The preamble of the United States Constitution begins with three words, ''We the People.''
These three words, and the rest of the preamble, copied in its entirety below, make it clear that ''We the People'' are sovereign, and that through our Constitution, ''We the People'' have given our national government its powers:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The principle of popular sovereignty is very important because without ''the People'' delegating their powers to their government, the United States Constitution would likely not have become the foundation for the Republican government we have today.
It is also important to acknowledge our continuing sovereign role as ''We the People,'' and how we who have empowered our government ought to insist that our government abide by our Constitution.
Americans have faced many challenges during the last four years. One challenge has been to witness a deep division between and among the three branches of our national government so deep that this division, some say, has escalated into much of the violent actions and other civil disturbances on the streets throughout America.
This inter-governmental division between and among the three branches of our national government is not necessarily bad. The separation of powers is part of the system of checks and balances established in our Constitution designed to protect individual liberty against abuses of government power.
On the other hand, lack of respect among the three branches of our national government conveys to our friends overseas, and even to some of our own people, that America has deviated from its fundamental identity as ''one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.''
We the People need leaders now more than ever who have the courage to act responsibly toward both the unity and the safety of our country — while following the Constitution as their guideline — especially when dealing with national crises such as pandemics and riots.
Looking at the bigger picture, We the People need to search our souls for where we are as a nation, and where we want to be. Whether or not we retain our leadership role in the world, as a beacon of hope for other nations hankering for liberty and democracy depends on how well our own leaders follow our Constitution.
Are we currently setting good examples toward countries like Iraq, and others where we have sacrificed so many American lives to raise the flag of freedom and democracy? How can we do better?
The people of Iraq, this author’s motherland, are now recognizing the importance of the preamble of Iraq’s Constitution, which utilizes the term ''We, the people'':
We, the people of Iraq, who have just risen from our stumble, and who are looking with confidence to the future through a republican, federal, democratic, pluralistic system, have resolved ... to respect the rule of law ...
We, the people of Iraq, of all components and across the spectrum, have taken upon ourselves to decide freely and by choice to unite our future, to take lessons from yesterday for tomorrow, and to enact this permanent Constitution ...
As We the People of America have been experiencing our own challenges, the people of Iraq found that their government acted against the principles prescribed in the preamble of their Constitution.
A series of Iraqi popular protests occurs in 2019-2021, consisting of demonstrations and younger generations marches. They started on October 1, 2019, a date set by civil activists on social media, spreading over the central and southern provinces of Iraq, to protest corruption, unemployment and inefficient public services.
The protests then escalated into full-scale calls to overthrow the Iraqi government.
Like We the People in America, the people of Iraq need coherent relationships between their national government and the people to both follow the guidelines of their constitutions, keeping the sovereignty of each country not only where it belongs — in We the People — but also protected from constitutional enemies, foreign and domestic.
My hopes are for our American people to call for all three branches of our national government to align their missions with our Constitution, as I hope for the Iraqi government to respond to the call of Iraqi people for many of the same God-given rights that our respective constitutions are designed to protect, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Mrs. Al Saadi is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman for PACEM Solutions International LLC. Mrs. Al Saadi is a refugee from Iraq and now a naturalized American citizen. Prior to co-founding PACEM Solutions International, Mrs. Al Saadi held multiple Senior Executive positions and served with the U.S. Department of State as an Adviser and the U.S. Department of Defense as a Translator/Analyst in Iraq. Mrs. Al Saadi earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Baghdad University and her Executive Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University. Read Rana Al Saadi's Reports — More Here.
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