Bob Whitaker's Weekly Articles  –  July 23, 2005

July 23, 2005  –  The Annotated Constitution

July 23, 2005  –  "We the People"

July 23, 2005  –  OUR Posterity

Fun Quote:

You know the place in the Post Office where they put up pictures of escaped felons and Public Enemies?

I saw my photo up there. Underneath it said,

"Least Wanted."


The Annotated Constitution


A book I will never write would be called The Annotated Constitution. It would go through the Constitution line by line and say what the courts have done with each clause.

I have studied constitutional law and I have instructed constitutional law. The entire course consists of opinions by various judges. What hits you first is how short the Constitution is and how endless the judicial opinions are. The books of them fill whole rooms.

When you comment that much on a short document the document itself gets completely lost.

So I thought it would be fun to go through the tiny Constitution itself and talk about what Judicial Opinion has made of it.

I am not about to write another book now. Nobody's interested.

But I do have an internet program and some points to make, so I decided to make a start at an Annotated Constitution there.

I did almost an hour on the Preamble to the Constitution alone. The link is at


and is titled "Annotated Constitution - Preamble."


"We the People"


One thing everybody agrees on today is that America is a Principle. As National Review says, America is a Propositional State. According to the flag ship of respectable conservatism, you and I, whose families have been in this country for hundreds of years, have nothing to do with The Real Meaning of America.

Thailand may be the Thais, Japan is the Japanese, but America has nothing to do with the people who happen to inhabit it. America is based on a Proposition, a Set of Ideas. A Patriot is one who is loyal to those Ideas.

In other words, National Review agrees with liberals that you can be loyal to America without having any loyalty at all to the American people. Respectable conservatives feel Americans should be grateful because they do not actually HATE Americans the way liberals do.

Liberals feel they are being most loyal to the real America when they are blaming Americans for every evil in the world. Respectable conservatives want to give the little people who happen to be here a little credit. They don't know Latin or Greek, but they do try to be loyal to the proposition, the principles, of America.

It never occurs to any conservative, much less any liberal, that it is not up to Americans to be loyal to THEIR principles. The idea that they can only be patriots if they are loyal to Americans never occurs to them.

At all.

Every Judicial Opinion agrees with this.

So it comes as a shock to read the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

It begins with "We the people of the United States of America," and conservatives don't mind that so much.

But it gets worse. And no conservative EVER quotes the rest. You see, "We the people of the United States in 1789 could have been very idealistic and they could have set down some ideals that America would follow after they died.

But the Founders added a fatal phrase, which no conservative EVER quotes:

"And OUR posterity."


OUR Posterity


"To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." That is the purpose of the Constitution.

That is the ONLY purpose of the Constitution, that is the only authority it rests on. The Constitution says nothing about All Mankind. The writers of the Constitution were trying to get it adopted by Americans. So they only claimed the authority of the American people.

You see, those same Founding fathers had just had experience with people who insisted that THEY knew what all mankind should do. America had declared its independence of such people. The whole point of the Revolution was that AMERICANS ruled America.

It never occurred to the Founding Fathers that they were writing a Constitution that told the rest of the world what it should do.

Nothing could have been more alien to those who wrote the Constitution than the idea that they were writing abstract principles that All Mankind was required to follow.

About fifty years after the Constitution was adopted, John Quincey Adams stated this principle again. Someone was asking America to defend freedom around the world (sound familiar?) and John Quincey Adams replied:

"America is the friend of all people's freedom, but we are the defenders only of our own."

Loyalty to America is precisely what every liberal and every respectable conservative says it is not.

Loyalty to America is loyalty to "We the people fo the United States of America... and OUR posterity."

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Bob's first book - 1976 A Plague On Both Your Houses

Bob's second book - 1982 The New Right Papers
The New Right Papers

Bob's deadliest book - 2004 Why Johnny Can't Think: America's Professor-Priesthood
Why Johnny Can't Think

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