Hi 81 / Lo 73
|Volume 71, Issue 18,
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Lourdes Castillo James Davis
U.S. Constitution must be actively safeguarded
UH will celebrate Constitution Day for the next week with a flurry of informative campus activities centering on America's defining document.
The events planned, including distribution of free copies of the Constitution and lectures by prominent campus academics, will do well in honoring the legal foundation of our rights. Of course, UH's celebration of Constitution Day is required by federal law.
Given the extensive nature of the celebration, it's obvious that those in charge of organizing the week's events weren't dragged into it kicking and screaming. They've gone above and beyond what is required by law, and should be applauded for their efforts.
Nevertheless, the fact that institutions receiving federal funds are required to bring the Constitution to the forefront hints at a disturbing trend.
Too many citizens take their rights for granted. It's easy to do -- the document is almost like a parent in that it performs a vital function but is often not fully appreciated.
The sad fact is the Constitution is not always going to be around. It's a natural tendency to view society as growing more complex with each generation, and with that complexity seems to come a loss of individual liberty.
Even the Third Reich, one of the most nefariously ambitious empires in history, was conscious of its own mortality. Hitler and his henchmen knew that nothing is permanent, and referred to their plan for domination as the "1,000-year reich."
It seems many Americans don't think their freedoms could disappear any time soon. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Unlikely scenarios only seem far-fetched until they actually happen -- just read some of the testimony of Hitler's victims.
It's implausible that a fascist regime will take control of the country in the near future. Nevertheless, it's every American citizen's duty to protect the rights they hold dear by staying informed and participating in the political process.
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