Students at Coastal Bend College and community leaders gathered Thursday for a presentation on the United States Constitution.
Alice professor Lt. Col. Karl Clark explained the importance of the Constitution and what it means for the American people in honor of Constitution Day.
The Constitution is a nation's basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens, according to Clark's presentation.
“It is the bylaws which we live by,” Clark said. “It's what our government lives by and what we, as citizens should live by.”
“We celebrate Constitution Day, the anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States. In this bold document, Americans established a framework not only for government, but for liberty. The Constitution made clear that government gained its authority and legitimacy from the consent of the people,” a statement released by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton regarding Constitution Day. “It recognized that ‘men are not angels,’ and created a system of checks and balances between the Congress, President and Judiciary, and divided both power and authority between the federal government and the states. But as we were to learn throughout our history, even up until today, liberty does not merely emanate from a document; it is only secured by a vigilant and virtuous people who are committed to limited government and liberty. Constitution Day is a day for all Texans to reflect about the blessings of America and rekindle our commitment to America’s promise.”
The nation's founding document tells the American people what the government can and can't do, Clark stated.
To help the attendees understand his message he referenced board games. “If we don't know the rules, how do we play the game,” Clark said. “Texas stands at 47th in the nation when it comes to voting. It's not because we don't care, it's because we don't understand the rules.”
“How can we uphold the Constitution if we don't understand or know what it says?”
Several students expressed they didn't vote because they don't believe one vote can make a difference.
Jim Wells County District Attorney Carlos Garcia explained to attendees how each vote counts and how it affected his race when he won by a small margin.
“You have to vote,” he said. “In order to make a difference or change an issue you have to be active. One person, one vote can make a difference.”