The Preamble – The Whole Is Greater Than the Parts

Patrick Edaburn


It has been said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There is perhaps no better way to apply this dictum than with words.

I Love You

It’s A Boy

She’ll Be Fine

The phrases are made up of words that are basic on their own but develop a much deeper meaning when brought together. As special as each one, for me there is one phrase that proves the rule more clearly than any other.


On the surface it is a simple phrase of three common words and yet to many they convey a meaning so deep and profound for they touch the very soul of our nation. They represent a fundamental shift in the thinking of how a nation comes into being.

For centuries nations were born and rights were granted through the actions of some sort of a monarch, the people only had those things that the ruler decided to give them and those rights could be taken away at his or her discretion.

Even in the days of ancient Rome and Greece there was a concept that while the people ruled, the right to rule was given to the people rather than being held by them in the first place. Not everyone had these rights and they could be taken away for a myriad of reasons.

But when our founding fathers drafted the Constitution they wanted it to be clear that this was to be a new kind of nation one where the people created the nation, not where the nation gave privileges to the people.

It is for this reason that the document begins with the bold words We The People, written bigger than the rest, tall and proud words which proclaim that it is a document for all, a document for the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, the big and the small.

It is the document our military has fought and died for, the document that has carried us through good times and bad, the document that has made us the longest operating republic in the history of the world.

Today too many of our fellow citizens fail to recognize or even care about this grand document, the document that gives them so much, a document that millions around the world would give anything to have.

There is the additional problem that when a person fails to understand they have certain rights then they are unaware or unconcerned that they are in danger of losing them. One cannot be expected to miss something they never knew they had.

As I see it, this lack of understanding is something that cannot be allowed to continue.

There is a Hebrew word, Shibboleth, which literally means the part of a plant containing grain (such as an ear of corn). But more than three thousand years ago this word took on a new meaning.

The people of Gilead had won a great victory over the people of Ephraim and were trying to deal with the problem of Ephraimite refugees trying to escape across the Jordan River and back into their homeland. In order to stem this tide of escapees the leaders of Gilead came up with a unique solution.

The Emphraimite language did not have the sound “h” and so anyone trying to cross the Jordan was asked to say the word Shibboleth. As recorded in the 12th Chapter of Judges:

“Gilead then cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever Ephraimite fugitives said, ‘Let me cross,’ the men of Gilead would ask, ‘Are you an Ephraimite?’

If he said, ‘No,’ they then said, ‘Very well, say “Shibboleth”

If anyone said, “Sibboleth” because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan”

In time the term “speaking Shibboleth” has evolved to mean a way in which a common group of people demonstrates their unity, their common culture and shared experiences. It is most commonly applied to religious situations but can apply to any group.

While we are all of many faiths, we have such a Shibboleth in our national consciousness, that of our Constitution.

It is my goal in this project to reawaken the national Shibboleth of our Constitution and our Republic. To have our fellow citizens speaking and understanding the beauty and majesty of our national compact.



About FTB1(SS)

Plausibly Live is the Official Podcast of The Dave Bowman Show. From 2007 to 2015, Dave was the host of KFIV’s “Afternoons Live” (Later “The Dave Bowman Show”) and the Central Valley’s go-to man for insightful and entertaining analysis of the day's news and events. In 2015, Dave left radio to raise his son and helped to launch the Podcast 99 network (, which features voices and topics from all around the area, the nation, and the world, on a variety of subjects. Re-launching his own show as a podcast, Dave continues his look at the world around him, now without the constraints of terrestrial radio, but still with his eclectic mix of history and common sense. The primary feature element of Plausibly Live is Constitution Thursday, which since 2010 has been a weekly look at the history and impact of the US Constitution. Dave is a US Navy Submariner, a radio talk show host, father, baseball fan, avid reader and a frustrated writer. He has a passion for books, theology, submarines, coffee, tequila, 1970’s music (especially funk!) and is a ToTaL Star Trek geek. Dave being promoted to FTB2(SS) in 1986. Dave being promoted to FTB2(SS) in 1986. He was born in Oklahoma, grew up in Colorado, graduated from Ogden High School (Class of ’81) in Ogden, UT, served for eleven years in the US Navy Submarine fleet, was a Naval Instructor and as a Ballistic Missile Fire Control Technician, he achieved the rank of FTB1(SS) through sorcery and favoritism, but would have been happy staying an FTB2(SS) for life. He was trained as a targeting specialist and Battle Stations Missile Fire Control Supervisor aboard USS Michigan SSBN-727(G) and was trained on two Fire Control Systems, the Mk 98 Mod 0 TRIDENT and the Mk 88 Mod 1 POSEIDON. Later he served as a part of the Fleet Combat Training Center Dam Neck Auxiliary Security Force, which sounds impressive but was really just bait for Seal Team 6 and any Iraqi terrorists who happened to land on the beach in Virginia. He later attended Seminary in Atlanta, GA, then served as a pastor for five years before realizing the massive error of his ways. He then worked in non-Profit management until 2006 when he was hired to do sports for a local talk radio show, eventually moving into the host position in September of 2007. In the fall of 2008, after years of questioning and study, Dave completed the process of conversion to Judaism. In 2009 Dave married Cami, and in 2010 they were blessed with their son, Benjamin, to go along with four daughters, one son-in-law and three grandchildren. In the summer of 2017, Dave and Cami relocated “back home” to Silverdale, WA, where Dave had been stationed when they first met in 1985. From September 2007 to January 2015 Dave was heard each weekday from 3pm to 6pm (Pacific) on Power Talk 1360AM & 1280 in Modesto & Stockton, CA. Today, you can hear his Podcast Show, Plausibly Live, on The Dave Bowman Show website or on The Podcast 99 Network Page.

Posted on January 22, 2013, in Constitution, Patrick, Preamble and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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