The Constitution Institute
Monday, March 10, 2014
Federalism * Enumerated Powers * Separation of Powers
Message from the President
Dear Fellow Citizen,
Welcome to the Constitution Institute.
All across this country Americans are becoming increasingly alarmed at the expansion and growing influence of the federal government. These same citizens support the legitimate role of a government in Washington, DC that is limited in its size and scope. However, recent actions by the government give evidence that our political leaders are disregarding the mandate for that limited role established for the exercise of power from our nation’s capitol.
Massive annual deficits, the bailout of banks, the takeover of the health care system and a major portion of the auto industry, as well as Congress’ desire to control both the emission of “greenhouse” gasses and the political speech that criticizes such moves (e.g. “fairness doctrine” and campaign finance reform) are just a few examples of the federal government’s growth beyond its rightful function.
The public response has been an almost uniform call for the federal government to operate within an objective standard. The overwhelming choice for that standard is the United States Constitution. However, the instinctive refrain to “return to the Constitution” is accompanied by the reality that the vast majority of Americans have little understanding of even the most fundamental elements of truly constitutional governance.
A 2008 survey conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute revealed that more than 70% of Americans failed a test of basic knowledge of the federal government. Compare this current situation with the belief held by our Founding Fathers that it was the obligation of every American citizen to maintain an intimate familiarity with the proper operation of that same federal government. John Adams observed: “We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands….It becomes necessary to every citizen, then, to be in some degree a statesman.”
Before we can expect the officeholders in Washington, DC to restore the limited government envisioned by the Constitution’s framers, We the People must become enlightened on the profound principles that are present in that important document. Only then will the people be empowered to hold legislators, presidents and justices accountable to their oaths to uphold the Constitution.
The Constitution Institute was founded to lead that educational process.
The mission of the Constitution Institute is to:
Preserve the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity by
Promoting a greater understanding of the United States Constitution and
Providing an education in the practical application of Constitutional principles thereby
To truly educate our fellow citizens on the genius that resides in the Constitution, the Institute will take the advice of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson when he counseled:
On every question of construction, let us 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.
Join the Constitution Institute in our effort by learning more on this website, attending an educational event sponsored by the Institute, and investing your time and finances in the restoration of our “confederated republic.”
Hon. John N. Hostettler