America has long been a haven of innovation in the free market. American inventors through the years have looked to Article I Section 8 of our U.S. Constitution and its protection of their “exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Phyllis Schlafly recognized this vital part of our free enterprise system and was a strong voice on behalf of American inventors. She understood that the superiority of American ingenuity is not a matter of happenstance, but the product of a bold and inspired precedent set by our Founding Fathers and enshrined in our Constitution.
The July 1997 Phyllis Schlafly Report was quick to praise “the American patent system, unique when the Founding Fathers put it into the U.S. Constitution even before freedom of speech and religion, and still unique today.” Prior to ratification of the Constitution, there were no guarantees that inventors would get the profit or even the credit for their inventions. Without that incentive, there was little reason for anyone to invent anything in the first place.
We hear phrases like “American ingenuity” and “American exceptionalism” all the time, but most people forget where those come from. America was the first country to put the incentive of prosperity with the freedom to invent.
The entire world has benefited from the American patent system. Before America, farmers planted and harvested the same way their predecessors did thousands of years ago. Because of the American freedom to invent, John Deere’s steel plow and Cyrus McCormick’s mechanical reaper exponentially increased the productivity of each farmer and each acre of land. The American freedom to invent took communications from letters delivered on horseback to instantaneous messaging with Marconi’s wireless telegraph.
This freedom to invent is a vital pillar of American exceptionalism and we must stand against any attempt to take it away. We must stand with President Trump against countries that would violate our patent system and pirate our intellectual property. Finally, we should cherish our Constitution as the revolutionary milestone it is. The freedom to invent is just one more reason to celebrate our spectacular founding document and the inspired men who wrote it.