The US Constitution: “Pull The Curtain” and Expose The Truth to Dispel the Make-Believe
Looking for Democracy in the US Constitution
On Thursday, August 25, 2022, NCRN hosted a presentation with Greg Coleridge, co-author of the 2007 article "The US Constitution: Pull the Curtain".
We encourage you to read the article, listen to the discussion and continue to dispel the make-believe.
The core of our work is the belief that unalienable rights and the right to self-governance, both individually and in local communities, should be the law of the land. Self-governance means that a community should have the right to make decisions for the common good.
In the Declaration of Independence (1776) it is stated that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But 12 years later, white men with property wrote and ratified the Constitution not to uphold ALL people’s “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” but to protect and grow their personal wealth and exploit labor and the environment for their continued personal gain. This was and is the “law of the land”. We have been programmed to believe that our Constitution was and is designed to grant equal rights and protections to all.
It is time to “Pull the Curtain” on the US Constitution and dispel the make believe, uncover the deceptions, learn the truth and take actions toward Justice for ALL.
In “The U.S. Constitution: Pull the Curtain”, Greg Coleridge and Virginia Rasmussen reveal the many examples within the constitution which blow up our beliefs that this sacred document represents “We the People”. Some excerpts from the article:
“The Preamble to the Constitution reads: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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." (“But the Constitution's provisions were at odds with the self-governing spirit of this opening, a discrepancy not lost on the people!”)
“The U.S. Constitution represented a revolutionary shift in governance — the concept that a set of agreements can "lead the way" rather than a single person based on bloodline, military conquest, or "anointment from God."
“Yet it was not We the People the Constitution put in charge, nor were the people's protections or rights its central purpose. Governing power would not rest with the propertyless or with Native Americans, African Americans or women. That power has never rested with those lacking wealth or an elevated association with the corporate form.“
“The Constitutional foundation of this country was fixed against self-governance from the start.”
Image from the article, “The U.S. Constitution: Pull the Curtain”
“When a horrific law is passed or a leader abuses power, we want to count on our one-of-a-kind, "self-correcting" system to set things right. But wishful thinking is costly. It lends credence to historian Edward Morgan's warning that, "Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the King is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are equal or make believe they are not."
“It's time to get beyond make-believe. We need to see this Constitution anew, acknowledge its positive elements and find those provisions that thwart the democracy to which we aspire.”
The Framers’ “central theme was private rights as opposed to a larger public virtue. And above all, they sought stability and security through property and its protection, not through the capacities and possibilities of all the people.”
The Anti-Federalists of 1776 “warned that great differences in the power and wealth of a citizenry would make impossible the pursuit of the collective good.”
“The original Constitution contains many provisions that were meant to protect ‘We the Propertied People’ rather than ‘We the People.’ Elements that serve the fortunes of the already powerful and wealthy are buried in what many believe to be the most democratic of documents.”
Greg Coleridge, Co-Director Move to Amend
Greg Coleridge (he/him) is Co-Director of Move to Amend. He previously worked for more than three decades with the American Friends Service Committee in Ohio where he educated, advocated and organized on a range of justice, peace, environmental and democracy issues -- including helping coordinate Move to Amend activities in the Buckeye state.
He is the author of The Depth of Change: Selected Writings and Remarks on Social Change (2022), Citizens over Corporations: A Brief History of Democracy in Ohio and Challenges to Freedom in the Future (2003), writer of the documentary CorpOrNation: The Story of Citizens and Corporations in Ohio (2003), and contributed several articles to the anthology Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy - A Book of History and Strategy (2001). He currently maintains and distributes via email a weekly REAL Democracy History Calendar and Monetary History Calendar.
Greg is a Board Member of the Alliance for Just Money (AFJM). He previously served an elected term on the national governing board of Common Cause and was a Principal with the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD).
He loves camping, hiking, walking and swimming – especially with his wife, daughter and son-in-law -- and almost everything else outdoors!