The Constitution of the United States clearly refutes John Balentine’s assertion that “our government’s lone job is to ensure individual rights” and “that it exists to keep the individual free, not rule over them” (“Do you still desire freedom?”, July 2).

According to the Preamble, “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America.”

What he writes about the Founding Fathers’ intent, he has it backwards. Their intent was so clearly the uniting of the Colonies into one collective free society, not celebrating the individual. He seems to have confused the Declaration of Independence, from which the Founders used the principles to write the Constitution, the document outlining the form of government Americans would have as our democracy.

It is a living document that has been amended over the years as our country grew and changed. The amendments were actually added after the Founders set up the powers and procedures of governance. Then it was ratified by the 13 Colonies as an agreement they would be united as one country.

The first 10 amendments do ensure many individual rights, but within the framework of our representative government. Throughout the years, government leaders have mandated things, such as the draft, to provide for the common defense. People had the right to protest that and vote in representatives who would abolish it.

The local, state and federal governments regularly create regulations for public safety reasons. Wearing face masks and social distancing were medically based decisions to “provide for common defense” against an unseen yet deadly enemy. The purpose was to “promote the general Welfare” as stated in the Constitution. To suggest it was an attack on freedom is ludicrous.

Susan Chichetto
Bath