What is a constitution and why do we need one? Let’s take it a step further and discuss first who We are. Without We, there is no constitution. We are our own masters. We are the People. The People are Sovereign. Sovereignty is an important word. It is important that you understand the idea of sovereignty.
Sovereignty is the closest we can get to being kings and queens. Sovereignty used to be equated with being bestowed the divine providence to rule over others. On earth, there is nothing more authoritarian or absolute than sovereignty. Sovereignty is absolute, it is supreme, and it cannot be taken away. Sovereignty must be viewed as being in relation to something else. Royalty used to be considered sovereign. They were sovereign in relation to their subjects. All royalty was sovereign unto themselves, and therefore none above the other. Only in relation to their subjects.
The founding fathers took the idea of sovereignty and applied it to the People. Since tyranny and despotism could be exercised by one man, a sovereign king, they felt it best to recognize People as being the true sovereigns; each in their own individual capacity and equal as in relation to each other. No man would rule over another. Therefore, every individual would be their own sovereign; with absolute control and authority over their own life; and respecting the like sovereignty of their fellow men.
There isn’t much talk about sovereignty these days. The word has been relegated to the same cluttered drawer where words like liberty, tyranny, despotism, and freedom are kept. They are taken out from time to time and curiously inspected; often evoking faded notions of their invocation during some long-forgotten civics lesson in high school; but are eventually tossed back into the junk drawer in exchange for more germane and contemporary words like necessity, civil rights, privileges and benefits. This has been accomplished by design through our government schools and the incremental disseverment of the People’s sovereignty. We need to reeducate our children with the fundamentals of that notion of being individually supreme.
We will sometimes hear sovereignty mentioned when the government is asserting its sovereignty. Government claims to be immune from accountability for its actions because of sovereign immunity. This means that government claims to be immune from any responsibility for wrongs it may cause because it is above being accountable to its subjects. Does government have sovereignty? Yes. It has a limited amount of sovereignty that came from the People, in bestowing some of their sovereignty upon the government, to allow it to act in accordance with the People’s wishes as defined in their constitution: and only then in providing enough immunity so as to protect the People’s individual sovereignty. Government’s sovereignty is not absolute, plenary, or inherent. The People have given it, and the People can take it away. The People possess what is more often referred to as “popular sovereignty”. They give government as much sovereign immunity as it needs to protect the People, but not for the government to protect itself against the People.
Eventually, we would have had a land with a large number of sovereign people living amongst themselves and exercising their rights unencumbered by any authority. However, man being the imperfect being that he is, sought to rule his fellow man despite whatever sovereignty they may possess; and collectively people established rules and laws as well as governing institutions needed to carry out these laws. Likewise, when governing institutions, obviously occupied by imperfect people, assumed too much authority, people sought then to limit government by building a framework for it to operate within, called a constitution. The constitution is the bridge between a sovereign people and the governmental institutions they create. The constitution breathes life into every office and position occupied by imperfect people. When those positions abuse their power or act in a way that is detrimental to the People’s rights or liberties, then that office is no longer acting in accordance with the People’s will. If someone in office steps outside their constitutional authority then they lose that authority and stand as naked aggressors against the People and must be dealt with harshly. Such is the state of our government today.
We are under assault by naked aggressors who attempt to cloak themselves in the gossamer armor comprised of the color-of-law. Their protection is transparent and paper thin. It is we who are armed with the might and force of fire and steel. They are no match against a well-armed, righteously indignant populace. However, we have allowed them to deceive us though trickery and indoctrination into believing that reaching for our fire and steel will only do us harm, and that it is better to approach them with pleas and humble words when begging for our liberties to be restored or our rights to be acknowledged.
A new constitution, a proper constitution, taking into account the failings of the previous document; along with the record behind us showing a steady stream of violations and usurpations perpetrated by government; should provide the proper relief from; and establish appropriate bars to, further transgressions until government again finds chinks in our armor for it to exact further harm or seize more control, thus necessitating future constitutions in attempting to remedy any potential flaws in the ones that follow the next. It is a never ending battle that we should be so ever eager to embrace.