The Constitution: What it is, why it matters and how to defend it

Alexander Noel Tokarev

Professor and Department Chair, Political Science and Philosophy

Alexander Noel Tokarev
March 13, 2023

The Constitution: What it is, why it matters and how to defend it

Wasn’t the Constitution written for a different time? Does that not require that we update it in accordance with our current needs? Should we sit idle while it protects hateful, racist, sexist, nationalist, and right-wing extremists?
Do I have your undivided attention?
Before you heap praises on democracy, consider that under it, any one of your natural rights can be legislated away. If 51% of the voters decide to enslave the other 49%, the minority has no protection. Seeing that democracies are “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property,” America’s Founders rejected democracy and wrote a Constitution, which guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
In a republic, we are bound by law to respect the unalienable rights of our fellow citizens, even when we serve in government. Some of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 demanded the inclusion of a Bill of Rights. They started with the most fundamental one — freedom of conscience and expression. The First Amendment demands that the government secures our ability to worship our Creator, to communicate our ideas, and to initiate changes in our laws in accordance with our values.
The Founders recognized that our public servants may fail to protect our rights. Thus, a Second Amendment was included to secure our ability to resist domestic tyrants who violate our freedoms. The Ninth Amendment noted it was impossible to list all specific rights in the Constitution. That is why the Bill of Rights ended with a reminder that the government has enumerated powers. The Tenth Amendment tells our public servants: you shall not do anything beyond what we wrote here.
Today, we face new threats from the spread of woke culture in our government, public schools, mainstream media, and big corporations. The IRS targeting conservatives. Universities training educators how to push Critical Race Theory on children. Journalists going into meltdown when people express views that clash with their perceptions of reality. Social media giants censoring “politically incorrect” speech. Banks bullying customers who support the right to peaceful assembly and petition.
If you wonder why America is more divided today than at any time since the election of Lincoln, look no further than the illiberal Left. They treat people not as individuals but as members of two antagonistic classes — victims and oppressors.
Their regressive identity politics demand that half of our citizens be denied their First Amendment rights. The rise of this un-American intolerance to alternative worldviews undermines our strength and threatens our Union with dissolution.
Shall we change the Constitution? We would benefit from an amendment that restricts the power of Washington to tax, spend, and meddle in our personal choices and market transactions. But before we try to improve the best man-made law, parents should recognize their responsibility to teach their children what the Constitution is, why it matters, and how to defend it.

About the author:
Alexander Noel Tokarev is a homeschooled high schooler currently enrolled in classes at Northwood University.

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