Principles of Freedom Found in the Constitution
I think I use the phrase “principles of freedom found in the Constitution” 5,682 times on this site. I want to take a moment to explain what those principles are and why they matter.
It would be completely inaccurate and unfair to attribute these principles solely to the Constitution since they were best written and expressed in our Declaration of Independence. The Declaration provides the “why” behind our freedom formula and the Constitution provides the “what”. Both, however, are founded firmly on principles.
First off, I understand the definition of the term principle to be a simple, fundamental declaration of truth that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior. As I’ve spent the last three and a half years of my life being blessed to have had the privilege of devoting my professional life to the study and teaching of freedom, the value and power of principles has become very evident. I have come to the conclusion that the best way to view our world – especially our political world – is to view it through the lens of principles. Doing so establishes a firm foundation through which current events, social issues, bills, candidates, ideas, programs etc, can be viewed with clarity and perspective.
That being said, since my pet peeve is generalities, here is a list of some of the specific “principles of freedom” that are found all throughout our Constitution and Declaration of Independence and that are explained in the presentations:
Self-government – only individuals are endowed by their Creator with rights and therefore only they possess the powers of government
Delegated Powers – government can only do 1) what individuals have a right from God to do, and 2) what people consent for government to do on their behalf
Republicanism – the people elect public servants to represent them and to be accountable to them. The public servants are bound by oath to uphold and defend the Constitution in the execution of their public duties.
Federalism – govern at the lowest level possible, the level closest to the people so they remain in charge
Limited Power – government is the servant, not the master
Government is Force – accordingly, any governmental action is wrong if it would offend your conscience to use force at an individual level to accomplish the objective
Proper Role of Government – government should be a protective, reactive, negative force not a proactive, providential, positive force
All Men Are Created Equal – No man was born to reign over another and laws apply equally to all
Private Property – without it, our life and liberty would be fruitless
Free Market – choice, not force, yields the best outcomes and solutions