Today is Delaware Day, the commemoration of being the First State to ratify the Constitution. When people talk about the Constitution, particularly fans of the Tea Party, they often reference individual liberties and act like our Constitution is a libertarian document. It is not.
If you consider the opening paragraph of the Constitution, what stands out most is that it formed us into a collective:
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.
We the People, a collective, came together to form a Union for the purpose of better protecting our shared public purposes, including “the common defense” (for which the People might bear arms), “the general welfare” (aka the common good), and “the Blessings of Liberty” for our community, “ourselves and our Posterity.”
“We the People” is not synonymous with “individuals.” To the contrary, coming together as a People transforms an assortment of individuals into one sovereign body for the purpose of advancing shared goals.
According to our founding narrative, when we came together as a People, we exited the state of nature and created government for the common good and a legal system that treats us all equally. And the government we created remains accountable to us, to We the People, the sovereign public.
This beautiful democratic vision that we celebrate today is currently under attack by wealthy elites and power mongers who seek to advance their own interests at the expense of We the People. That cannot stand. We cannot allow that to stand.
Let’s make Delaware Day 2015 the day We the People decide to reclaim our power and get active!