Political turmoil and unrest around the world provides us an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution in the lives of all Americans. Every four years our nation repeats the process of selecting the country’s executive leader, the President. Thousands of elections are held to select an array of political leadership ranging from city aldermen to governors to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The elected officials, empowered and constrained by the U.S. Constitution, go to work to forge and implement policies expressed by their constituents throughout the election process.
It is easy to take this document for granted, a governing structure that allows a nation to peacefully change its leadership, select policy directions, and continue to provide the freedom for all to express their ideas without the need for, or fear of, public violence. As we look around the world, violence and political oppression are evident across the globe. Our nation is truly blessed.
The U.S. Constitution aims to guarantee rights to individuals, establish the responsibilities of government, and assure free and periodic elections. While radical and visionary at the time of its adoption, our constitution continues to work.
M. David Rudd
University of Memphis