US Constitution 101

US Constitution 101

By Janis Kristiansen, Contributing Writer

Past Attorney General Barr says the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis.

With all this talk of the Constitution, here’s a basic and elementary understanding of the Constitution.


The word “Constitution” has been thrown around a lot in the news lately. It is the document that gives us our rights as citizens. Here in WA, we live under both the US Constitution and the Constitution of the State of WA.


If you were not paying much attention in high school history class, like me, when the dry and boring history teacher was droning on about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, here’s a few reasons why the vital and life-giving document that describes and enumerates our freedoms and liberties was written. Many of the founders bled and died for this, so we could be a free people.


The main reason the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written for this new nation called the United States of America was:

  • TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS FROM THE GOVERNMENT, not to give government rights over the people.
  • To ensure, as time passed and new people were elected to government, that their powers would remain strictly limited and this legal document would restrict their tendencies to take freedoms from the people.
  • Human nature loves power, and knowing this, the writers of the Constitution understood human nature and wrote into law a lot of detail on how to limit this lust for power government can so easily take from a free citizenry.
  • This document keeps government fearing the people, for we are equipped with the unalienable rights given to us by God, not by any government or sovereign. Government does not grand us our rights, God does, and this understanding is written into the Constitution and other founding documents.
  • Slaves fear their governments and masters; a free people cast fear onto the government and those elected to positions of power.
  • The Bill of Rights cleared up any ambiguity on what the intent and meaning of the Constitution said, and more clearly enumerates these rights.
  • The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is our “teeth” as citizens of this country, and without teeth, no one would fear the free citizens, thus our freedom could be easily stripped from us.
  • These principles transcend both time, cultural whims, and technology.
  • The Constitution applies to the particulars of each generation, regardless of time or advancement of progress,
  • WE the people must be vigilant to watch and hold accountable government officials to respect their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of WA.
  • As citizens, its our duty to hold elected officials accountable and to make sure they are not infringing upon our rights as free citizens.


Important note: The Constitution and the Bill of Rights does not care about anyone’s feelings, nor does it draw dividing lines between those elected to office and the governed based on feelings, emotion, current faddish trends and styles, or personal preferences. Popular faddish trends and emotions of today will be faint memories of tomorrow, yet the Constitution aptly applies through these changing times and seasons.


We as a nation must make decisions based on the laws of our land, and upon the ultimate law giver, God himself, in order to be a just and free people. Feelings and emotions should not set the law of the land, and distress, disease, fear, and the current wind of popular culture and its faddish ideas should not change or alter the time tested Constitution and the Bill of Rights that is the very foundation of our nation.


Fear should not be the basis for our decisions. If so, we stand to lose everything that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees us as a free and sovereign nation.


As Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers said,

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


In this pandemic, do not give up your essential liberty because of fear, and surrender your liberty to those who will not willingly restore it.


Our republic is a priceless gem that many have fought and died to establish and maintain. Let’s do our part to stand!