[I originally posted this article just after inauguration day 2017. As an American one could argue there is more uncertainty within the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of our government than there was then, however, from my perspective the more things have changed since inauguration day 2017 the more they have remained the same. John McCain spent most of his life working within the constructs the United States Constitution. In the end, he, like the rest of us depend on its ability to prevail given any eventuality. ]
The brilliance of the Founding Fathers Constitution shines brighter with each decade that passes. The year: 2017 AD. The question: Where has this upstart Country & Constitution been, where is it going, and what will it mean for you?
First, some key facts about the document all United States citizens have lived by since 1787:
Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions world-wide, are appended to the end of the document. At seven Articles and twenty-seven Amendments, it is the shortest written Constitution in force. The first 10 Amendments, constituting the Bill of Rights, were written in 1791 as part of the original document. As of 2014, the most recent Amendment to the Constitution was the 27th Amendment, added in 1992, which regulated congressional pay rates. The House and Senate typically put forward 200 proposals to amend the Constitution during each 2-year term (100 annually). Over the 220 years since its creation, there has been approximately 11,589 proposals to amend the Constitution, 17 of which have been ratified.
As of 2015, America contains 3% of the world population and produces 25% of the World Annual GDP (1st). As a single Nation: America, is the undisputed economic, intellectual, cultural, humanitarian, and military world leader. America has fought in over 100 wars, having lost 3 (Korea, Vietnam and Iraq), the war on drugs and ISIS notwithstanding. America has seen 45 Presidents, 12,238 Senators & Congressmen, and 112 Supreme Court Justices change.
The Constitution has been the one constant.
The other: history repeats itself.
I’ve lived in Marblehead Massachusetts (Birthplace of the American Navy – sorry Beverly) since 1990. I can walk into Abbot Town Hall and see the “Spirit of 76” painted in life size glory, and read about George Washington’s 1789 Presidential “Tour” through town. In Old-Town there are numerous 250-year-old homes that bear the name of a Founding Father – and the dates he stayed in house. If I close my eyes, I can see them gathering at their favorite watering hole in Old-Town (houses, shops and cow paths) to raise a glass and talk about this “America” thing. Today, no one needs to be reminded that Samuel Adams was a brewer and patriot. I might start drinking Samuel Adams again, to make sure I am closer to both.
Whether your candidate won or lost for President, Senate, House, or Supreme Court, should not worry you – as long as America has the civil strength to continue to uphold its Constitution. From that civil strength comes economic, intellectual, cultural, humanitarian, and military leadership, and a resultant great place to live.
Every President has his turn to test the Constitution against his personal constitution, for all the world to see.
That’s what makes America great, again and again and again.