: The Constitution was designed by the Founding Fathers (i.e., 18th Century rich guys--George Washington was the richest man in America) to consolidate their power. In order to justify their fight against the king, they had to use the language of universal suffrage. In order to secure enough support with the merchants and small land-owners they had to delineate rights, which they don't respect now and didn't respect then. (Hasn't anybody here heard of the Alien Sedition Act?)
Yes, it was passed by the Federalists, who, under the power of Alexander Hamilton favored a strong central government and was into loosely interpreting the constitution (Gotta love that "Necessary and Proper" clause). However, Jefferson and some other guy (can't remember his name) refused to recognize it as law as it curtailed the right of free speech and consequently Kentucky and Virginia nullified the act.
: : I personally think that the Constitution of the United States is probably one of the greatest political documents in this countries history. It is a trust document that has survived a civil war and many presidents who would have loved to be dictators (Andrew Jackson...Nixon, etc.).
: Too bad they don't play by their own rules. If you ever want to know just how far these rights go, try being in a position in which you actually need them.
I am not going to argue that the U.S. has committed some serious rights violations in the past. I for one would rather see a less active government and more personal liberties.
: : Personally, I am a great fan of the Declaration of Independence, I feel it is one of the greatest pieces of American literature. Jefferson was a very eloquent man, and, although he took a lot of ideas from Locke, he imbued them with a more American style.
: : What is wonderful about it is that it is purely American, it captures the American sense of life. A sense of life that could only be developed in America. Perhaps, I am sounding too much like a hooray for the system yahoo...
: Add "tautologist" to "yahoo."
: : The line "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator [capitalization NOT mine] with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," says everything, in that is says absolutely nothing. Every person has a different idea of what happiness is and how they would choose to pursue it. The American dream is not strictly a house with a white picket fence, two cars, and a wife, it is different for everybody. What makes this country great is that people are able to pursue their own pleasures and not be beholden to others. Everyone is allowed to pursue their own ends. Their pursuits are not expedited at the cost of others and vice versa.
: What? Yeah, right. Somebody's grammar school civics teacher did a great job here.
Actually, I spent my grammar school time in France learning about the "wonders" of a socialized economy, I then spent junior high school in Canada learning about the "wonders" of a half-assed socialized economy. I then moved to the U.S. where I was able to see the wonders of a capitalist economy.
: : I am sure this will get me a whole slew of responses either calling me blind or ignorant (probably both) for not seeing and/or realizing the horrors that this system has created and how workers are being exploited and so on and so forth.
: As well it should. How can you justify this letter, Dave, aside from just mindlessly parroting propaganda. Is there anything you'd like to retract?
No, there is nothing I would like to retract. I stand by my belief that capitalism is what has made the U.S. a propserous country. I also stand by my belief in the rights guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence.