The ultimate political question is who’s the boss.
We spend a lot of time at the TAC talking about the drafting and ratification of the Constitution because it is in that process we find its intended meaning. As Thomas Jefferson said:
“On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
But over the last several months, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the years leading up to the American Revolution and the era of the Articles of Confederation, and I’ve discovered the real revolution wasn’t the fight with the Brits. There was a revolution in thought during those years that set the stage for our constitutional system.
This revolution in thought involved a change in Americans’ conception of sovereignty. Simply put, they came to believe they were the boss, not government. This was a radical departure from British system with Parliament sovereign.
I just finished up the first article in what will be a 2-part series on the idea of sovereignty and how Americans came to understand it. It’s vital for use to grasp this idea if we are to reclaim the constitutional system the founding fathers created. It will be published later this week, but if you want a sneak-peek, you can check out my recent podcast on the topic of the Real American Revolution.
On another front, last week was a big one in our campaign to stop overreaching surveillance through state and local action. The TAC was part of a large coalition of organizations kicking off the Community Control Over Police Surveillance (CCOPS) initiative. Last Wednesday, local government officials in 11 cities announced plans to launch legislative efforts to pass ordinances that will take the first step toward limiting the unchecked use of surveillance technologies that violate basic privacy rights and feed into a broader national surveillance state. We’re excited about being part of this coalition. You can read more about it HERE.