If all the tales are told, retell them, Brother.
If few attend, let those who listen feel.
- Catherine Drinker Bowen
I have started to read Miracle at Philadelphia the story of the constitutional convention that formed the constitution of the USA.The quote above is from the Author's Preface. It got me thinking about how when I hear the story of the constitution and how I feel about it. Personally I think the constitution was divinely inspired.
The Preamble to the Constitution states:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.
Now if you're like me you first heard this from Schoolhouse Rock. The tune is catchy and I'm singing along with it as I write this. These first words of what some consider the greatest document ever written start a feeling of pride, joy, . . . it's not quite explainable in me. The story retold makes me feel and herein lies the power of the document.
I'm looking forward to reading this book. I am only a few pages into it, but can tell that it will be both fascinating and enlightening. Part of the fascination is to understand how this country went from the Articles of Confederation and 13 "sovereign" states acting independently to a national government meant to meet the goals of the Preamble. One of the states (Rhode Island) didn't even send a delegation to the convention. The states were of the opinion that a federal government would gain too much control. The convention had to be couched as an update to the Articles of Confederation just to get permission to convene. It's fascinating to see how some of the greatest minds our country had at the time had such differing opinions on things.
Now the question comes up as to why I am reading this book. Well truthfully this year is a pivotal year in our country's history. This is an historic election. I want to understand how the constitution came to be and the thought processes and arguments behind it. Then I want to compare that to the campaigns of the candidates and see which one (if any) holds to the ideals that this country was founded on. I'm taking the election seriously this year and hope that when the tale of the election of 2008 is retold, those that attend and listen will feel.