Preamble; what they were saying and why
You are all familiar with our Preamble to the Constitution; “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.
In order to understand why they wrote it and what they were trying to say you must first answer the question, what is a Preamble. A preamble is an introductory explanation; a section at the beginning of a speech, report or formal document that introduces what follows.
So why did our founders feel the need to explain what they were writing? Why not just charge in and start writing that governing document known as the constitution? They were attempting to explain through its’ introduction that the Constitution was a document limiting the powers of the government it was establishing not assigning powers to it. This is a critical point when approaching the meaning of our Constitution.
This modern bunch; Obama and his Merry Band of Socialists, look at the constitution through the prism of what it allows them to do. Their approach to ruling, not governing is if the constitution does not specifically say you can’t do it then go ahead and ram it through. Case in point the illegal mandate associated with Obama Care requiring everyone to purchase health insurance.
So back to the actual Preamble for a closer examination; it starts off with We the People; not we the senators, congressmen or even we the government collectively; no it begins with we the people. The essence of power vested in the Constitution rest with We the People. We are a Constitutional Republic! Our founding fathers began with We the People because that is precisely how they saw themselves; part of the collective known as the American People!
Continuing on; in order to form a more perfect union; not in order to form a more perfect Monarchy; Oligarchy; Theocracy or even Democracy; no they chose the word Union for a specific reason. Between 1774 and 1789, 13 colonies became a nation - the United States of America. In 1774, Great Britain's North American colonies first came together to defend themselves against wrongs committed by their "mother country." Assembling representatives from every colony, the Continental Congress began as a coordinated effort to resist the British. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Congress became the central institution for managing the struggle for American independence. Independence raised new issues. How could thirteen separate self-governed states unite? In order to survive they had to unite; form a Union!
Next they wanted to establish Justice; not paradise; not nirvana; they chose the word Justice. Why did they choose Justice; simple; they were fleeing Tyranny; they were fleeing the rule of a Monarchy. They wanted nothing more than justice; fairness; the equal chance to succeed in a new world free from pre existing shackles imposed by an elitist feudal system!
They wanted to insure domestic Tranquility; why those words? Domestic comes from the Latin word domus meaning house or home. In their personal writings the founders often referred to the blessings or happiness of domestic life. They meant their life at home with their families. They saw the family as the fundamental unit of society and its preservation (and freedom from government interference) as one of their highest priorities. So, in this context insure domestic tranquility means to preserve family life and its attendant rights.
They wanted to provide for the common defense; only the government can do this. Our founders recognized the need for a strong defense in order to survive in a hostile world. Remember at the time of the writing of this Preamble; they were at war with the most powerful Military Force in the world at that time!
Finally they said promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity; secure the blessings of liberty from whom or in other words who were they trying so hard to protect their new found freedoms from? Thomas Jefferson wrote; the strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government! Thus our founders fled England in order to escape the Tyrannical rule of a Monarch and were going to great lengths to protect themselves and their ancestors from the potential tyranny that could result from a government that grew too large; Sound Familiar?