Save Our American System | Opinion

Understanding the purpose of the U.S. Constitution is more important in 2020 than at any time since its adoption on September 17, 1787. There have been many fights and struggles in America's history, and they have always been fought on ideological grounds. Our Revolutionary War that led to ratification of the Constitution and our system of government was fought because our Founders believed that every human being is made in the image of God and endowed by Him with certain unalienable rights. Severe infringement upon our rights necessitated declaring independence and appealing to the highest source of law—the God revealed in the Bible—for the moral uprightness of our revolution.

Our Founders recognized that rights preexist government and that the chief purpose of government is to preserve and protect those rights for the individual. Government does not exist to serve itself. It is a necessary institution to provide civil society with laws designed to enforce justice, restrain evil and ensure citizens have the best opportunity to exercise their individual freedoms.

Importantly, our Founders strongly debated what parameters and powers should be given to the civil government, but agreed unanimously on the universality of absolute truth and that our individual rights come from God because we are made in His image and have inherent dignity and worth. Our Founders agreed that the purpose of government is to protect our individual rights, so the design of our government should achieve this purpose.

Today, Americans disagree strongly on the purpose of government. America celebrates Constitution Day every September 17, but we are dangerously close to throwing out our ideological heritage and design of government in practice.

Democrats and leftists have made no secret of the fact that destroying our system of government is exactly what they intend to do. This progressive revolution is not just about the riots and senseless violence or one narrow issue like police reform; it is about transformation of America and an ideological shift away from America's founding principles. It is a physical war on our own soil, undergirded by an ideology antithetical to our Constitution.

Our Constitution established a system of government that is intended to provide the most freedom and liberty to the individual and limit government power to only what is absolutely necessary to protect individual rights. The Founders, in their wisdom, separated powers into three coequal federal branches and three levels of power (federal, state, and the individual).

In this way, we purposefully limit government's ability to infringe on our freedoms and preserve individual decision-making and opportunity (that is, liberty) within our daily lives. We can decide what's best for ourselves and our families in education, career, faith and innumerable daily decisions. We can achieve and advance because we have unlimited opportunity, ensured by the checks and balances of a government intended to provide true and meaningful justice. America promotes good and restrains evil. This is the design of a moral society intended to provide liberty and justice for all.

Our government is intended to function this way. Just like any other complex system, if one attempts to use it for a purpose it's not designed for, it either malfunctions, jams or is destroyed. Thankfully, the safeguards in our system have frustrated the purposes of nefarious users who tried to concentrate too much power in one branch or exert their powers in ways the system isn't designed for. Our separation of powers, judicial review and system of federalism have functioned exactly as intended: as a log-jam for tyranny and barrier to injustice.

National Archives
Visitors wait in line to view the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong) Getty

Now, the progressive users who have been frustrated by the design of the Constitution are seeking to destroy it altogether. Marxism is an ideology completely incompatible with America's founding in a Judeo-Christian heritage. Marxist philosophy does not value individuals. In its political and economic ideology for civil society, the individual doesn't exist with inherent rights at all. Socialism's goal is to increase government power, not liberty and justice—protection of rights for the individual.

Progressives' goal of destroying our system is shrouded in terms of personal autonomy, designed to appeal to Americans because social Marxists know that Americans actually do value freedom. Unfortunately, we are some of the most self-absorbed people because the individual is so carefully protected in America. (Thus the need for the family and church institutions, as the check and balance on the individual.) In a civil society, we want to be able to decide for ourselves what we believe and how we live our lives. Thus, it's actually an ideological conflict to value personal autonomy and yet politically be in favor of Democrats' true plan for America.

The key is this: When President Trump and conservatives advocate for law and order, originalism and our Constitution against progressive ideas, we aren't doing it for sake of merely advancing one candidate or party over another. We are striving to save the system and the purpose of our civil government. We are trying to save the design of America because we believe in what our Founders did.

John Adams famously said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." This doesn't mean that you have to be a Christian or even religious to benefit from the structure of American government. Adams was talking about understanding the moral design of the system.

If you like freedom and liberty and want to exercise decision-making for yourself and your family, you should take a careful look at the intentional design of our American system of government and our nation's history of providing more freedom, more opportunity and more prosperity than any other nation. There is a reason people of all backgrounds across the world come to America. It's not because of our diversity, but because of our unity in a common purpose: liberty and justice for all.

We cannot attain the ideals our Founders fought for if we destroy our system. We have the endless opportunity to continue to create a more perfect union within our structure, and we have continued to perfect it. The flaw in 2020 is not with the design of the system. The flaw is intentional user error—an overt attempt to destroy American government, to replace our system with a self-serving regime intended for power and control and not freedom or justice.

Stand for our system of government in America. Celebrate Constitution Day today by voting to preserve it. It's the best system ever created among nations and we can continue to create a more perfect union instead of intentionally destroying our liberty, and with it, true meaningful justice for all.

Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) is a constitutional law attorney and personal counsel to President Trump. She is the senior legal adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, senior fellow at the Falkirk Center and author of The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.

Save Our American System | Opinion | Opinion