State Sen. Patrick Colbeck: It's Time to Come Together

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) urges unity in op-ed for Patch.

In the wake of the 2012 General Election, there have been many calls for our state and our nation to come together in a renewed spirit of bi-partisanship.  For all of us who attest to the wisdom in the phrase “united we stand, divided we fall,” it is clear that we all need to come together.

We have a simple question to answer before this goal can become a reality, though.  What are we to unify behind?   

Shall we unify behind an individual?  How about a single political party?  As a student of history, I would recommend that we avoid either of these approaches as they tend not to end well.  In their stead, though, I would submit that the best choice would be to unify behind the core principles that all of us have unified behind since our founding.  After all, America is a land of ideals.  While we are a land of many individuals and multiple political parties, we were founded on one common set of truths.  These truths are defined in the Declaration of Independence and codified into law via our U.S. Constitution.  

The Declaration of Independence bound us together at a time when outside forces threatened to tear us apart.  When our Founding Fathers found their backs against the wall, they chose to make the following bold declaration:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”.

The Preamble of our U.S. Constitution goes so far as to attest that the purpose of that document is “to form a more perfect union”.  If our goal is to unify our country, perhaps we should give it another look.

Adherence to the principles within these documents has kept our constitutional republic together for over 225 years.  During that same time period, there have been 15 new constitutions in France and 4 in Russia.  No country in existence today has lived under the same governance framework longer than the United States of America.  Clearly, these documents have stood the test of time. 

What remains is for us to rededicate ourselves to the truths they contain.  Thomas Jefferson once remarked that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.  If we are truly interested in unifying our nation, I humbly request that each of us commit ourselves to reading the full text of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  They are not long documents.  For the time it takes to watch a TV show, we can each do our part to help unify our country. 

Once you have read each document, I encourage you to test the words and policies of politicians against the principles found in these documents.  If our elected officials veer away from these principles, it is time for a unified “We the People” to remind them that their just powers are derived “from the consent of the governed."

Sen. Patrick Colbeck

Mike November 19, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Well said, I like to read the US Constitution starting with the 10th Amendment.
Mark Anderson November 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Well said - one can hope...
Boiling November 20, 2012 at 07:13 PM
If one wants a good understanding of the U.S. Constitution, then the Federalist Papers are an excellent reference for anyone who wants to understand the U.S. Constitution.
sine-of-the-times November 21, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Once again, he says we should "come together," and yet he goes on to spout his Tea Party "return to the Founders" garbley-gook. This man has NOT listened to his constituents for his entire term so far. He blocks you from his facebook page, because you post a question or comment that proposes a different view that he finds "disrespectful," and I do quote. He surrounds himself with his own view of the world. Oh, he'll pretend to be listening to your needs, and then you'll hear, "What makes your family so special?" How is this "banding together" or being empathetic to real people and real needs and finding real solutions? I guess it's only togetherness if you see it his way. Unfortunately, the voters have rejected the extreme right wing views of the Republican party. So, Mr. Colbeck, that's correct, time to approach the table...finally.
sine-of-the-times November 21, 2012 at 02:22 AM
And speaking of a Founding Father, Jefferson himself founded public schools, I doubt he'd be happy to hear about how this notion is being attacked in Michigan. " "By 1789, the first law was passed in Massachusetts to reaffirm the colonial laws by which towns were obligated to support a school. This law was ignored. Private schools were opened only to those who could afford to pay them. In the middle states religious groups opened most schools. Not many schools or institutions were opened to the nonwealthy people." Sound familiar?? Cyber schools (thanks to Colbeck), charter schools, EAA schools, HB 6004, and the Oxford Report (backed by John Engler and not so many educational experts)...all meant to end public schools as we know it. Yes, be very afraid, start your research and see just what he has in store for your child and who will profit...he needs to hear your frustrations.
sine-of-the-times November 21, 2012 at 02:25 AM
:) apparently, I was looking for the word, "gobble-dy gook" ! it's in season, you know.
Marty Townsend November 21, 2012 at 02:38 AM
You actually have the NERVE to quote the Constitution? "...deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." You have been given powers by the people of this state via the election that put you in the office of Senator for your district. What have you done with it? Have you listened to the people who put you there? Have you voted in accordance with the wishes of the people who put you in that office? The answer to both those questions would be a resounding "NO". You have voted for every assinine bill put through the Senate despite the cry of outrage from your constituents. PA4 - yep - you voted for that. We put it on the ballot and voted it out - and you people are going to replace it with a new one. How is that listening to your constituents? What happens when we voice our opinions? You delete or just plain ignore emails. You don't return phone calls. You have blocked anyone who asks a question on your Facebook page, rather than answering the question. I once asked you a question and you actually responded, asking me for more specific facts. When I gave you the facts you requested, I found myself blocked. How is that listening to your constituents? How do you expect us to believe that you are ready to work with anyone when it is quite evident that the only opinions that matter to you are those of your reflection in the mirror and the corporations that paid for your seat in OUR Senate. Don't get too comfortable there, you won't be staying long.
Denise Nash November 21, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Don't forget that Mr. Colbeck also *deletes* comments that don't align with his own. This is NOT on his personal Facebook account, but his professional one. When his Facebook page is read, it looks as if the population of his district are a bunch of tea party fanatics, because if any objections are raised by the opposition, they are deleted. I don't believe that is a democratic approach to differences of opinion. "My way or the highway" and ignoring the views of the citizens certainly doesn't align with what our founders visioned when they established our government. This state has voted against giving public school dollars to private schools not once, but twice. Yet that is what the latest proposal allows. All I can say is that your Op-Ed here in the Patch about "coming together" sounds, once more, as if we Michiganders need to "come over to YOUR side" when we do this "coming together". I say it's time you met us towards the middle. NO on public money going to private schools, whether they are Christian or, as they found in Louisiana, Muslim schools.
sine-of-the-times November 21, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Exactly, this is his "Senator" facebook page...I have no problem banning someone from his personal page, but "Senator" implies public figure status. Wonder if he uses state paid for wi-fi to delete our comments?
Sam Galate November 21, 2012 at 05:16 AM
I was also blocked from posting on your page. So much for the First Amendment. Jefferson also said, “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length it becomes habitual.” It seems disingenuous to say that It's time to come together and only allow people with your point of view to post on your page. I asked you if the 500+ laws passed by the legislature with immediate effect were constitutional, since you never had a 2/3 majority. I'm sure I won't get an answer here, either. Will you continue to try to pass laws with immediate effect now that you have even less of a majority? As sine-of-the-times talked about, public education is a part of the fabric of our country. Jefferson had another quote. He said, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and is as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” If you try to put the recommendations of the Oxford Foundation into effect, you'll see more than a little rebellion.
Uncle Crackhead November 21, 2012 at 08:52 PM
weez need to come twogetha to give more free stuff. obama say you vote for me i get mo ebt moniys. where my free turkey
Plymouth Wayne November 23, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Seriously, when have you ever attempted to come together with anyone besides the few people who have the same views as you do? How is voting for unlimited cyber and charter schools good for our children?


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