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The One Question All GOP Presidential Hopefuls Should Have to Answer

In my senior year of college at Clemson University, I took a course in the philosophy behind the formation of the Constitution and the U.S. government. By this time in my educational career, I felt I knew a thing or two about the Constitution and the government. I was finishing up my degree in political science, and had been actively involved in politics for many years.

Quickly after starting the course I realized that in spite of my political background, I knew nothing about how America truly was founded as a nation. And, I have strong reason to believe few -- if any -- of the current GOP presidential hopefuls have any clue, as well.

More important than simply the historical appreciation of the founding of the nation and its government is the understanding of the prevailing philosophies of our Founding Fathers. Just as justices on the Supreme Court will occasionally refer to the “original intent” of those that wrote the Constitution, an understanding of how, and why, our government is formed can play a crucial role in how our current leaders chose to make laws and enforce them. Furthermore, it may also guide them towards eliminating the bureaucracies that have come to inhibit American progress in the centuries since the Constitution was written.

In brief, if the future president doesn’t understand why our government is built the way it was (the use of “was” is intentional, in that our current government is distorted reflection of what our Founders intended), they couldn’t possibly guide the nation by a constitutional roadmap.

One of the key principles of the Founding of the nation is that government exists only to protect individual liberty. “Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government,” writes Thomas Paine in his 1776 essay Common Sense, “it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.” Fast forward 235 years to present day, and government -- designed to be the protector of rights -- is now the chief violator of them.

How did this come to be? It is the result of more than a century of leadership unfamiliar with the precepts of the founding philosophy of the nation.

It should come as no surprise that with this scarcity of constitutional knowledge, Republicans have forgotten how to lead by the Constitution. They may pay it lip service as a way to get votes from the Tea Party and other constitutionally minded voters, but it’s obvious they don’t truly understand the purpose or importance of the document.

That is why essays like “The Law That Governments Government,” written by’s Richard A. Viguerie and Mark Fitzgibbons, are so profoundly important in today’s political conversations (download a free copy here). Finally, the Constitution is back into discussions about the future of our nation. And, as the essay states, the reclamation of the Constitution “may be the last chance to save America for what it was meant to be.”

The one question that every GOP presidential hopeful for 2012 -- and, truthfully, any candidate for public office -- should be forced to answer once and for all is how the founding philosophy of the Constitution defines their principles for how to serve as a public official in the United States.

If the answer isn’t a variation of, “restoring the government as a protector of individual liberties, instead of a destroyer of civil liberties, by returning its size and scope back to its constitutionally mandated responsibilities,” then they are unfit to hold any office, least of which President of the United States.

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Question for Presidential hopefuls

The answer to question B must

The answer to question B must be an absolute requirement for each candidate. It covers the right of citizens to protect themselves from anyone - including a wayward government. In a nutshell, our true freedom!!!

GOP Hopefuls the Constitution, and "RTI"

They are going to tell you what you want to hear....their primiary objective is to get elected....and once elected to get re-elected........Tell them that they are going to be subject to 100% real time transparency (including real time tracking of all deposits to their bank account) of their actions) and then see how they respond...........we,as a public, are extremely navitte.................and once a politician realizes this...............he enjoys a blank check to pursue activity for his own enrichment.....................without a method to hold their feet to the fire with respect to campaign committments, we, the public, are helpless......need "RTI" Real Time Transparency..................

Another key question

I totally agree. Another key question all candidates should be compelled to answer is: "Exactly what percentage of my income do you think the Government should be entitled to take from me?"

Good one.

The way you worded it is much better than the way our current government's attitude would word the same question: "Exactly how much of the Government's potential revenue should you be entitled to keep?"

This is indeed the most important question.

And it is the main reason I'm supporting Ron Paul. We have had 99 years since the Federal Reserve and Income Tax were established. They both need to go, along with about 95% of what the federal government has taken power over.

Federal Reserve & Income Tax

Agreed with Pepper - the Fed needs to be eliminated. The same for the Income Tax.  Thus I advocate to repeal the 16th (Income Tax) and the 17th Amendment (where Senators were elected by the general populace rather than by state legislatures) and restore the states back to the "original intent" of the founders as far as the states having true representation in the Senate.  That was the reason (i.e. original intent again) the Senate was designed and set up the way that it was.  Good Job Pepper.