Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Carpenters' Hall and the Founders

 If there’s one thing carpenters understand, it’s the importance of a solid foundation to the longevity of a building. Not only a solid foundation, but one meant to match the purpose, details and use of said structure. Think of a nuclear power plant. How much trust would you have in the operation of said plant when you don’t know if the concrete in the foundation will withstand the pressures and heat created during the reaction? A new home is no different. Required building code inspections ensure homeowners the floors, basement walls and drywall partitions won’t crack because of a faulty foundation. If the foundation’s specifications are changed for any reason, the resulting damage to the home may be irreparable.
Have you stopped to consider how this same principle can be applied to the United States of America? Consider the foundation on which it was built—biblical principles. For instance, in Exodus18, Moses consults with his father-in-law about how to delegate authority to handle problems. “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” This is the foundation of our Constitution.
We the people choose representatives at a local level, county level, state level and federal level. However, the founders also knew people would be lazy and not knowledgeable concerning federal issues. Hence, we elect members of the House of Representatives and we elect state-level legislators. The founders expected the state legislators to be wiser and more discerning relative to who qualified to be elected to the Senate. Those same founders understood common civilians would have no knowledge of or discernment of the complexities of international relations and created the Electoral College for the purpose of electing a president. These delegated election processes are the foundation of the government of the United States of America.
What we now experience concerns the crack in the foundation. Carpenters can’t fix cracks in the walls or a tipping house when the foundation is damaged. The foundation must be reconstructed, and the reason the foundation failed must be eliminated. Was there too much water undermining the footers? A proper drainage ditch must be installed before repairing the foundation. Was there new construction added to the foundation that caused the failure? The new construction must be removed in order to put the foundation back in place.
And so it is with today’s version of the Constitution of the USA. The most significant deteriorating factor of our foundation is the 17th Amendment. This 1912 addition to our by-laws completely unbalanced the federal government. It replaced the election of senators by the legislative bodies of the states with a popular election like that of the House of Representatives. It completely removed the wisdom and knowledge of the statesmen in office and replaced them with the ignorant public. One of the ploys engaged in obtaining the change included telling the public all politicians are crooked, so how could we expect crooked politicians to elect statesmen to send to the Senate in DC? Therein lays the hinge that swung open the public vote consideration. No one spoke up and said, “What if we simply elected statesmen with the qualifications Moses demanded of his leaders?” Read Exodus 18 again. “…able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness…”
Another modern issue concerns term limits. The founders considered the options when creating the foundation. People were expected to elect statesmen. As long as a statesman did their job and made decisions based on what made America better, they’d keep their job. If a statesman made a turn and became a politician (one in government for his own good), then the people would replace him. In the meantime, those with experience, wisdom and knowledge of the workings of the government would contribute to the general welfare of the nation. It’s not term limits we need. It’s the election of statesmen in all of our representative forms of government from local school boards all the way to the House of Representatives. That’s where the foundational principles so aptly applied by our founding fathers holds up our Constitutional Republic like a building set on a solid foundation.

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