Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Essay on: Is the U.S. Constitution a Living Document?

Yesterday, I posted the first of the three essays I wrote for my Patriot Academy entrance.  By popular demand, I've decided to post the second one today.

By Destiny Palmer

In your opinion, should the U.S. Constitution be considered to be a living document, the interpretation of which changes with circumstances? Why?

Words matter! When writing the U.S. Constitution the founding fathers carefully selected their words because they have a specific meaning. With this careful selection they composed a document for the purpose of protecting the rights of the American people. They knew that the governing officials would need an unchanging, set guideline to refer to throughout the ages to accomplish this task. Thus, purposefully they used certain words with specific definitions, so that our liberty would be preserved for generations to come rather than misinterpretations restricting it.

However, with the English language constantly evolving, many word definitions are no longer the same as when the forefathers wrote our founding documents. They knew that was bound to happen. Let's face it, languages are always changing! And they also knew just how injurious those changes were bound to be. If the Constitution were to be redefined by today's language, not only would the constitution fail in it's duty in protecting the people's rights but could be used against the people instead. James Madison once said, “What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense."

The evolution of the English language does not change the job of the Constitution, it just makes it harder for us to understand and interpret. Noah Webster, one of America's founders, wrote the 1828 dictionary, in order to preserve the language that our founding fathers used when writing our founding documents so that future generations would be able to understand what they meant. Because words matter, and he knew that the evolution of the English language was inevitable. The only way we can properly comprehend the Constitution is to return to the original language that the founding fathers used. Like Thomas Jefferson said, “On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

Therefore, in my opinion the U.S. Constitution is not a living document that changes through the ages. As its purpose stays the same and the original intent of the founding fathers is unchanging, the U.S. Constitution should always be applied in the sense in which it was passed.

Monday, June 24, 2013

An Essay on: Term Limits

I was listening to the Good Morning Bartow show this morning on the radio with David Paul and Melissa Huneke from Bartow Politics at www.bartowpolitics.com and the all new Georgia Politics at www.georgiapolitics.org  During the show, someone called in on the issue of term limits, and it reminded me of an essay I had written when I applied for the Patriot Academy. 

Patriot Academy required each applicant to write:

"3 Short (450 words or less) Essays, answering these questions:

  • - Do you think that elected officials should be term limited?
  • - In your opinion, should the U.S. Constitution be considered to be a living document, the interpretation of which changes with circumstances? Why?
  • - Give a secular argument in favor of the “Defense of Marriage Act”– the bill that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. You may not quote or reference the Bible in this particular essay. "

So, I thought you all might like to read one of the three essays, and since term limits was fresh on my mind, I selected that one.

Destiny Palmer

Do you think that elected officials should be term limited? . . . .

To answer this question, I want to give you a hypothetical situation. Let's say you own a large business. You can't handle all the work yourself, so you hire salesmen to do business on your behalf. You tell them what products you want them to present and how you want them to be presented, and then their job is to carry out your business for you. How would you feel if one of your managers told your salesman that they had worked for you for the max amount of time allowed and fired them? You thought they were doing a great job at representing you and they were very productive in their work. Wouldn't you be upset with the fact that your employee was fired by someone who worked with them rather than by you who hired them? It simply doesn't make sense.

Now take that same scenario and apply it to the government. You co-own this country, and you elect officials to represent you and run it on your behalf. You tell them what kind of bills you want them to create, support, or vote against. Then they do their best to serve you and their other constituents according to the loudest voice they are hearing. We have the right to replace them if they are no longer keeping a common interest with the people.

There is already a process in place for limiting elected officials' terms. It's called elections! And it's important to have them often! The whole purpose of elections is for the people to have a chance to evaluate who would best represent them and then vote accordingly. It's like having an interview. The one who wins the approval of the majority of the people gets the job. Although they work in and with the government, they ultimately work for us, the people. We are essentially their boss, and it is up to us, not the government, to choose when our elected officials should be replaced. It is our decision to make when they have become ineffective or are no longer holding our interests before their own. Their term ends when the people decide they aren't doing business on their behalf anymore, and they lose the election.

Friday, June 21, 2013

L.I.F.T. Principles

I was reading the freshman packet for Patriot Academy, and I stumbled across the concept of the L.I.F.T. principles.  So, I thought I'd share with all of you that excerpt:

"The Biblically based LIFT principles summarize the core values of constitutional conservatism and will be explained in detail at Patriot Academy.
They are:
Limited Government
Individual Liberty
Free Market
Traditional Values"
I'm definitely going to keep this one in mind for common reference! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Law

This week, along with research for my mock bill, I am reading The Law by Frederic Bastiat from the required reading list.  So far it is a very fascinating book.  How could it not be with the first sentence being,"The law perverted."  I don't have much time to write some of my comments right now, but I will try to soon.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Taking it Seriously

Patriot Academy 2013 in Texas is just five short weeks away!  And there is so much to do to get ready for it!  This is no summer camp!  Patriot Academy has a required reading list, a required listening list, and other study materials on the legislative process that I've got to tackle and understand before I even get to Texas!

So, do you remember when I said this?
"The Patriot Academy is essentially a simulated legislative session along with other training classes, and when you get there you .  You're not just learning about the legislative process, you are literally immersed in it!  Which is what makes this one of the best leadership training schools around!"
Well, just to add to the learning process, each student goes through the process of drafting their very own bill. 

In my opinion, an elected official is hired by the people to do business on their behalf, so I'm going to take this whole "serve in the role of a representative" thing seriously.  So, I want to know what you would like to see in a piece of legislation.  What issues would you like tackled?  What would you like my bill be?  I'd love to hear your ideas.  I will be accepting suggestions until the end of this week.  Just post a comment or contact me using the form to your right. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thank you

Dear Supporters,

I just wanted to let you know that I have reached my financial goal, and I am now finished with my fund raising. Thank you so much to all of you that graciously donated to my “campaign”. Your speedy and generous support humbles me!

Patriot Academy is going to be amazing, and I can't wait to learn all that they have to offer! If you would like to read updates from me as I go through the learning process, you can check my blog. 

Thank you so much for all of your support!


Destiny Palmer
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." -- Galatians 5:1 (NIV)