Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Founders' Key by Larry P. Arnn
In this election year, you may have heard a lot of talk about the Constitution of the United States, how our government officials have ignored it and how we need to "get back to the Constitution." According to the author, it all started with Franklin Delano Roosevelt who insisted that the Constitution was out-dated and that it should be "a living document," changing with the times. This is the view of the Progressive movement today. Roosevelt felt that the Declaration of Independence is a document that is "set in stone" and as valid today as the day it was written. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that the Declaration and the Constitution function as a unit and that both are as valid today as when the Founders signed them.
The author, Dr. Larry Arnn, is president of Hillsdale College and has written on public policy, history, and politics for numerous media outlets. He points out the dangers of ignoring the Constitution. For example, we are supposed to have three branches of government: legislative, judicial, and executive. However, because those in power in these branches have ceded their power to government agencies that they themselves have set up, we now have a fourth branch, the bureaucracy. These agencies are not accountable to the people at all. The people that run them are not elected but appointed by political cronies. This is not what the founders intended when they established a government by consent of the governed.
My first thought when seeing the title of this book was, "Key to what?" The answer is "hope for a free people." Arnn effectively shows how the hope we are looking for is found in re-connecting the principles contained in our founding documents. He also includes the Declaration, the Constitution with all Amendments, and several of the Federalist Papers in the appendix.
I recommend this book, although I found it hard to follow at times. It made me want to refresh my memory on the content of the Declaration and Constitution. I think that's something we all need to do periodically. We, the people, are supposed to know how our government is supposed to function. It is also our responsibility to change the personnel in the government when they stray from the founding principles.
Check it out on Amazon using the "Look Inside" feature.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”