A plain, non-mystical reading of the U.S. Constitution shows that the purpose and function of the federal government can be boiled down to just two principles:
- The federal government exists to exercise the collective will of the states in our country’s dealings with other countries (diplomatically and militarily).
- The federal government exists to ensure that the various states comprising our country play nicely with each other.
The text of the Constitution gives the details that support these principles. The first ten amendments were intended to make double sure that the federal government knew its place (they are, every one of them, constraints on federal power, not on state or local power)*.
Agree or disagree? Are there any other fundamental principles in the U.S. Constitution that are clearly distinct from the above two?
Please be so kind as to support your position in any civil way that you see fit.
* Some of the later amendments did violence to the constitutional relationship between the states and the federal government—but that’s a subject for another post.