Constitution Day: It Started With The Declaration Of Independence

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - by Tommy Craggle

Nowadays there seems to be little interest in the founding of our country on the part of people who think that what happened in 1776 or 1787 has little bearing on issues of today.  Let’s look at this concept. 

On this day, 226 years ago, the Constitutional Convention, after much debate, approved the United States Constitution.  Subsequently, the required States ratified it and General George Washington was inaugurated as President of the United States.  

Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government the Convention created.  He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”  Many of the Founders understood that it is the responsibility of the People to keep the government in compliance with the Constitution.  Now, over 200 years later, we are still trying to do that and it is becoming more and more difficult.   

What exactly is a Republic?  A Republic is a form of government where representatives are elected by the People who represent our interests in the halls of government.  Well then, what is a Democracy?  A Democracy is the form of government where the majority rules.  We have what is best described as a Constitutional Republic--A representative government that is governed by a written Constitution that is considered the Law of the Land.  The founders intended that America was to be a nation under the rule of law rather than the arbitrary rule of men.   

Some folks say that the Declaration of Independence is not connected to the Constitution and should not be a part of this discussion.   I say there would be no Constitution if there was no Declaration, for it represents perhaps the biggest decision in the history of the world—that being to break away from the bonds of the tyrant King of England.   

Listen to the wording of the Declaration, penned by Thomas Jefferson: 

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal (as decreed by the laws of nature and nature’s God), that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…..”   

What a statement about Slavery and Liberty!  If only the cotton picker, cotton gin, and a few other pieces of mechanized equipment had been in existence, the Founders could have done away with slavery then and avoided the Civil War.  Even after the horror of the Civil War, we still have women in the United States who can legally exert a slave-master’s death sentence over their own offspring, in the form of abortion. 

The Declaration continues….“to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  This was a revolutionary concept at that time and is seemingly more revolutionary each day.   

The Declaration also continues…. “That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive to those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government.”  Emphasis added. 

Finally, let’s look at the end of the Declaration.  There were 56 signers representing 13 states who pledged, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”  And many of them did lose their lives and their fortunes, but not their sacred Honor, at the hand of the tyrant King.   

These founders, beginning the journey to a nation with liberty, equality and justice for all, were true Patriots.  We can do no less than protect the legacy that has been given us by the blood of these Patriots. 

Tommy F Crangle, PE


True Revenue Situation

My honorable and respected friend Roy Exum tells us again today, “It has been 12 years since the county fathers have approved a tax increase ... .” I’ll take his word for that, but want some more information. “No tax increase for 12 years” is just the chorus; I want to hear the rest of the song, the specific verses that really tell the tale. The fact is, although Roy’s bare ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Judge Walter Williams May Go Back On The Bench As Administrative Hearing Officer

One of the city's most colorful judges may go back on the bench. The City Council on Tuesday is set to vote on the nomination of former City Court Judge Walter Williams as administrative hearing officer - a new city position. The law license of the former judge was transferred to disability inactive status in August of 2015 after he suffered a stroke early in the year.  ... (click for more)

Body Believed To Be That Of McCallie Student Jackson Standefer Recovered In Colorado River

A body believed to be that of a McCallie School student who was swept away in a creek in the Grand Canyon was recovered on Friday. The Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center said it was notified by a commercial river trip that they located a body on the Colorado River at River Mile 152. Park rangers responded and recovered the body, which was transported to the rim ... (click for more)

Morgan, Smith, Parrott Pace Lady Pounders Past Bearettes 6-0

Maybe Central softball coach LeeAnne Shurette won’t nag her Lady Pounders so much in the coming days. Central collected eight hits, including two-run singles by Tatum Morgan and Janara Smith, on Friday to back Brooke Parrott’s three-hitter and the Lady Pounders defeated Bradley Central 6-0 in the East Hamilton tournament at The Summit. “Shurette has been nagging, maybe ... (click for more)

McCallie Earns 3-1 Soccer Win Over Rival Baylor

When his team needed him the most, McCallie senior Drew Viscomi did what he does best. Two minutes after the Blue Tornado allowed an equalizer to rival Baylor in the Division II Mid-East Region soccer match on the Red Raiders’ home field, Viscomi’s strike put his team back on top. Five minutes later, the All-American and school single-season scoring leader ... (click for more)