I join cordially in admiring and revering the Constitution of the United States, the result of the collected wisdom of our coun- try. That wisdom has committed to us the important task of pro- viding by example that a government, if organized in all its parts on the Representative principle unadulterated by the infusion of spurious elements, if founded, not in the fears & follies of man, but on his reason, on his sense of right, on the predominance of the social over his dissocial passions, may be so free as to restrain him in no moral right, and so firm as to protect him from every moral wrong.12 Together with their admiration for Thomas Jefferson, the patriots of today look to the literal text of the U.S. Constitution as their guide and inspiration. From its inception, the Constitution has inspired devotion because of its simplicity and originality in constructing a government for such a far-flung geographical area as is the United States. That the text has remained largely intact with very few alterations is testament to some of its “divine” nature and the belief that it was a document inspired by deity.13 Even the Founding Fathers marveled at what they had done: The virtue, moderation, and patriotism which marked the steps of the American people in framing, adopting, and thus far carrying into effect our present system of government has excited the admi- ration of nations. (George Washington, 1789)14 The example of changing a constitution, by assembling the wise men of the state, instead of assembling armies, will be worth as much to the world as the former examples we had given them. The Constitution, too, which was the result of our deliberations, is un- questionably the wisest ever presented to men. (Thomas Jefferson, date unknown)15 The individual known as the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, warned against violating the text and spirit of the Constitution: In bestowing eulogies due to the particular and internal checks of power, it ought not the less to be remembered that they are neither the sole nor the chief palladium of constitutional liberty. The people who are authors of this blessing must also be its guardians. Their eyes must be ever ready to mark, their voice to pronounce, xiv Introduction
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