Letter: Read document for Founders' intent
Saturday, September 10, 2011
In a Sept. 2 letter, “Middle class surrenders,” Raymond Smith displays the ignorance typical of the left in asserting that the Founders set up a democracy.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what form of government the Founders had created. He responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Democrats, champions of a “living constitution” open to constant reinterpretation, like to trace their party to Thomas Jefferson, who wrote “Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. … The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch. … On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” In other words, the Constitution means what it says. All Americans should read it.