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  • Guest Blogger: Congressman Robert Latta (R-OH) On Constitution Day


    I have always been thankful that so many of our country’s greatest leaders and statesmen were able to be on this earth at the same time and place to draft the Constitution. As a lifelong student of history and government, we were blessed as a nation to have individuals that put self-interest and sectionalism aside to debate, argue, draft and sign the Constitution. Our Constitution has been that beacon upon the hill, that guiding star at night, and that shining city that millions of persons around the word have longed to be guided by within their own countries.

    It is my privilege to have introduced H. Res. 734 honoring the Constitution of the United States and the freedoms and rights it has given to every American. Today, the Constitution is not read or studied by enough Americans. I am sure that many people would tell you that some early Americans got together and with the wave of the hand produced the document. I am sure it would be with disbelief to many to find out how it took four hard and acrimonious months from May to September 17, 1787, to actually bring fruition to their labor. The citizens that attended the Convention in Philadelphia were some of our greatest scholars of government and history; Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, Morris, and Washington were just a few of these men. James Madison had studied many forms of government from the ancients to the nations of his day. He reached out to others not only for their opinions but to citizens from around the country. Discussion, debate, and compromise all were the order of the Convention.

    Many different ideas were brought to the Convention. Were they only empowered to amend the Articles of Confederation? Could they go further and start from scratch? Many a discussion was held in Philadelphia’s boarding houses and taverns. These members began debates on creating three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. Madison brought his ideas while others had theirs. There was no air conditioning. Secrecy of the proceedings mandated that all windows and doors be shut. The summer days were hot and tempers flared. But through it all, they worked. These men knew that they would be creating a document for a nation and the ages. A new nation was being watched by the powers of the world. Would this new democracy survive, or would it succumb to infighting and intrigue? Fortunately for us, cooler heads would prevail when impasses occurred. Recesses and adjournments would be called. Personally, I marvel at these giants. Strong willed men would discuss and agree to points that they would not have had it not been for the persuasive and well reasoned arguments that were presented. No one received everything they wanted, and some even went home- but the majority of them stayed to give us our Constitution. It was reported that Benjamin Franklin was asked what (you) have given us. He is said to have replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    After the document was signed on September17, 1787, the next massive task began. The Constitution had to be ratified. The men returned to their states to explain why the Constitution should be ratified. Speeches were made, debates were held, letters were written, and people were persuaded. In true American style, nothing came easy. Today’s citizens should look for guidance from our forefathers. Let all Americans sit down and read this great document. Since the Constitution’s ratification, it has been the framework for our great nation. Not only did great men bring it forth, but for two hundred twenty-two years this Constitution has been paid for by hundreds of thousands of lives- the lives of our brave military men and women. Let the living give thanks to our honored dead who have paid the ultimate sacrifice that the Constitution of the United States remains our guiding light.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Guest Blogger: Congressman Robert Latta (R-OH) On Constitution Day

    1. Bruce, CT says:

      I linked this article to my Facebook and said this:

      Today is Constitution Day. The anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. You know what I did NOT see today… a notice of this day on my At-A-Glance calendar at work. You know what else I did not see? The GOOGLE website doing something creative with their G-O-O-G-L-E, like they do for many unimportant (in my humble opinion) events of a world nature. What could be more world changing than the signing of the US Constitution? For more on this, see this article (yours). For even more good reading about the Constitutional Convention, read Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution by Richard BeemanRead

    2. Alice Martin, Huron, says:

      Congressman Latta,

      What is your opinion of the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution to require all lawmakers, courts and laws… past, present and future… to be accountalbe to the citizens of Ohio and to the Ohio Constitution?

    3. Bill in Baltimore says:

      Good job, Bob.

      Keep up the good work.

      I hear you have good staff.

    4. Gary delivering in F says:

      Another class act for the Honorable Mr. Latta. This man met me in traffic and took the time for his constituent while driving himself and without fear because he says whay he means and means what he says! I do not believe Mrs. Pelosi, Waters, Feinstine, Boxer, Mr. Franks, Reid, Dodd, Rangall, and Waxman or many others travel so freely or mean much of what they spew.

      I digress, my main point centers around today's meaningful accomplishment and how our founders would view seeing estimates of $1,500 to almost $7,000 extra per year for my family to outlay in 'Cap and Tax,' plus another $1,000 – $8,000 grand for a 'Public Option' that my union heads seem to think is a grand ideal. I really have a hard time with political math because neither are or should be in OUR Constitution!

      Congressman, please, please keep fighting the good fight – help your collegues and all of us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. None, but ourselves can free our minds. Please relay for me this great quote:

      "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

      Samuel Adams

      God bless.

    5. bob brandt 218 bond says:

      Dear Congressmen Latta

      The health care legislation currently being discussed is moving forward, something will pass, but whatever is passed shoiuld have an amendment added that all government employees, teachers union members,Police and Firefighters, PERS,congressmen and women, federal, state and local city and town employees come under the same bill. No more special perks for those who are part of the cash cow of government health and retirement programs. The common folk can not afford to purchase the gifted full lifetime health and retirement benefits given to federal, state and local employees.

      Bob Brandt

    6. Steve Jelinek, Minne says:

      Did anyone see any mention of the day nestled somewhere in the backpacks, our children tote back and forth to school? Now that would be news!

    7. Blue Dog - Michigan says:

      It is telling that not one word spoken out of Mr. Obama's mouth about the 222nd anniversary of the adoption of our constitution. He has, however, in the past said that the constitution is, "generally, a charter of negative liberties." And this individual holds the highest office in the land. Unbelievable!

    8. Kelly, Denver, CO says:

      It's too bad there are no defenders of the Constitution in Washington D.C. Both Democrats and Republicans are trashing it as fast as they can. :-(

      Sometimes I wonder if any of them even knows what rights are or why we have them? (Much less how to protect them.)


    9. ChuckL, Nevada says:

      Response to Alice Martin's question.

      Dear Ms. Martin, Your proposal would create a massive review of all laws and possibly require changing many things that now exist in the State in which I was born. Further, the addition of, "…to be accountalbe (sic) to the citizens of Ohio" would open the state to what is called a "Tyranny of the Masses" which is the opposite of the rule of law.

      I believe that in most cases, your request is already in existence. Certainly all elected officials are accountable to the voters, who can simply reject them at the next election, and in many cases initiate recall proceedings immediately.

    10. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      All of the Federal Representatives, Senators and the President and the States are to obey the Constitution of the United States of America. All States are to obey their own Constitution unless it is in contrast to the US Constitution.

      America's problem is that we have failed to teach our children, as we once had in my time, to know this document, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, and to be tested on it!

      We no longer require this test to our Emigrants. We do not enforce in any way the oaths taken by any of our elected officials.

      Those who now represent us no nothing of our basic Constituion, only their own legal arguments against it. And this is only not right, it is unjust.

      We Americans, those born American and those who have legally emigrated into becoming an American need to call these people into accounted and vote them out of office one by one, one election at a time, and replace them with honest ment and women who promise to fall upon their swords if they in anyway break their allegiance to the Constitution of the Untited States of America, or their own State! Settle of nothing less.


    11. Jerry from Chicago says:

      "One nation, under God" cannot be spoken in classrooms because some atheist somewhere is offended. We don't see our school boards requiring classes in the U.S. Constitution any longer. Kids aren't being taught why the US Constitution was written; what it was meant to do and why; what the Bill of Rights are and why they are extremely important to every man, woman and child in this country.

      But yet, our school boards feel confident in requiring classes teaching the acceptance of homosexuality, of the fallacy of "global warming", of keeping parents ignorant of teen pregnancies and in the dispensing of condoms to school students. Our school boards continue to "promote" students from one grade to another, even when they haven't mastered the subject matter. They tell teachers, "teach to the test", it doesn't matter if the students actually learn anything, as long as they pass the test and the school gets a "passing mark" from federal and state regulatory agenies. They have determined that self esteem is more important than actual accomplishment, which is why students bring home trophies for finishing 23rd in a competition of 23.

    12. Edward Foster, Breva says:

      Sorry to disagree with you Congressman Latta but the Constitution did NOT give us our rights. Our rights are inherent in our nature or, as believers would put it, given to us by God. Through the Constitution, the Founders delegated (lent, transferred, pick your own word) SOME of our personal rights to a central government in order to provide for the common defense and other functions which cannot be performed effectively by individuals. We, the People, retained ALL OTHER RIGHTS except for those given to the government via the Constitution. The Founders also made provision to amend the Constitution as future needs dictated. But they were very careful to make amending it a long arduous process so that it would not be tampered with on a whim. That is the genius of our Constitution. That is what is so admired by free men everywhere on earth. That is what is now in jeopardy.

      Edward J. Foster

    13. No_limits50 says:

      This seems to suggest that the higher temperature of the warm-blooded animal includes the advantage of enabling it to get rid of its entropy at a quicker rate, so that it can afford a more intense life process. ,

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