My greatest worry regarding the retention of our Constitution isn’t the federal government getting too big, though it is massive and continues to expand. It’s not that the legislative and executive branches often push the judiciary to conduct legislation. It’s not that the judiciary often, for varying reasons, misinterprets the Constitution. And it’s not that the members of the legislative and executive branches have in modern times recused themselves from properly interpreting the Constitution in order to make laws and executive orders.
It’s that the people of this country don’t appreciate nor do they know the Constitution, and will therefore discard it.
Over the past few decades, civics has all but been removed from education. This was the source of America’s strength: a people knowledgeable of its founding and how its government should work. As children grew to understand the Constitution, they inherently appreciated it. But how can children, and those children who are now adults, appreciate what they don’t know?
Even those who don’t know the precise details of the Constitution, of which understandably and acceptably there are many, at least have always had a love and appreciation for it. Americans have always understood that it was implemented to keep the citizens safe from the government and from themselves.
This election has brought America to a crossroad. I believe a definitive line has been drawn in the sand: keep the Constitution or discard it.
The crossroad is not in regard to popular vote versus electoral vote. For that to change, it would require an amendment that must pass through the constraints of the Constitution. The crossroad is not in regard to alleged fraud. This country has been through fraudulent times before.
The crossroad is whether the citizens of this country care if fraud decided the outcome or if the people did. If the result of removing President Donald Trump from office by any means necessary supersedes the actual voice of the citizens, then the Constitution will not survive.
If a people don’t care about their voice, then they can’t possibly care about the piece of paper that ensures they have one. Yes, there’s half of the population that has dreamed of a Trump loss for the past four years. That desire is inconsequential. In politics, it’s merely expected. But if this half truly doesn’t care whether Joe Biden was legitimately elected or not, then the demise has not begun, it’s in its mature stages.
Not only will it be an indication that half of the country cares very little about the most important aspect of the country itself—its citizens—but it will also be an open invitation for reciprocity from the other side. If the other half wishes not to accept such a sinister invitation, it may do something perhaps just as harmful: quit the process.
These legal challenges and requests for recounts are important, but they’re primarily important for this election. If fraud is not found, suspicions will most likely remain, but at least the courts will have seen them through. If fraud is found, tempers will flare and outrage will be justified, but it will by no means end fraud in the future. Power is too great a temptation.
What’s unquestionably imperative is that Americans—Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and the apolitical—care about each other’s voices. If we disregard the voices of those on the other side of the aisle merely for political gain, then we sentence our own voice to the same fate.
When Benjamin Franklin exited the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he was asked what type of government the delegates had given the American people. His response is just as important today as it was when he uttered, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Whether that story is completely true, the sentiment is nevertheless pinpoint. If the citizens of this country—not the government, not the politicians, not the journalists—don’t keep it, I know it can’t be kept; and therefore the paper that holds this republic together must then be lost as well.
This article was originally published on November 10, 2020 in The Epoch Times.