The Constitution

It’s what we live by and Saturday Milam residents can hear it all

It’s been revered, reviled argued about, debated, ignored, understood, misunderstood, sanctified and everything in between for the past 230 years.

And on Saturday, Milam and area residents will be able to hear every word of the U. S. Constitution on the steps of the Milam County Courthouse, thanks to the county’s Masonic lodges. See story, page 1A.

It’s sobering, and telling, to think that of all the nations with written constitutions the United States has the oldest.

And the shortest. Editors are right, say it, say it well with a minimum of words and shut up.

We have a Constitution for the most American of reasons. The first thing we tried didn’t work. So we rubbed out the Articles of Confederation and started over.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were in France and Great Britain, respectively, doing the work of the brand-new United States of America. When Jefferson got back he said “pretty good boys but you left something out,” or words to the effect.

He thought that citizens of the new nation needed to have a “what’s in this for me?” section with their individual rights written down and guaranteed.

We call that the Bill of Rights. Thanks, Mr. Jefferson. You put the “we” in “We, the people.”

The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It’s hard to amend and it should be. It was made for the ages, not for the shifting fads and fancies of generations.

More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced over the years. Thirty-three have gone to the states to be ratified and 27 have been approved by the necessary number of states.

What’s in the rest of it?

Come to Cameron Saturday morning and you can find out.—M.B.

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