The Constitution: Preamble

This series might be long. It’s going to be an examination of the Constitution of the United States and reflecting areas of concern. Most people find that their concern is localized to the amendments. I’ll sometimes deal with Amendments while dealing with the text. I’ll also ignore the spelling on some of the words of the original constitution (like defence and chuse)

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

Every game needs the rules for playing it and this one here is the introduction for the rule book of, and by (very important), the People of the United States of America.

In this section, we don’t see any rules—we just see the goal of playing the game (if we’re sticking with the metaphor). Basically the overarching goal is to enjoy life without killing each other.

For instance, this idea of “domestic tranquility” is all about peace between the states instead of throttling one another; this other bit about providing for the common defense hints at a pooling together of resources; and the bit about securing welfare and the blessings of liberty is essentially the happiness (in the philosophical sense) that is attributed to Liberty. But the preamble doesn’t say how, it just talks about why.

I guess some want the preamble part of constitutional rights but it really isn’t, especially in light of the philosophical terminology it employs (like welfare not being a program but a goal of peace, security and happiness). This is just laying the groundwork for what’s coming down the pike.

3 responses to “The Constitution: Preamble”

  1. Do you intend to take us through it’s entirety sticking only it this text or will you expand through the inclusion of other works of the founders and their contemporaries?

    Either way this should be interesting.

  2. Here and there I’ll add some comments about other writings (especially when some of their terminology sounds different to the modern ear) but I plan to stick mostly to the text.