Our Constitution Is As Relevant Today As Ever
To the Editor,
This past Saturday, September 17, was Constitution Day and marked the 235th anniversary of the completion and signing of our United States Constitution — the law of the land. That event of 1787 is as important to understanding our national character as is the event of July 4th, 1776.
It was an amazing feat by the convention delegates to create that final product through many months of exhausting debate, discussion, and compromise. And moreover, it was an amazing development in world history, being that it laid the foundation for the first stable, democratic republic of modern times.
The ratification of that document was not a given, and contentious debate arose as to whether each state, and its respective peoples, should accept the Constitution’s creation of a comparatively strong central government. Patrick Henry, one of its most fervent opponents, worried that the document was too flawed to guarantee tyrannical men might not wrestle power away from the states, and the people.
It would be foolish today to think of that debate over the Constitution’s adoption as ancient history, when in fact it is truly what gave us birth, and makes us what we are today.
This country has since faced many challenges to its union of states and peoples. And while big issues may now divide us, those divisions are artificially widened by individuals on both sides who seek to alarm and deceive others into taking their side. But when the illusion of their righteousness wanes (and it will), the real essence of America that is embedded in the spirit of discussion, debate, and compromise, will prevail.
Randi Allen Kiely