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The true meaning of, WE,the people..

countryclubjoe

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,505
Location
nj
Hi Folks

Please assist me in wrestling with what the words, term, WE, the people, really meant in 18th century America..

WE, in 18th century America, clearly did not represent, folks of color, white folks that were not land owners, and indeed, surely Woman.. Therefore pre 1920, before woman were granted the privilege to vote, WE, the people, was at worst a document of fraud, an at the very least a document full of ambiguities. .. Were folks of color and woman not considered significant citizens or relevant in 18th century America?., Were our great founders, the best and the brightest, of their time, bigots, possibly racist, misogynist, petty tyrants? Did our great document of 1787, defy the Natural laws of our Creator, a Creator, who, was referenced in the DOI, to wit," that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator.

i simply have a problem, in attempting to interpret the meaning of a text that was instituted by men, who, clearly all evidences (history) shows were in fact, bigots, possibly racist, misogynist, petty tyrants.

Bear in mind only three Fathers, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, did not own slaves.. While a few of our revered hero's, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, were in fact owners of many slaves..

Hence, not until the reconstruction amendments, ( 13th, 14th and 15th) between 1865 and 1870, did, We, the people start to mean, We, the people.. And finally in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified and woman, were allow to vote for their leaders, did, WE, the people, actually really mean, WE THE PEOPLE.

Therefore, attempting to interpret the Supreme law of the law, and the terse text thereof pre 1920 is an exercise in futility... Just like the founders could not envision an America where blacks and woman could vote and bear arms, we are not at liberty to understand the mind set of an America, where blacks and woman were sub-citzens not possessing all the Constitutional rights afforded to other citizens. Again, this is my humble opinion, and I welcome all other opinions and civil discourse on the subject.

My .02

I look forward to all thoughts and opinions.

Regards
CCJ
 

utbagpiper

Banned
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
4,061
Location
Utah
Hi Folks

Please assist me in wrestling with what the words, term, WE, the people, really meant in 18th century America..

...

Therefore, attempting to interpret the Supreme law of the law, and the terse text thereof pre 1920 is an exercise in futility... Just like the founders could not envision an America where blacks and woman could vote and bear arms, we are not at liberty to understand the mind set of an America, where blacks and woman were sub-citzens not possessing all the Constitutional rights afforded to other citizens. Again, this is my humble opinion, and I welcome all other opinions and civil discourse on the subject.


So what is it you want to understand? By your logic, the laws of our nation still do not apply to those younger than the age of majority (fairly arbitrarily set at 18 or 21 depending on the specific issue), nor to non-citizens (not entitled to vote nor hold office), nor to those convicted of a felony, etc.

The study of history requires walking an interesting line. To suggest that morals are relative and temporal is to concede no true morality at all. On other hand, it is an ignorant, arrogant, or otherwise small mind that attempts to judge those of the past by current standards and mores.

One wonders how CCJ would appreciate being labeled a "bigot", "murderer", or "specieist" by some future generation who determines that animals have all the same rights as humans and must never be kept as pets, eaten, used for clothing, used for medical research, hunted or fished, and so on. Yes, there a few especially enlightened strict vegans amongst us today. But by the standards of some future society in which animals enjoy absolute equality with humans (don't worry about voting, the Democratic Party machine will see to it the animals cast their votes "properly"), the vast majority of people today are bigots who consider their own species better or more important than all the other life forms on this planet.

What exactly do you propose changes about the Supreme Law of the land because the rights protected by it are now afforded to racial minorities and unpopular religious groups on equal footing with white, Protestant men? What changes with female suffrage?

Are you, subtly suggesting that if the founders had envisioned "hysterical women"or "the simple-mined black man" some day enjoying the full rights of equal citizenship they might have re-thought guaranteeing a right to keep and bear arms, access to attorneys, or full due process? Tell me that a modern, enlightened man such as yourself is not engaging in the "soft racism of low expectations" of various minority groups.

You view our Founding Fathers and Framers with a certain contempt because their society was different than our own.

I view them with humble admiration. What men today are willing to set out a standard of conduct they know they, themselves, will never achieve? Small minded men proclaim themselves as near perfect and dare others to live as they do.

Great men, men such as our Founders and Framers, proclaim eternal standards knowing they fall short, but challenging themselves and their posterity to rise to the higher plane.

Our Founders and Framers were not ignorant. They grabbled with concerns over slavery and what to do about it. At the same time, even Lincoln, the great emancipator who never owned slaves, was no less bigoted--by our standards--than were those Founders and Framers whom you castigate for being slave owners.

Short answer, "We the People" means the body politic. Nothing fundamentally changes in principles as the body politic enlarges to encompass more of the general population. As a practical matter, however, as non-taxpayers are allowed to dictate how tax money is spent we see fulfillment of de Toqueville's warning about the public "vot[ing] itself largess out of the public treasury."

Having asked your question, and received several answers, I predict you do not make material, civil response to any; and that you certainly do not engage in any discussion or debate, preferring instead to simply rant, repeatedly.

Charles
 
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JamesCanby

Activist Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
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Location
Alexandria, VA at www.NoVA-MDSelfDefense.com
So what is it you want to understand? By your logic, the laws of our nation still do not apply to those younger than the age of majority (fairly arbitrarily set at 18 or 21 depending on the specific issue), nor to non-citizens (not entitled to vote nor hold office), nor to those convicted of a felony, etc.

The study of history requires walking an interesting line. To suggest that morals are relative and temporal is to concede no true morality at all. On other hand, it is an ignorant, arrogant, or otherwise small mind that attempts to judge those of the past by current standards and mores.

One wonders how CCJ would appreciate being labeled a "bigot", "murderer", or "specieist" by some future generation who determines that animals have all the same rights as humans and must never be kept as pets, eaten, used for clothing, used for medical research, hunted or fished, and so on. Yes, there a few especially enlightened strict vegans amongst us today. But by the standards of some future society in which animals enjoy absolute equality with humans (don't worry about voting, the Democratic Party machine will see to it the animals cast their votes "properly"), the vast majority of people today are bigots who consider their own species better or more important than all the other life forms on this planet.

What exactly do you propose changes about the Supreme Law of the land because the rights protected by it are now afforded to racial minorities and unpopular religious groups on equal footing with white, Protestant men? What changes with female suffrage?

Are you, subtly suggesting that if the founders had envisioned "hysterical women"or "the simple-mined black man" some day enjoying the full rights of equal citizenship they might have re-thought guaranteeing a right to keep and bear arms, access to attorneys, or full due process? Tell me that a modern, enlightened man such as yourself is not engaging in the "soft racism of low expectations" of various minority groups.

You view our Founding Fathers and Framers with a certain contempt because their society was different than our own.

I view them with humble admiration. What men today are willing to set out a standard of conduct they know they, themselves, will never achieve? Small minded men proclaim themselves as near perfect and dare others to live as they do.

Great men, men such as our Founders and Framers, proclaim eternal standards knowing they fall short, but challenging themselves and their posterity to rise to the higher plane.

Our Founders and Framers were not ignorant. They grabbled with concerns over slavery and what to do about it. At the same time, even Lincoln, the great emancipator who never owned slaves, was no less bigoted--by our standards--than were those Founders and Framers whom you castigate for being slave owners.

Short answer, "We the People" means the body politic. Nothing fundamentally changes in principles as the body politic enlarges to encompass more of the general population. As a practical matter, however, as non-taxpayers are allowed to dictate how tax money is spent we see fulfillment of de Toqueville's warning about the public "vot[ing] itself largess out of the public treasury."

Having asked your question, and received several answers, I predict you do not make material, civil response to any; and that you certainly do not engage in any discussion or debate, preferring instead to simply rant, repeatedly.

Charles

+1
 

countryclubjoe

Regular Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,505
Location
nj
So what is it you want to understand? By your logic, the laws of our nation still do not apply to those younger than the age of majority (fairly arbitrarily set at 18 or 21 depending on the specific issue), nor to non-citizens (not entitled to vote nor hold office), nor to those convicted of a felony, etc.

The study of history requires walking an interesting line. To suggest that morals are relative and temporal is to concede no true morality at all. On other hand, it is an ignorant, arrogant, or otherwise small mind that attempts to judge those of the past by current standards and mores.

One wonders how CCJ would appreciate being labeled a "bigot", "murderer", or "specieist" by some future generation who determines that animals have all the same rights as humans and must never be kept as pets, eaten, used for clothing, used for medical research, hunted or fished, and so on. Yes, there a few especially enlightened strict vegans amongst us today. But by the standards of some future society in which animals enjoy absolute equality with humans (don't worry about voting, the Democratic Party machine will see to it the animals cast their votes "properly"), the vast majority of people today are bigots who consider their own species better or more important than all the other life forms on this planet.

What exactly do you propose changes about the Supreme Law of the land because the rights protected by it are now afforded to racial minorities and unpopular religious groups on equal footing with white, Protestant men? What changes with female suffrage?

Are you, subtly suggesting that if the founders had envisioned "hysterical women"or "the simple-mined black man" some day enjoying the full rights of equal citizenship they might have re-thought guaranteeing a right to keep and bear arms, access to attorneys, or full due process? Tell me that a modern, enlightened man such as yourself is not engaging in the "soft racism of low expectations" of various minority groups.

You view our Founding Fathers and Framers with a certain contempt because their society was different than our own.

I view them with humble admiration. What men today are willing to set out a standard of conduct they know they, themselves, will never achieve? Small minded men proclaim themselves as near perfect and dare others to live as they do.

Great men, men such as our Founders and Framers, proclaim eternal standards knowing they fall short, but challenging themselves and their posterity to rise to the higher plane.

Our Founders and Framers were not ignorant. They grabbled with concerns over slavery and what to do about it. At the same time, even Lincoln, the great emancipator who never owned slaves, was no less bigoted--by our standards--than were those Founders and Framers whom you castigate for being slave owners.

Short answer, "We the People" means the body politic. Nothing fundamentally changes in principles as the body politic enlarges to encompass more of the general population. As a practical matter, however, as non-taxpayers are allowed to dictate how tax money is spent we see fulfillment of de Toqueville's warning about the public "vot[ing] itself largess out of the public treasury."

Having asked your question, and received several answers, I predict you do not make material, civil response to any; and that you certainly do not engage in any discussion or debate, preferring instead to simply rant, repeatedly.

Charles

Thank you for your articulate eloquent reply. I shall try to reply in kind. Please be advised, I do not view the Founders/Fathers with any contempt. I view them as brilliant people who actually had the opportunity to right a wrong. Slavery was the elephant in the room during the Philadelphia convention. The Founders/Fathers had the power to abolish said elephant, however as history shows, they choice the path of a coward.

They were in-fact slaves of their era, they were bound by the same chains that bound their slaves.

No Charles, I do not hold them in contempt, I actually pity them, for as you stated," they were not ignorant"
they were brilliant, intelligent folks that had to wrestle with their own conscience, and I could only imagine that they went to their graves, knowing in their intelligent minds, how they violated their Creators, Natural law.

Two great John Locke quotes come to mind, when thinking of our Founders/Fathers.

" I have always thought the actions of men, the best interpreters of their thoughts"

"We are like Chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character from those who are around us ".

Moving onto the document/Constitution if I may.. Clearly Lysander Spooner was much more articulate than myself, when he proclaimed. " But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain, that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist".

Since the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920, I would argue that Mr. Spooners prose on the constitution is no longer true, but was clearly apropos in Spooners era.

Charles, I hope my reply, meets your level of civil discourse.

My .02
CCJ
 

utbagpiper

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Messages
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Utah
Thank you for your articulate eloquent reply. I shall try to reply in kind. Please be advised, I do not view the Founders/Fathers with any contempt. I view them as brilliant people who actually had the opportunity to right a wrong. Slavery was the elephant in the room during the Philadelphia convention. The Founders/Fathers had the power to abolish said elephant, however as history shows, they choice the path of a coward.

I think you judge them unjustly. Southern States would not have acquiesced to join the Union had it required the abolition of slavery. Even NY State did not abolish Slavery until 1827, Maryland not until 1864. Requiring the abolition of slavery would have meant, at best, a Union of fewer than half a dozen, geographically very small States. There would have been no United States.

Moving onto the document/Constitution if I may.. Clearly Lysander Spooner was much more articulate than myself, when he proclaimed. " But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain, that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist".

I would meet Spooner's contempt for the Constitution with a quote from Churchill, "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -- In the House of Commons on 11 November 1947.

The ideals of the Declaration of Independence would have died a rather young death have the Constitution not been ratified and the, admitted imperfect, Union created. That Union fostered the conditions of free enterprise that drove much of the industrial revolution and with that massively improved quality of life for the masses. The Union nursed the conditions that eventually lead to the abolition of slavery despite powerful economic reasons to retain it a bit longer.

I find no form of government, and no form of non government that has done so well at protecting individual rights of so large and diverse a group of people as have comprised the population of the United States. Spooner, and those who agree with him, let some unattainable be the enemy of the best available.

Yet this still leaves me wondering what it is you think changes in the constitution or statutes as "we the people" has grown to encompass a larger proportion of the populace. Was that not the basis of your original question? Let us honor the intent of the OP to at least not lose sight of that question.

Charles
 

countryclubjoe

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Messages
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Location
nj
I think you judge them unjustly. Southern States would not have acquiesced to join the Union had it required the abolition of slavery. Even NY State did not abolish Slavery until 1827, Maryland not until 1864. Requiring the abolition of slavery would have meant, at best, a Union of fewer than half a dozen, geographically very small States. There would have been no United States.



I would meet Spooner's contempt for the Constitution with a quote from Churchill, "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." -- In the House of Commons on 11 November 1947.

The ideals of the Declaration of Independence would have died a rather young death have the Constitution not been ratified and the, admitted imperfect, Union created. That Union fostered the conditions of free enterprise that drove much of the industrial revolution and with that massively improved quality of life for the masses. The Union nursed the conditions that eventually lead to the abolition of slavery despite powerful economic reasons to retain it a bit longer.

I find no form of government, and no form of non government that has done so well at protecting individual rights of so large and diverse a group of people as have comprised the population of the United States. Spooner, and those who agree with him, let some unattainable be the enemy of the best available.

Yet this still leaves me wondering what it is you think changes in the constitution or statutes as "we the people" has grown to encompass a larger proportion of the populace. Was that not the basis of your original question? Let us honor the intent of the OP to at least not lose sight of that question.

Charles

It is my opinion that WE, the people, did not come to mean ALL the people until 1920 some 133 years after the birth of the Constitution..

On the government, suppose it to be " the best government on earth," does that prove its own goodness, or only the badness of all other governments? Spooner

We are indeed truly blessed, yes, we do indeed reside in the greatest country on earth.. My .02
However debating the pro's and con's thereof is thought provoking and educational, for me it is anyway.

Be well Sir!
CCJ
 

utbagpiper

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Messages
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It is my opinion that WE, the people, did not come to mean ALL the people until 1920 some 133 years after the birth of the Constitution..

By what metric?

And what does it change? Does it invalidate our constitution today in some way? Render the principles expressed in the DoI less true?

Is there some point other than to point out that our nation didn't start perfect but had to progress?


On the government, suppose it to be " the best government on earth," does that prove its own goodness, or only the badness of all other governments?

Perhaps it proves that our Constitutional Republic is the best way to frame a large, diverse society involving mortal men. The question is not merely about government, but how to order a society so as to protect individual rights from the abuses of both other individuals, other societies/tribes/groups and from whatever mechanism is employed to that end.


We are indeed truly blessed, yes, we do indeed reside in the greatest country on earth.. My .02
However debating the pro's and con's thereof is thought provoking and educational, for me it is anyway.

What "con" are you arguing? That the body politic once included a smaller subset of the whole population than it does today is hardly a "con". It is, rather, merely a historic fact.

I think it was Walter Williams who pointed out that today's descendants of African slavery in America are far better because their ancestors were brought (however unwillingly) to this nation than they would be had their ancestors stayed in Africa. America today is that good, and Africa--even today--is that bad.

In light of this, I would suggest that the story of African slaves and their descendants parallel the larger American experience of children benefiting from the sacrifices of their parents. For the slaves, those sacrifices were not voluntary. They were not just. But their descendants have benefited just the same.

So what "con" are you asserting and what would you propose be done about it?

Charles
 

solus

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Aug 22, 2013
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Location
here nc
quote: Much of the ignorance stems from the fact that most Americans believe the war was initiated to free slaves, when in truth, freeing slaves was little more than an afterthought.

Those are but a few examples of the important role that blacks served as soldiers, freemen and slaves on the side of the Confederacy. The flap over the Confederate flag is not quite so simple as the nation's race "experts" make it. They want us to believe the flag is a symbol of racism. Yes, racists have used the Confederate flag as their symbol, but racists have also marched behind the U.S. flag and have used the Bible. Would anyone suggest banning the U.S. flag from state buildings and references to the Bible?


Black civil rights activists, their white liberal supporters and historically ignorant Americans who attack the Confederate flag have committed a deep, despicable dishonor to our patriotic Southern black ancestors who marched, fought and died not to protect slavery but to protect their homeland from Northern aggression. They don't deserve the dishonor. Leonard Haynes, a black professor at Southern University, stated, "When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you've eliminated the history of the South." unquote http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinio...cle_45a5a7de-8e79-5296-87f7-bde93927da6b.html

we the people, as originally written did not mean the same thing it is being interpreted today and to deny that concept is to ignore our history of growth as it it is to subjugate the contributions of the coloured men and women who fought in the civil war and whose monuments were raised to honour all participants of the conflict!

ipse

 

since9

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Just like the founders could not envision an America where blacks and woman could vote and bear arms...

Ever hear of Crispus Attucks?

Countless records exist of our right to keep and bear arms applying to "every able-bodied man, woman, and child" never distinguished age, sex, or color. Indeed, some soldiers of the Revolution were blacks, and many Union soldiers were blacks.

My point is that MANY founders perfectly well envisioned an America where blacks and women would vote and bear arms.

READ THEIR WRITINGS. Library of Congress, CCJ. Library of Congress. It's all there.
 

solus

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Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,159
Location
here nc
Ever hear of Crispus Attucks?

Countless records exist of our right to keep and bear arms applying to "every able-bodied man, woman, and child" never distinguished age, sex, or color. Indeed, some soldiers of the Revolution were blacks, and many Union soldiers were blacks.

My point is that MANY founders perfectly well envisioned an America where blacks and women would vote and bear arms.

READ THEIR WRITINGS. Library of Congress, CCJ. Library of Congress. It's all there.

as paul harvey states, and now the rest of the story

By 1775 more than a half-million African Americans, most of them enslaved, were living in the 13 colonies.

Eventually every state above the Potomac River recruited slaves for military service, usually in exchange for their freedom. By the end of the war from 5,000 to 8,000 blacks had served the American cause in some capacity, either on the battlefield, behind the lines in noncombatant roles, or on the seas. By 1777 some states began enacting laws that encouraged white owners to give slaves for the army in return for their enlistment bounty, or allowing masters to use slaves as substitutes when they or their sons were drafted. In the South the idea of arming slaves for military service met with such opposition that only free blacks were normally allowed to enlist in the army.

Most black soldiers were scattered throughout the Continental Army in integrated infantry regiments, where they were often assigned to support roles as wagoners, cooks, waiters or artisans. Several all-black units, commanded by white officers, also were formed and saw action against the British. Rhode Island’s Black Battalion was established in 1778 when that state was unable to meet its quota for the Continental Army. The legislature agreed to set free slaves who volunteered for the duration of the war, and compensated their owners for their value.

ya since9, male coloured folk participated, perhaps not voluntarily, not from the southern states, and while some were promised their freedom, a lot of owners reneged on that promise!

http://www.historyisfun.org/learn/learning-center/colonial-america-american-revolution-learning-resources/american-revolution-essays-timelines-images/african-americans-and-the-american-revolution/

ipse

nope didn't call you a liar in this post either
 
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