Myths About the United States Constitution
Updated: Aug 2
Revised August 2, 2023
Some years ago, I took a class about the United States Constitution which was taught by Douglas V. Gibbs, who is known in Southern California as Mr. Constitution. I went into that class believing that the federal government was superior in power to the states, that the states served the federal government. However, on the very first evening, I learned that as the delegates from the various states came together to write the Constitution and to form a federal government; the states granted certain powers to the federal government and that the federal government could only act in areas that had been assigned to them by the states. You might say that the states were the parents and the federal government was the child. The states assigned certain areas of responsibility to the newly formed federal government while retaining the right to run their own state’s affairs without federal government intervention.
And, during that first class, it was not long before Mr. Gibbs also emphasized that our nation’s form of government is a Republic, not a Democracy, and that each state’s form of government is also a republic.
Knowing that our nation’s form of government is a republic should not have been new to me. After all, I had said the pledge of allegiance at least a kazillion times while I was a student. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands....” We all repeat these words every time we recite the pledge so why is it so commonly believed, and stated, that we live in a Democracy which is just about the worst possible form of government out there and one which our founding fathers totally rejected.
So my question to Mr. Gibbs was, “If most of us are getting the basics wrong about the Constitution, what else are we getting wrong about the Constitution?” He said that he was writing a book entitled “25 Myths of the United States Constitution.” Amazing, twenty-five areas of the Constitution that most of us are getting wrong. No wonder our government seems to be going in the wrong direction.
That book and several more by Mr. Gibbs have been published and are now available on Amazon and other locations.