The United States of America has always been a grand experiment. It could be argued that has been the grandest experiment in Human history. Can a group of people from vastly different backgrounds, traditions, and values band together under a set of a few of the simplest yet most profound set of ideas and principles for the common good of all? From the document that established this Nation the Declaration of Independence this nation has been a part of some radical and new thoughts. The idea that one group of people could separate themselves from another group of people simply because they were not being treated fairly and that those people had an innate RIGHT to do so and that all men were created equal was a vastly different concept than any that had come before. Prior to the Declaration there are very few instances in human history where the people claimed a right to be able to determine their own governance. Most governments were controlled by those that were considered ordained by God to have the best interest of the people in mind simply because of what family they were born into. It was a radical departure from political norms at the time.
A dozen years later when our grand experiment was struggling and oh the brink of failure men of good conscience came together once again and drafted one of the most remarkable pieces of political compromise that this world has ever seen. Once again men from vastly different backgrounds, cultures, and traditions were working to pull the country together and make it a safer and more just place than it had been to that point. They worked together to balance the most devisive and arguably the most immoral practice of the day that was both tradition and the economic backbone of more than half the country with the directives of their concsience that called for the end of the practice entirely. So they put forth provisions in the Constitution that sounded as if they were dehumanizing slaves by failing to fully account for them in terms of representation, but in actuality was designed to limit the power of those determined to continue the abhorrent practice. There were many other compromises made and a few complete oversights.
But the framers of our Constitution understood what they had created would never stand the test of time as it was written in perpetuity. So they put together means by which to change the Constitution, arduous means designed to be exceptionally difficult so that it could not be altered on political whims but after long and careful deliberation. The first ten times the Constitution was amended it was done so to establish a series of expansive liberties that explicitly defined where the government had the power to infringe on a persons individual liberty. Over the years many have grown frustrated with this outlook on the Constitution feeling as though it should have been framed to by describing what the government cannot do (the idea being that everything not explicitly disallowed would be in the governments pervue.)
As flawed as the system may be, the grand experiment continues to this day in part because of the principles upon which it was founded and the document that insured those principles would be adhered to. Our nation was the first Representative Republic founded in more than a thousand years and it is by far the largest the world had ever seen to that point and probably still is. We operate under the guiding principle that the Constitution is the foundation of our system and that system is grounded in the rule of law. The idea that everyone is treated equally in the eyes of the law and that everyone has the same opportunities as everyone else. Our system is supposed to be a grand meritocracy where hard work and diligence is rewarded. It is true over the past 200 plus years that system has been corrupted but the principles remain and the foundation remains, all that is required is for our nation to embrace those principles once again as a people for us to start to find a way back from the brink of ending the experiment in it’s entirety.