We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The naysayers did not trust the dam to hold. Rather, they were sincerely worried that the national government would expand beyond all recognition, and that, in its broadened form, it would inevitably begin to encroach upon the rights of the people. To help prevent this from happening, they sought a parchment backstop to which they might appeal in such cases as denied their natural liberties.
They already understood that power tends to attempt to amass more power. But how did they know that the masses would, someday, demand more? Wise men, indeed. Freedom from government was their lodestar.
Today? There is not a decade in American history in which they would have all passed.
Assistant Village Idiot
They studied history and human nature. Thus Jefferson said that the Tree of Liberty had to be fed regularly with the blood of patriots and tyrants and proposed schemes where laws or the whole government was scrapped and reformed at regular intervals.
Except for the Third, there isn't an Amendment in the Bill of Rights that hasn't been attacked, abused, or just completely ignored. The Ninth and Tenth are the most important, and they aren't even considered any longer.
It is an utter shame that we now seem to discuss these rights as something that the government can take away at any time. These rights are not rights granted to us by government! My rights are not dependent upon the opinion of five shmucks in black robes on the Supreme Court. I guess the problem is that the Bill of Rights declares: Congress shall make no law...It was taken for granted that courts can make no law, only judge the validity of laws passed by congress, to the bill of rights and the constitution. Now courts routinely make law. Maybe that should be our focus.
Likely not even then. These were new ideas to many people, and a large percentage of the colonists (especially in VA and MD) were fine with the British government maintaining those areas for us. Individuals having rights caused a lot of folks to shudder.
Assistant Village Idiot