History of the United States
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What is the most importanted right granted to US citizens?


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July 26, 2007 6:41PM

A right to vote I agree about the fundamental importance of voting. Here is another consideration that US citizens forget, or perhaps do not know. The Founding Fathers really were ahead of their time, even if we do tend to think of them as stodgy or hopelessly out-of-date. When they started the Constitution with the words "We the People", they were doing something outrageously unheard of in the world of the late 1700's. They were vesting in the people all authority to create and enact a Constitution. We don't find this particularly exciting, but then it was really revolutionary. Kings, emperors, nobility-- these were the sources, ultimately, of civil authority. There were republics in Rome and in Greece, but those republics were not empowered from the people up. This means that US citizens are really not granted any rights or privileges. Who presumes to 'grant' such things to us? The People reserve ALL rights privileges and authority to themselves, and they voluntarily cede such things as is necessary in order to establish a Constitution and laws for our mutual benefit. This is not just 'words'. When the Constitution is amended, it is amended in one way and one way alone: by the People. Not by Congress, not by the President, and not by the Supreme Court. Congress can initiate an amendment, but it has to go to the states to be enacted. States can also initiate an amendment and enact it without a single vote in Congress. So I vote for the People's custodianship of the Constitution, with the power to amend, as the most powerful and fundamental right that we have.