The Voice of “We the People”
Published on December 17, 2022

In the government our founders created and gave us, the voice of “We the People” is designed to be heard primarily through our representatives in Congress.  Our founders were very careful not to place too much governmental power in any one entity, but the majority of federal power they did create was vested in Congress.  It was created to be the most powerful branch of the federal government.  James Madison declared this fact in Federalist #51 where he says “The legislative authority necessarily predominates”.  Congress is where the voice of the people is heard the loudest.  Congress is covered in Article 1 of the Constitution, which is the longest Article in the Constitution.  Remember from our article, “What are Enumerated Powers?”, that in order for the federal government to have a legitimate power, it has to be specifically authorized in the Constitution.  So, a longer article in the Constitution equates to a more powerful branch!  We will discuss the Congress a little bit here, and in another few future articles to see some history that led up to its development, how it was built, some of the specific, enumerated powers entrusted to it, and how it was expected to carry out those powers, and ways we can hold our Representatives and Senators in Congress accountable to their oath to support the Constitution. 

History of Necessary Compromise

Our founders were experts at creating systems that represented and accounted for competing interests.  Recall from our article, “Are “General Welfare” and “Necessary and Proper” Clauses Constitutional Exceptions to Enumerated Powers?”, that at the close of the Revolutionary War, the 13 colonies were, more accurately, 13 independent countries.  Each was independent from Great Britain, and each was independent from the other 12.  In the final paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, we see it declared, “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States…”, but to understand what they meant by that word “States”, we need only to read a little farther in the same paragraph of the Declaration where it also says, “all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliance, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.”  We see Great Britain referred to as a “State”, and we see the list of things that “States” do starts to sound like activities of what we call nations, or countries.  So, this term, “State” as used in the Declaration, meant that these 13 entities were separate nations.  Each State was perfectly capable of governing themselves, and everyone knew it.  But they also knew they would all be stronger together if they created another entity, the federal government, to manage a short list of specific tasks that would be more efficient and better managed if done by a limited federal government on behalf of all of them.  This meant that our founders had to be experts at the art of compromise, or this thing would never work.  Thankfully…  they were!    


How it was built – “Bicameral” Congress

As I am sure you can imagine, when you bring representatives together from 13 independent countries, none of them wants to give up their voice to the other 12.  Especially sensitive was that very large states like Virginia and Pennsylvania, for example, did not want their voice squelched by smaller states.  Since they represented more people, they felt they should have a louder voice in Congress.  So, on one hand, it was important that population size should factor in and affect the level of representation in Congress.  At the same time, however, it also seems reasonable that each of them is a free and independent state, and regardless of size, they should have equal representation in Congress.  So, our Founders had to design a system that took into account both of these competing interests.  Their answer?  A “bicameral” Congress.  The word “bicameral” means “2 houses”.  So, they created two houses of Congress.  In the House of Representatives, there would be proportional representation according to population.  In the Senate, the states would all be equally represented.  The two houses have to work together to pass legislation, so the competing interests of representation will be factored in every time Congress votes.  We should all be grateful for our founders’ remarkable ability to compromise and to account for competing interests. 

So our founders created a “bicameral” Congress to ensure they gave representation based upon 2 priorities: 1) the voice of the people where more people equals more voice.  This is the House of Representatives, and 2) the voice of the individual states where each state has an equal voice.  This is the United States Senate.  We will look at each house of Congress in more detail later, but for now, let’s remember the two houses of Congress (Senate and the House), some of the history behind their creation, and how they were built to represent both the people as well as the states. 

Next we will see how to determine who your Representatives and Senators are, how they voted in key legislation, and how you can contact them to hold them accountable!  Let us know in the comments how it goes and what you learn!   

Other posts in this series


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  1. Glenn Curlett

    Jason, this is another great article by you. I appreciate the introduction to ‘Heritage’. RaShell did a wonderful job of introducing on how to watch the voting actions of Congress. I look forward to accessing this site in the future. A fantastic resource for all voters. I am trying to better understand why so many congresspersons of the Democratic Party choose vote as they do.

    • Jason Southerland

      Thank you, Glenn for your encouraging comment! Yes, RaShell did a great video in the article, “Who are your Representatives and how did they Vote?” We have to keep an eye on all these folks to hold them accountable to their oath to the Constitution!

  2. Carol Rutledge

    I didn’t realize that each state was considered a country and that each state had to be convinced, really, to come together to join the Union. It only took 116 days to write the constitution…a feat in itself…it took months to ratify it. People were naturally skeptical, because they just fled from a tyrannical situation. I can see that there was divine providence in all of this. Our Congress was meant to represent us and listen to us, but it seems that our voice is being harder and harder for them to hear. Thank you, Jason and RaShell, for taking time to inspire us to fight and be active in saving our Constitution.

    • RaShell Southerland

      Lots of great takeaways there, Carol! I agree with you on all levels. It is frustrating that our voices aren’t being heard, but we can keep trying. “Do your duty, and leave the results up to God!” -John Quincy Adams

      It is a joy to have you in class with us. Thank you for making our day brighter. It’s an honor to be in the fight alongside you.

  3. Susan (Suzy) Enney

    Our forefather’s insight was exceptional. It is obvious to me the hand of God was upon them. Unfortunately, I do not believe they intended for the house to be filled with career politicians motivated by their self-serving agendas and party power. I believe they thought the people would remain educated to govern the county GOD entrusted. But we did not. Therefore, we need educate and train-up all of us who have failed our current generation and invest in our current generation show them “true America” and educating them in the “true power of the people” AS WELL as revealing the abuses of power that have resulted in their lack of knowledge, and the truth of their self-evident power and value as a true American. In my opinion we allowed for government to grow and over-reach to the point of ill educating our youth and not allowing them to know and celebrate the rich history of our county. …….For their welfare? For the greater good? Our remaining hope Article V and convention of states to get back to the aforementioned understanding in your article. Thank you.

    • Jason Southerland

      Yes Maam, we have lost sight of much of the original intent of our founders. I agree we need to be busy both teaching our own generation, and the generation to come, as well as getting busy with great organizations (like COS) that are working to preserve and restore the founding principles of this nation. However, I don’t think we should beat ourselves up too badly. These truths have been intentionally removed from our public institutions. So, I say let’s focus our efforts on sharing the truth of our great nation, repent of the wickedness we have been embracing, and ask God to heal our land. Thank you for your comment!

  4. Madison

    We need to have a stronger voice and we need to be heard because we need to stand up for our constitution and what it says. I also learned that we became a nation because everyone decided we need to work together. This was great!

    • Jason Southerland

      Yes Maam, we definitely need to all stand up for our Constitution! Thank you so much for your comment!

  5. Savannah

    great information!! The only way we became a nation was because everyone decided to work together. it is sad that today our government and people don’t like working together anymore. Also, I like the way you broke down the different houses and how each one is formed.

    • Jason Southerland

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, the federal government was created only to benefit all of the states together – which is what is meant by that phrase you hear from time to time, “general welfare”. The 10th Amendment is clear that everything else not specifically authorized for the federal government is reserved to the states or to the people.

  6. Florence Adamson

    Thank you Jason. I added a new word to my vocabulary “Bicameral”. I am learning so much in your class. I am grateful for your family’s dedication to “We The People”‘

    • Jason Southerland

      Thank you! It is great to have you in class! We very much enjoy what we are doing, and are motivated to share these truths with as many Americans as we can reach! I am really glad you find the resources helpful! Thank you for your comment!

  7. Johni J. Peckinpaugh

    So much brilliant information for thought building our ability to process all we are learning in classes with you! Your organizational structure and detailing through out Patriot Hope is AMAZING and so conventional! I am going to keep thanking you and simply stay in touch. All honor to GOD almighty. I especially am grateful for Rick, Kera and the entire Green Family along with my Patriot Academy origination team but breakout group classes with you truly demonstrates excellence.

    • Jason Southerland

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and for your participation in class! We also are very thankful for the Green family and how the Lord is using them so mightily in so many ways! We are also very happy to be in this fight. Thank you again!


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