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“Let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”—Thomas Jefferson At the Constitutional Convention.
The Founding Fathers were concerned with the one tantalizing question which no political scientist in any age had yet been able to answer with complete satisfaction. The question was, “How can you have an efficient government but still protect the freedom and unalienable rights of the people?” Distrust of Power Not Necessarily Disrespect for Leaders The Founders had more confidence in the people than they did in the leaders of the people, especially trusted leaders, even themselves.
They felt the greatest danger arises when a leader is so completely trusted that the people feel no anxiety to watch him. Alexander Hamilton wrote: “For it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those [toward] whom they entertain the least suspicion.” Two hundred years of American history have demonstrated the wisdom of the Founders in proclaiming a warning against the frailties of human nature in the people’s elected or appointed leaders. Every unconstitutional action has usually been justified because it was for a “good cause.” Every illegal transfer of power from one department to another has been excused as “necessary.” The whole explosion of bureaucratic power in Washington has been the result of “trusting” benign political leaders, most of whom really did have good intentions. Thomas Jefferson struck out with all the force that tongue and pen could muster against trusting in human nature. Said he: “It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights; that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go…. “In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.
Why the Original Constitution Will Never Be Obsolete: And that is what the Constitution is all about—providing freedom from abuse by those in authority. Anyone who says the American Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed does not understand the real genius of the Constitution. It was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change—namely, human nature.
An excerpt from: The Five Thousand Year Leap Written by: W.Cleon Skousen.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
All comments welcome.