Anybody who thinks the framers of the U.S. Constitution were naive, or that they did not foresee some of the problems democracy faces today, either has not studied much history or has done so with a closed mind.

The framers understood what is was for a ruler to confiscate their land and home simply because he wanted it or because citizens did not support him politically. Not being politically correct back then could get you hanged. They wanted no part of a king or any elite ruling class. They wanted government "by the people and for the people."

Life was cheap in Colonial America, and liberty was elusive, even for the richest families. Rich and poor alike either loved or hated King George III, England's monarch and absolute ruler of the American colonies. 

Although most of the colonists were British citizens who were born in America or had directly migrated from England, King George viewed them as just another of his many colonies, and not really English citizens. Besides, he had just spent a fortune securing their homes and property from becoming French property. He figured the colonists owed him a great debt, and he intended to collect.

England had other wars to fight, and conquering the French in America had left the royal treasury as close to broke as COVID-19 has affected the vaults at Fort Knox today. King George needed lots of money to pay his own military, much less the mercenaries he employed in America, Africa, India and Asia - and who better to pay the bills than the ungrateful American colonists? 

It was inconsequential that Americans didn't want to pay for George's foreign wars: He was the supreme ruler of the mightiest nation in the world. The American colonists' bid for independence was a just a bad joke to him.

He didn't understand American frontiersmen. Frontiersmen knew nothing came free; even independence had a price. Some paid with their lives; others lost their homes, families, and businesses. Surprisingly, the king's taxes were cheap compared to today's. It was never about the amount the colonists had to pay, but rather the fact that they had no voice in their government.

The colonists were British citizens, and British citizens had lived under the Magna Carta for five centuries, a document that established the Rule of Law and the idea of no taxation without representation; an idea King George considered both stupid and treasonous. 

The colonists believed that without the freedom to manage their own money and choose their own religious beliefs, their other freedoms were just an illusion. So they risked everything to fight a war against a nation that could not be beaten, and having miraculously won their freedom, they developed the Constitution to keep their newfound country safe from any tyranny, foreign or domestic.

The Constitution is meant to protect the unalienable rights of its citizens, including religious freedom and the right to defend our homes and families against all aggressors - including our own government. All that said, the main purpose of the U.S. Constitution was simple: Set fair laws for all citizens in their new country, laws that treated the poor as fairly as the rich. 

The framers of the Constitution were careful to prohibit a president from changing the Constitution by executive order, and they prohibited a minority from either the House or the Senate from doing so. To further ensure that the Constitution survived evolving governments, they instituted the Supreme Court - not to change the Constitution or interpret it to suit their politics, but to protect it.

Mark Stepp is a retired senior technical writer and former newspaper reporter/editor. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and a graduate of Northeastern State University with a BA in education and journalism.

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