Do You Know the Family Was Once Part of Our Government? Letter #1

Dear fellow American,

These are the “times that try men’s souls,” as one hero wrote of the American Revolution.  In 1776, American men left home, bearing arms, to fight British tyranny.  American women and children worked the farm, “keeping the home fires burning,” their part in that fight.  Those first, resourceful Americans won their war. 

Today, in 2020, our young republic is challenged again by a new and different enemy, and now we’re in charge.  How will we do?  Stopping British troops in 1776 may be easier than stopping this virus today, but we can do it.

Fortunately, our men today aren’t all needed to fight this battle.  Instead of bearing arms, most are asked to stay home, to help bear the regular, vital tasks of family life.  Fortunately, too, our modern-day Minute Men – the brave men and women working in our health systems – as those heroes of 1776 – are rescuing us, on a minute’s notice, fighting this virus.

We Americans can win this different war, fully recover, and grow stronger as a nation.  We’ve conquered big challenges before.

My name is Cathy Hammon, and I am a candidate for Congress.  I hope to represent Utah’s 1st district in our nation’s capital.  If elected, I have real, republican ideas to take to Washington, D.C. – along with my husband, David – ideas I believe that can change Washington for the better.   

I’m seeking this office because I believe the USA has another problem more serious than this virus. 

What problem?  The family is missing from our Constitution, weakening our republic’s very foundation.

Did you know the family was once part of our government?  The family, as a unit, also helped defeat the British in the American Revolution.  Here’s how it helped back in 1776 – and has for millennia: 

All commissions under the former authority [Great Britain] being annulled . . . town committees had a discretionary but undefined power to preserve domestic peace.  Habits of decency, family government, and the good examples of influential persons, contributed more to maintain order than any other authority.  The value of these secret bonds of society was now more than ever conspicuous.

Jeremy Belknap, The History of New Hampshire, 1784, Vol 2, pages 394-5. [Emphasis added.]

Does Jeremy Belknap’s phrase “family government” sound strange to you?  Does it sound true?

Jeremy Belknap, a clergyman during the American Revolution, witnessed the earliest days of our republic and saw how it worked then.  His written testimony of life at that time is first-hand evidence of what many of us still believe today – that the family is and has been, a form of government, not just a haven and refuge, but the one setting where most life lessons and skills are learned and mastered – or learned little or not at all. 

The family does every social service first and foremost and often does them best and forever.  The family is not only the first government, it’s also the first school, the first HMO (health maintenance organization), the first court of justice, counseling center, church, etc.  The family has been all these things for all ages, for millennia – sometimes being the only real government, education, health care, etc. many people have.

In our beginning, since the family was written about as a government, why is there no mention of the family in our Constitution, our founding document?  After all, Jeremy Belknap and his readers clearly knew about family government and its importance in 1784.  About that same time, in 1789, our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.  Why did our Founders omit the family from our Constitution? 

Our Founding Fathers also saw the family as our primary government, so much so they believed the family was a given, a permanent fixture of human life that would never disappear, that needed no special support or protection.  

As the sun rises each morning, our Founding Fathers expected the light of family life to shine each day, too. 

After all, families happen naturally and often.  Our Founders, writing the Constitution, didn’t think adding words, to secure the blessings of family for themselves or posterity, was even necessary.  Why would they?  It was the age of Enlightenment, at least to some.  The family seemed forever. 

Besides, the Founding Fathers wrote about formal government in our Constitution, the noisy kind in capital cities, the kind that often goes awry.  Family government, based generally on affection, love and cooperation, was not their concern. 

Sadly, in modern America today, the family is our concern and is under siege.  Family life, once our primary light, now competes with other, often brighter lights – social media, the internet, TV, etc.

The suicides, the drug overdoses, the shootings, the abortions, homelessness, alcoholism, we hear about or see around us, are all signs family light has dimmed for many in the USA, particularly for youth.  Other lights than family – dangerous, powerful lights – can even overpower the otherwise strong light of strong families.

We can’t go back to the Dark Ages, where family light was often the only light, and certainly a steadier and brighter light, but what can be done?  The thinking seems to be that nothing much can revive family life, other than talk – rather mere talk and no action.

Happily, there is a remedy.  We can put the family into the Constitution today.   Fortunately, our wise Founding Fathers provided for its amendment.  They knew the future was unknown, and they expected us – if necessary – to act to protect our union and republic by amendment.

Also, please remember, when our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they had another assumption that didn’t happen – that slavery would wither and die.

Later generations of Americans, of Abraham Lincoln’s day, witnessed not the death of slavery but its fearful growth.  To preserve our republic, President Lincoln and the patriots of his day fought the Civil War and added amendments to the Constitution to stop slavery’s spread.

In other words, just as constitutional amendments became necessary to end a bad thing – slavery – amendments are needed today to revive a good thing – family life and family government.

We must act soon.  As family life and family government have faltered, the problems of the spirit – the despair, anger, hopelessness, etc. – that many Americans feel, are taking root.  As these problems of the spirit – which is our essence – grow, our national, formal government in Washington, D.C., grows bureaucracies to solve them.  Bureaucracies, however, can never solve problems of the spirit. 

In other words, as our politicians and bureaucrats in D.C. chop away at the branches of our problems – ignoring root causes, particularly the decline in family life and government – they also spur the growth of more problems, making our national debt worse – even creating a national doubt too!  The misguided policies of many politicians don’t work, except for creating more debt for our children and grandchildren to pay.  These bad policies have led to a growing national doubt that clouds our thinking, confusing us and weakening our sense of direction.

Please know, I’m not minimizing the real danger at this moment of the international virus that’s invaded our shores.  People are losing loved ones, work, income, businesses they’ve created over years, and suffering other losses, losses that will continue for some time.  Making matters worse, our economy is faltering, and most of our leaders in Washington, D.C. want more power and will tax us more.  If we’re not careful, a group of dictators or a committee of experts in Washington will run our government – and sadly run it into the ground, sooner or later.

What I’m saying is that we can tackle many problems at once.  We can fight this virus, defend family life and family government, and solve other problems, too.   We fought two major wars during World War II, one across the Atlantic Ocean and the other across the Pacific Ocean, at the same time, winning both, with help from allies of course.  We can fight on many fronts today, too.  We just have to be organized and focused.

How could we put the family into the Constitution to revive family life and family government and reduce our national doubt and then national debt?

My next letter will include, for your consideration, the text of a constitutional amendment idea – what could be called The Family First Amendment – a first step towards putting the family into the Constitution, in my opinion. 

Remember, the Constitution isn’t rocket science.  It’s common sense and basic government and easy to learn in general.  As you’ll see, the meaning of The Family First Amendment is plain and clear.

Thank you, State Delegates, for reading these many words.  We live in dangerous times.  We must carefully consider where we stand at the moment and where we want to be in the future.  We must plan now to have progress and a bright future.

You and the other State Delegates, from Utah’s 1st Congressional District, can play a pivotal role in reviving family life across the nation and helping preserve our republic. 

Delegates and conventions are essential to our republican form of government.  George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin were all Delegates to a convention as you are now.  They met together in a rather small room in Philadelphia to represent the people and to create a republican form of government, of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

You Delegates from Utah’s 1st district will soon attend a convention, to help preserve and strengthen the republic our Founding Fathers created.  Our convention will be notable because of our physical distance from one another.  Our convention can also be notable, if you Delegates decide to present to the nation a specific and positive idea of how to make our republic stronger.

Proposing a constitutional amendment would be bold, but we Republicans must play offense, not only defense, if the USA is to win.  The Democratic Party will be more organized and determined than ever this November, with worse ideas than ever, and it must be defeated.

I’ll send you The Family First Amendment idea in my next letter.

Thank you for your service as a Delegate, to our state and nation, sincerely,

Cathy Hammon

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