Don Powers is an award-winning presenter on the Constitution who has re-worked his course information for college students into classes on the Constitution for the public. He found that his college students didn’t understand the Constitution before taking his course, and neither do most adults. “We’re losing our freedom,” Powers says, “because too many people can’t see that the Constitution protects our freedom. Unfortunately for America, our elected politicians, un-elected judges, and bureaucrats are moving us back to the rule of man.”
Powers received the George Washington Medal from Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge for his class “Understanding the Constitution.” He is the President of the Oklahoma City chapter of the Foundation. Powers most recently taught his class this spring under the umbrella of Oklahoma State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. During the last 10 years, he has taught the class to approximately 3,000 people from book clubs, veterans groups, churches, and patriotic organizations.
His classes draw from The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen which Powers calls one of the best books on the Constitution ever written. Its 28 principles of freedom begin with natural law, the only reliable footing for sound government. The Founders of this nation were familiar with these principles and used them to structure the Constitution. “If you don’t understand where the Founders were coming from, it’s hard to understand the document and how it was written,” Powers says. He also teaches key elements of the Declaration of Independence and seminal historical events from the Revolutionary Era.
“The Constitution is not hard to understand once properly taught,” Powers says. “It was written for the average person living in the colonies at the time. Any reasonably intelligent person today can understand it with a little background.”
Despite its simplicity, “the Constitution is not being used properly today,” he says, “especially not by Congress, which grants too much discretion to the federal agencies and takes too much power away from the states and the people.” This adversely affects the Rule of Law and constitutes a regression to the rule of man, Powers rightly says.
Continuing, Powers says, “When people try to identify anything they can do today, without government involvement, they usually conclude that government touches every conceivable thing they might do. We have allowed the government to escape the bounds of the Constitution.”
“The Constitution means what it says (The Stated Powers, the restrictions on the Government) and it means what it doesn’t say (The Reserve Powers held by States and ‘We the People’),” Powers says. “If the Constitution does not give a power to the federal government, then the federal government is prohibited from exercising that power.”
This last point puts Powers on the side of William Howard Taft against Teddy Roosevelt, who believed that a President can do anything the Constitution doesn’t forbid. Even if unmoored from justice and natural law? The View of the Constitution by our American Founders, President Taft, Powers and other Constitutionalists is the more humane and sustainable vision – limited government, which Powers says is, “the original intent of the Founders from their writings and from analysis and research into the four-corners of the documents that constitute the United States of America’s organic law.”
Powers wrote a pamphlet on how states can take back power from Washington using the Constitution. “The Toolbox of States’ Rights – A Model Plan for States to use in Pushing Back Against Federal Government Over-reach” is available from:
Don M. Powers
c/o Powers At Law, LLC
1420 Bond Street
Edmond, OK 73034
Attorney Powers will help and consult with people interested in teaching Constitution classes in their area. He is currently developing a book on the Constitution from his newspaper columns and his own research conducted into the Founders and America’s organic law.
More patriots like Powers, please!