – The House. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Every 2 years, the people of the states pick their representatives via voting. What’s huge about this is that these representatives are going to serve the entire country and not merely the state. These representatives become, together, the House of Representatives. This stipulation is also important because it means that Representatives aren’t voted in for life: they are truly subject to the will of the People. In Congress, this house of representatives will have more people than the other house (the Senate).

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives have to have certain qualification—but surprisingly very little others: at least 25 years old, been a citizen of the US for at least seven years, and have been an inhabitant of the State in which he is chosen.

So this means that a person who is an inhabitant of another state can’t be a Representative, people who are citizens for less than 7 years (or non-citizens at all), and if they’re under 25.

But one doesn’t have to be royalty, a noble, come from a family of money, own a lot of land—none of that. Not even a level of intelligence is stipulated here. Which is all awesome. It means I am able to be a representative.

The Constitution: All Legislative Powers

Article I: The Legislative Branch

Section 1 – The Legislature: All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

The rules for this new nation have to go about establishing certain offices, departments, and modes of operation. The first listed is the Legislative Branch—which I guess can mean the Part of the Government that Makes the Laws.

This is pretty major on several counts. Kings had executive, judicial and legislative powers—all facets of government were subject to them; Parliament also had that sort of power—although they are a legislative branch, they have sovereignty over the other branches. Parliament has ultimate power and the only thing it doesn’t have power over is future Parliament.

But this Congress is different. It is given all legislative powers, and even some modicum of judicial power (mentioned later) but it is not given ultimate sovereignty.

A question is raised though: can states make laws? Do they have legislative powers?

Well, surely, else the states would never have ratified the Constitution. The “all legislative power” here has to be contextually defined as well as exposed to the light of what’s going on with this newly created government.

In other words, this power is not something that is naturally inherent in Congress, but it is being vested (note the words “granted” and “vested”) in it by the true sovereigns of the new government: the people.

I saw this great example in one of the books I read. If we were to imagine every power that a government could have (like making laws, starting wars, arresting people, torturing citizens, housing armies in homes) and put them into a box we would have the diagram below. This is just governmental power.

What this Constitution is starting to do is draw a line in the box. On one side of the line are powers not granted to the governing body—that we put into the category of infringing on the freedom of the people—and on the other side are powers that are granted to the governing body.

The powers granted in Article 1 are “all legislative” but only as demarcated by the boundaries of its sections. Since this is dealing with the creation of a federal body by the people what we’re seeing is a division of power solely on the side of granted powers. The federal government would have specific powers, as defined by the Constitution—state government would be a separate issue (although the first Article does deal with some of those issues).

So all we’re dealing with here is a portion of the upper right hand quadrant.

America’s “Dear John”: JULY 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The Constitution: Let There Be…A Nation

We the People of the United States…do ordain

I noted that the preamble really wasn’t the setting down of laws, rights or anything but I purposefully didn’t mention the monumental importance of the language that was used.

The States of the Americas were already labeled “united” in the Articles of Confederations—but nowhere near the way that the Constitution was using the term.

Each state functioned, essentially, as its own country. They could make their own currency. They could enforce their own state constitutions. Honestly, they could even go to war against one another (if attacked by invasion). When they became the united States, they were the individual states which, together, signed the articles to form a confederation—not a new government. In other words, they weren’t forming a new government; they were merely in union with certain purposes.

For example: if a law had to be passed, all the states had to agree to it and then they may or may not implement it in their own states. A strange predicament that. But this makes sense if it was merely a sort of non-aggression contract. This is why the Articles of Confederation even allowed Canada to be part of the united (small “U”) States if they so wished. Canada wouldn’t be giving up her sovereignty; she’d only be in union with the other States.

Imagine the situation: States, functioning independently, making different currencies, different laws that didn’t function across borders—and the horror of an angry overseas enemy constantly looming. Sure the Articles stuffed in some language about no State making a treaty with England but it’s still a shaky concept when you consider the fractured history of Europe. If anything, even though the Articles were helpful, they would ultimately be a failure resulting in a fractured landmass under the constant thread of a powerful enemy and no way to deal with all the problems without all the States agreeing to the fixes first.

Enter the Constitution.

It doesn’t speak in terms of States coming into an agreement and then forming this central government by ending the previous system and accepting all sorts of inequities; rather it speaks in terms of the people collectively decreeing something into existence which wasn’t there before. The People are the ones who are speaking and ordaining this central government and this then becomes the (capital “U”) United States.

This is interesting since the ordaining of the United States doesn’t necessitate all the States agreeing on a change in Confederation—this United States didn’t have much to do with the Confederation as it was. This was a new thing.

We see in Article 7 (which we’ll get to eventually) it doesn’t speak of enforcing this United States over all the States by merely nine States agreeing on it, rather it speaks of the United States grounded on the Constitution coming into being via ordination by nine States ratifying the thing.

In effect, in the Americas, you would have Canada (up north), The United States (made up of whatever nine states did ratify it) and then all the other States functioning as other Countries.

As states ratified the Constitution, they entered into this more perfect union of an ordained Government rather than signing a treaty of peace with this New Country. In this way, Rhode Island continued to exist as a separate entity while the United States marched on with George Washington as her President. Once Rhode Island finally ratified the constitution they didn’t form a contract with the United States, they became part of the country already known as the United States.

Therefore, the importance of this “We the People of the United States…do ordain” is monumental, even if it isn’t establishing rights or laws. There may have been attempts at democratic governments in the past, even in ancient Greece and Rome, but such attempts ended at the State level. This government, ordained by the People and for the people and ratified by the People of the States was a new thing: for good or ill, the world would watch would wonder and realize that it would never again be the same.