Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian Barbara Tuchman wrote a wonderful 597 page tome called “A Distant Mirror, the Calamitous 14th Century,” making the case for the actions of the founding fathers. Unlike contemporary Americans, they knew their history and endeavored to keep from our shores the evils of Europe, the Mideast and Asia, by crafting the Constitution of the United States.

Europe was plagued by constant slaughter, horrendous poverty, brutal injustice and crippling poverty for several hundred years.

Idle inherited wealth, corrupt churches, privilege, inequality before the law and concentration of wealth and power made life almost unbearable for the common man. Add to this the ravages of constant warfare, the plague and you have the chaos and disorder of the 1400’s.

Separation of church and state forbade state-sponsored religion and the evil it spawns — not a Christian nation, the Constitution established freedom of and from religion. Catholics and Protestants had been slaughtering one another along with Jews and Muslims for years, and the founders wanted no part of this.

The Constitution provides for a government structure whereby power was diluted by three branches of government, girded by the notion that the government was “by and for the people." Government was to promote for the general welfare and liberty of the people “ourselves and posterity." Only Congress could declare war, not a unitary executive. Endless warfare has demonstrated our ignorance of history, lack of adherence to the Constitution and disregard for the general welfare of the people.

CHRIS THOMPSON

South Bend

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