September 18, 2019
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a former high school history teacher, spoke on the Senate floor to discuss the significance of the U.S. Constitution, which was ratified on September 17th, 1787.
Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:
“Mr. President, I want to join my colleagues… to talk about the uniqueness of the government we have. The unbelievable coming together of ideas in Philadelphia in 1787, ideas frankly that nobody ever had thought of in quite the same way before, starting with the first three words. It’s the only document ever devised, up until that time, that suggested that the source of government was the source of government that the Constitution recognizes immediately.
“When the Magna Carta talked about the relationship between the king and the barons of England, and that was even a big step in a new direction because up until then, under monarchies, there was only one source of government, which was God and God’s ordained, chosen monarch was viewed by country after country after country as the way this should be done. And there would be a succession and it would be understood, and had really nothing to do with you or me or anybody else. It was all some greater plan left up to somebody else. …
“In fact the Constitution goes on to say we're doing this to form a more perfect union. They don’t even suggest we’re forming a perfect union, they just suggest we’re forming a more perfect union. Understanding that even within their range of vision of what might happen. And there were people advocating that women be able to vote, as Abigail Adams had during the Revolution itself, there were people advocating that slavery be ended. All of those things were evidenced in that room as part of the debate that didn’t happen. But they didn’t wait to have a perfect union. They said we’re going to form a more perfect union, and you’ve got to believe in that they assumed it would get more perfect as time went on. And here we are, 200 and some years later, is it perfect yet, no. But it’s hopefully more perfect than it has been, and less perfect than it will be because we the people are going to come together in this convention and then later adopt it in a bigger setting to form a more perfect union. And that more perfect union would include ideas that nobody had ever thought about before. If the people are forming the government, what kind of controls do you put on the government, not too many controls. …
“But here we are, celebrating this unique moment where people came together with ideas that got on paper and were approved, that even if they'd been talked about before had never formed the basis for a government before. And here we are, well over 200 years, beyond 1787 and the first year of the government, 1789, and that Constitution has been the model for all kinds of constitution[s] by all kinds of countries.
“Interestingly, many of them have the same, almost the same Constitution we have. They just have not been able to figure out how to live with it or to let the balance of power and the power of people work. Again, the most important part, the first three words, the most important understanding to form a more perfect union, not yet accomplished, maybe never accomplished, but it always gives us a goal for things to be better than they have been, in the country we have the opportunity to live in, under the Constitution that provides a unique set of liberties and freedoms that others can only hope for.”