Pillars representing five styles of architecture

National Unity Rests On Pillars Of Principle

by Oletta Branstiter

Unity rests on the strength of our Principles.

When I teach Our Nation’s Foundations to 5th and 6th graders, I create a huge graphic on a Library wall that includes metaphorical representations of our Republic. My purpose is to portray our nation’s government founded on solid ground and strong ideological support. My hope is that these lessons will inspire unity on those principles so that the next generation will work to restore our Constitutional Republic.


Ancient brick wall

The bottom layer of Bedrock represents the Natural Law of our Unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and Property.

Bricks represent the original 17 federal laws in the Constitution. Our nation’s government is founded on the Rule of Law, not on the whims of man. This is why we are a Republic, not a Democracy that is governed by the rule of a majority.

Upon this firm foundation, I erect five separate Pillars of Principle representing the unchanging ideals of our nation:

  • Limited Government
  • Individual Liberty
  • Personal Responsibility
  • National Security
  • Free Enterprise

Limited Government

Our Constitution specifically states what the federal government can and should do. It’s not much. To make it abundantly clear to those who would represent us, the 9th and 10th Amendments warned politicians that most of the power to govern remains with the states and individuals themselves.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.” – Thomas Jefferson

“It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.” – Thomas Jefferson

This principle of Limited Government guarantees our next Pillar of Principle:

Individual Liberty is our right.

The Bill of Rights, written by James Madison and George Mason, was added to the Constitution as a perpetual reminder that our Republic is designed to be a limited government that protects the greatest possible individual liberty.

Thomas Jefferson said,

“The course of history shows that a government, once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

This is frightening!

Liberty requires Personal Responsibility.

The more responsibility we take for our own lives, the less authority we give to those who wish to govern us. Benjamin Franklin said:

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

This principle is vital to preserve the liberty we enjoy under a limited government.

According to James Madison, “Father of the Constitution”,

“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

He and the other founders and framers of our Constitution knew that taking money from one to give to another is theft, and denies the superior blessings of true charity. We live as free people when we take personal responsibility for ourselves, our families and our neighbors.

If a limited government shouldn’t meddle in the affairs of charity, under the guise of “welfare”, what should be their responsibility?

One of the few legitimate functions of our government is National Security.

George Washington said,

“There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet an enemy.”

Thomas Jefferson said,

“For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized militia is the best security.”

Proper national security empowers entrepreneurship.

Our Republic should encourage and protect Free Enterprise.

Our founders and framers of the Constitution knew that the free market was the best structure to provide the financial liberties that guarantee our individual independence.

Adam Smith, one of the founders and an expert in economics said,

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from regard to their own interest.”

The incentive for every business is to generate profit that enriches the owner’s way of life. This motive benefits all of society.

If We the People can restore our commitment to the strong principles of Limited Government, Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, National Security, and Free Enterprise, our differences will become less distracting and Patriotism will grow to unite us.


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