America’s founding fathers signed the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1797, establishing a supreme law for the United States and creating the core framework for how power is divided and how the nation is run.
As the United States nears the 230th Anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, President Donald Trump took a moment to emphasize its importance during his weekly address on Sept. 15.
Trump said its declaration of “We the People” is integral to understanding “to whom the government of the United States belonged.”
“These three beautiful words are among the most important ideas in our nation’s history: the idea that government’s power is vested in the nation’s citizens—the people to whom we owe our ultimate and sacred allegiance,” Trump said.
“Our soldiers fight and die to protect our citizens, and our government is forever duty bound to safeguard their sovereignty and their freedom,” he said.
The 55 delegates to the Grand Convention in Philadelphia—including George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin—signed the Constitution and designed a system of government, Trump said, “rooted in common laws, history, and traditions that would secure the liberty, equality, and rights they had fought for and fought to defend in the American Revolution.”
Trump had reiterated the balance of power in the United States, which places authority in the hands of its citizens, during his inaugural address on Jan. 20. He emphasized his goal to restore this balance.
He said during the inauguration that while the United States holds such ceremonies once every four years, “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another—but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.”
“For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost,” he said.
Many authoritarian systems have been based on the idea that people belong to the government, as opposed to the American idea established in the Constitution that government belongs to the people.
Benito Mussolini, a Marxist and lifelong socialist, and founder of the Fascist system, infamously declared in 1925, “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
Trump’s weekly address on Sept. 15 reiterated America’s challenge to this idea. He said, “For 230 years, we have governed ourselves and planned our own destiny, guarded all the way by the Constitution of the United States.”
Trump said, “We must rise to the task of self-governance, prove worthy of the sacrifices made to carve out this magnificent nation, and we must give our loyalty to our Republic and its citizens in all that we do.”
“So let us pledge allegiance to our flag, devote our hearts to our country,” he said, “and demonstrate our love for one another—as Americans, as Patriots, and as the children of God.”