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Former President Harry S. Truman Speaks on Liberty and Justice in America, Post number 4 of 6

Liberty and justice under the rule of law are primary American principles. Our struggle to understand and execute them in our country never stops.

A beautiful and update restatement of how our Democracy should work comes from Former President, Harry S. Truman, in a little known address he made to Missouri Bar enrollees almost 60 years ago. This blog will serialize his remarks. (Quoted as it was printed in the June 1958 and November 2014 issues of the Journal of the Missouri Bar.)

"The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration can live only as long as they are enshrined in our hearts and our minds. If they are not so enshrined, they would be no better than mummies, and they could in time become idols whose worship would be a grim mockery of the true faith. Only as these documents are reflected in the thoughts and acts of American's can they remain symbols of a power that can move the world.

Today, the ideals which these three documents express are having to struggle for survival throughout the world. When we sealed the Declaration and the Constitution in the Library of Congress, I had something to say about the threat of totalitarianism and communism. That threat still menaces freedom. The struggle against communism is just as crucial, just as demanding, as it was then.

We are uniting the strength of free men against this threat. We are resisting communist aggression, and we will continue to resist the communist threat with all our will and with all our strength.

But the idea of freedom is in danger from others as well as the communists. There are some who hate communism, but who, at the same time, are unwilling to acknowledge the ideals of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. And that is going on right now in some parts of this country.

They are people who believe it is too dangerous to proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants. What these people really believe in is that the Preamble to the Constitution ought to be changed from "We, the people" to read "Some of us - some of the people of the United States, but not including those we disapprove of or disagree with - do ordain and establish this Constitution."

Thank God, that is not what it says. It says, "We, the people" for the welfare of the whole population, and not just one segment of it. "

The speech will continue next week in post number 5 of 6. The full text of the speech is available on my website under the articles tab.

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