Jeff MerkleyOur Nation and our government were founded on a principle that can be summed up in three words: “We the People,” the first three words of our Constitution, the three words that our Founders wrote in supersized font so that no matter who you were you would remember that this is the guiding mission of our form of government. This is the guiding mission of the Constitution.

From across the room, you can’t read the fine print of article I and article II and so forth, but you can see what the Constitution is all about: we the people.

Lincoln captured that notion when he spoke in his Gettysburg Address and said: “We are a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people.” He didn’t describe our system of government as of, by, and for the privileged. Our Founders didn’t write “We, the powerful and privileged” at the start of our Constitution. That is what makes us different from the governments that dominated Europe, where the rich and powerful governed on behalf of the rich and powerful. America turned that on its head with our system of government. Our system of democratic republic governance.

Therefore, we are at a very strange moment right now because just 20 days ago, 217 Members, a small majority over in the House, voted for a bill that was all about government of and by the powerful, for the powerful, of and by the privileged, for the privileged, not by the people, for the people. They voted for TrumpCare.

—Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–OR)

Trumpcare,  Senate Floor, May 24, 2017

Historians: Rate or comment

Leave a Reply

Notify of