Constitution a guiding document

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …”

These 15 words begin the preamble of the United States Constitution, our country’s founding document that was signed on Sept. 17, 230 years ago. A first-of-its-kind, modern composition, our Constitution established a new kind of government, a new kind of world order. Never before had a government existed that was purely led and elected by the people.

More so than that, our Constitution created three separate branches of government, a system of checks-and-balances that would prevent any one person or entity from garnering too much authority. Having suffered under the reign of an all-powerful monarchy, our Founding Fathers knew a balanced and equal government structure would better represent the people while ensuring a fair rule of law.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention also made the individual rights of our country’s people a priority by adopting the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. These amendments uphold the self-evident and pro\tected liberties of the people, the freedom of speech and religion, right to bear arms, right to a fair trial, and more. The tenth amendment proscribes any federal overreach; any powers not delegated specifically to the federal government are retained by the states and the people.

In today’s day and age, it has become increasingly important to maintain these individual rights and uphold the reasons the United States was founded in the first place — for the right to pursue your own personal life, health, and happiness. Too often these days we forget these fundamental principles which are so crucial to the American perspective, and Constitution Day gives us an opportunity to remember and retell our country’s origin story.

Even 230 years after its signing, the U.S. Constitution remains a central part of what makes up America great and unique: a living document that we must continue to look to for guidance.

In my own experience as a legislator, I have found that the Constitution has never failed me. Because of its creation we remain the greatest republic ever to have existed.

Ohio House Representative Andy Thompson may be reached by calling 614-644-8728, e-mailing, or by writing to State Rep. Andy Thompson, 77 South High St., Columbus, Ohio, 43215.