April 21, 2010 Article I of the U.S. Constitution – Cathy Gillespie

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What a fantastic conversation we have going on the first day of the 90 in 90 Blog! It is fascinating to scroll through the comments, and see how knowledgable you all are!

We have received several emails from teachers who are assigning participation in the reading and blogging as either course requirements or extra credit! We welcome students, children, parents, and families.  And we remind all young people grades K-12 to enter our We The People 9.17 contest!  We need your entertaining short films, PSA’s, cool songs, thoughtful essays, and younger kids, we look forward to your poems and holiday cards!

Thank you especially for making the effort to answer each other’s questions!   Many of you have made suggestions for improving the Constituting America website and blog.  We take your ideas seriously, and appreciate you taking the time to share them.

It is late, and I have been driving all day on a quick trip up north and back, but I wanted to share a few thoughts before we turn our attention to Article II in the morning!

It is no accident that the United States Constitution begins with the words, “We the People.”  It is also no accident that Article I sets out the structure and  legislative powers of the  U.S. Congress.  The U.S. Congress, and especially the U.S. House, are the governmental bodies closest to the American people.   By beginning with the words “We the People,”  and placing the Congress in Article I, our United States Constitution leads with the most important element of our government – us, the people.

I worked as a staff person in Congress for many years, and my former boss, Congressman Joe Barton, was fond of pointing out that the U.S. House of Representatives is the body of government closest to the people.  While Elections every two years may cause Members of Congress and their staffs to feel they are perpetually engaged in a never-ending campaign, the two year term of office keeps U.S. House members accountable to the people who elect them.  And if they stray too far from the will of their constituents, the voters have a frequent opportunity to express their displeasure.   It is the beauty of the system described in Article I that allows the people a mechanism to express their approval or disapproval in a timely way.  The system only works, though, when “we the people” are educated, engaged, and motivated to exercise our rights, especially our right to vote.

I am looking forward to our journey through the U.S. Constitution and the Federalist Papers together! I am already learning a great deal from the blogs posted over the past two days.  Please spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and forward our website link via email.  We want to create as large a national dialogue as possible about our founding principles! Thank you again for your participation.  See you tomorrow!

Blessings,

Cathy Gillespie

Posted in Article I of the United States Constitution, Constitutional Essays by Cathy | Edit | 5 Comments

5 Responses to “April 21, 2010 Article I of the U.S. Constitution – Cathy Gillespie”

  1. Gitel says:

    I’m really impressed by how many people are really interested in learning about our Constitution. In some ways I think the Health Care Bill was a good thing. It finally woke people up to what has been going on in the US for many years.

    Maybe now that people realize the problems with the elected officials, they won’t be so quick to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and realize there are other people out there who want to uphold the Constitution. Maybe now they will look a little closer at the candidates, and their records, before voting.

    I am, at long last, hearing what many of us have been saying for decades. The Constitution has been trampled on, and this has been done because most people didn’t care enough to learn the Constitution and pay enough attention to what their government was doing.

    We can only hope that it isn’t too late.

  2. Alysoun Eversole says:

    Cathy, I could not agree more with you paragraph 6. What are your thoughts on term limits?

  3. Raising the question on the need of term limits gives rise to other questions that need to be answered. There is an organization GOOOH which has a plan to replace all 435 US House Members with ordinary citizen legislators who have been chosen by citizens from their own Congressional District. The Candidate thus chosen signs a contract with the congressional district citizens to email no more than two terms (may be expanded to three terms – under discussion). In addition, the candidate will not raise any money (funding for the campaign will be by the members of GOOOH), will not have any Party pressure, and will not beholden to Lobbyists.

    Over the years, we have fallen into the trap of re-electing 95 percent of incumbents to office of the House. It is time we have other choices for our vote. The day of career politicians must come to an end.

  4. Gregory Boyle says:

    The Constitution has been effectively removed from our government. it remains only in the hearts and minds of those Americans who cherrish what this country once stood for. I have friends and family who proudly served this nation in the armed forces. They fought, bled and died to protect this nation and the Constitution that they swore an oath to. It is now time for the citizens of this nation to put up or shut up. If we do not stop complaining and move to action then the greatest nation the world has ever seen will cease to exist in our lifetime. We expect our soldiers to fight and die for all the freedoms most of us take for granted. We also expect them to refuse to obey illegal orders. The current administration has passed and will pass, more legislation that is in direct contradiction to the United States Constitution. These laws, will in effect, issue orders to be followed by the citizens. Now it is time for We The People to do that which we expect from our soldiers. Refuse to comply. The states need to assert their Tenth Amendment power by passing Enumerated Powers legislation. As more states take a stand and limmit federal power within their borders, we will get the changes we seek in Washington D.C. As long as we continue to fight this battle on the terms that have been laid down by Washington, they have the advantage and victory will remain beyond our reach. The time has come for the American civilian population to prove that we deserve all the sacrifices we have expected and accepted from those who have served throughout our history. Are we willing to get off the bus and actually take a stand, or will we just hold signs until it is all gone?

  5. Term limits seem the antidote to anaccumulation of improper power.Power has the ability to corrupt and these life time Senators and Conressmen are a blith on “we the people”.Their arrogance is alarming and indicates the dangers we have fallen into while we were sleep walking. This health care Bill has set off many many alarm clocks. Thank heavens.

 

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