Kesha Towne
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American Government

Preamble to the Constitution
Thursday, April 13, 2006 8:50 AM

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” There are six goals stated in the Preamble to the Constitution. Each of these goals are still relevant today, although sometimes it doesn’t seem as though they are. Some of these goals seem to have been pushed aside or used in order to change things a little bit. I think it is important to realize how the Constitution of our country, what are Founding Fathers wrote to better our country, are followed and/or not followed today.

I believe that the United States does as much as they can to “form a more perfect Union.” As our country was being founded there were many obstacles we had to overcome to become the free nation we are today. We struggled with slavery, poverty, discrimination, and many other things, but I think that because of very strong individuals we have been able to join as a whole nation. I know there are still acts of discrimination and poverty and many other things but I think we continue to try and grow and do what we can to lessen these things. Just as there will never be a “perfect person,” I don’t think there can ever be a “perfect Union.” But, as the Preamble to the Constitution reads, we can always be working to “form a more perfect Union.” There will always be room for improvements, and I think that things are being improved slowly but surely as each year progresses.

One of the goals of the Constitution is to “establish Justice.” I think a very current example of this is the Bush Administration wanting to “establish Justice” in Iraq. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Bush said to the Congress “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” This shows how President Bush is definitely focusing on establishing justice, although it is not within our own country. Within our own country I think that in the big picture we have established justice pretty well. We have had many fights and battles to get to this point. Two big movements that helped the United States establish justice are the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the African American Civil Rights Movement. Although many other countries look at our country as free of discrimination, I still think there is discrimination today. I think there is never going to be a time where there is not discrimination. Overall, I think that the United States has done a pretty good job of establishing justice.

Along with our Founding Fathers, many people wish our country can “insure domestic Tranquility.” I think this means that our country as a whole is all set on the same page and doesn’t have turmoil throughout the country. Almost every day I hear someone make a negative comment about our President or just our government in general. I don’t think that at this point our country is doing a very good job of insuring “domestic Tranquility.” I hear many comments about how things are being done wrong or how much the government is taking away from us. There are many people who are upset with some of President Bush’s decisions, like keeping troops in Iraq. Although I don’t think it would ever be possible to have every single person in our country be happy with the government, I do think there could be a lot of improvements. It upsets me when people are bashing our President, considering the majority did vote him into office. Although it was a close call, he is the one who got put into office. Maybe this fall, when we have a new Presidential Election more people will be at peace with the government. But it is impossible to tell. Every person is unique in their own ways and has their own opinion on everything, so I don’t think it will ever be at 100% domestic tranquility. But I do think that things can be improved, and at this point I think a lot of it has to do with our President in office. Hopefully sometime in the future more people can be okay with, and positive, about our government.

There are many different opinions on the idea of if our country is currently trying to “provide for common defense.” Some people believe that because our troops are so caught up in Iraq that they are unable to defend our country here on our own grounds. During Hurricane Katrina I heard many adults around me talking about how if there weren’t so many troops trying to fix other countries (like Iraq) there would have been more troops available to go to New Orleans and help out. I just heard so many different opinions and personally I don’t really know how much truth there is in the statement of not having enough troops to help out in New Orleans. I think that our country really advertises for people to join the Army, National Guard, and Navy, and I do think that our defenses are pretty strong. In World War II, we definitely were able to “provide for common defense,” by using the atomic bombs and forcing Japan to surrender. I think that compared to many other countries our defenses are very strong. I’m not always sure if they are used in the right ways, but as a whole I do believe that our country does the best they can at providing common defense.

In the Preamble to the Constitution it states that our country will try to “promote the general welfare.” I think this means that everyone works together for the common good. I see this happening around me, although sometimes I question it. I see many people promoting general welfare through volunteer groups and such things. An example is when Hurricane Katrina hit. There were many people around the country doing what they could to help out. People running food drives, clothes drives, selling bracelets or t-shirts and donating the profits to American Red Cross, and donating different supplies, are some things that were done to help out with Hurricane Katrina. Through my church, I have gone on mission trips helping people who are in need. Often through schools we have different fund raisers, food drives, etc. to be donated to nearby shelters. There are programs such as Americorps and Empowerment Zones that encourage people to do community service and help inner city neighborhoods. For some people they are given community service as a punishment. I suppose you can say they are contributing to “promote the general welfare,” but they are being forced to do this. I think that our Founding Fathers wanted our country to be able to “promote the general welfare” more willingly. Although I think our country does promote general welfare, I find it upsetting that we have to be forced or highly encouraged to do so. I wish we were able to do it to help our own country, and that’s it, not because we are forced to.

To “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” there are many different things involved. I think the “Blessings of Liberty” include things like property and environmental protection, community safety and development, business development, public improvements, and education. These are things we want for ourselves and for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and each generation after that. I think these things have to be enforced more by local and state governments instead of the federal government. Each community is going to be different and the federal government can’t meet the needs of each individual community. I know in my neighborhood, both community safety and development are very important. I feel safe living in my neighborhood and feel that the development is growing. Looking at a bigger picture, of the Twin Cities, there is a lot of business development and public improvements all the time. Different laws are being passed to create a safer environment. Two fairly recent ones are the banning of smoking in public areas and teenagers not being able to talk on their cell phones while driving. In different states, and even different parts of one state, I think this goal of the country are at different spots in developing and being reached. I do feel that in my community many “Blessings of Liberty” have been secured. It is difficult to decide if the country as a whole has secured the blessings of liberty because things are so different in each and every community, state, and region.

I think that there are many different things that the Constitution of the United States tries to enforce. In the Preamble to the Constitution, six goals are stated. Our Founding Fathers hoped that our country would form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. This is why the Constitution was written.