Sunday, February 14, 2016

Why Do You People Keep Talking About The Constitution?

"Why do you people keep talking about the Constitution?"
In a recent comment on social media, my brother told me that someone threw that question at him.
Why do we keep talking about the Constitution? 
I'll answer your question with a question: 
Why do you people keep ignoring the Constitution?
Allow me to be clear about my notions.
God created man, the mind of man, the heart of man, to live in a perfect liberty resulting from relation with Him. You may not be a Christian, or the adherent of the many other faiths that adopt this view. But if you live in the United States, you live in a Nation that has adopted that view in its principal founding document, the Declaration of Independence. 

In the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson wrote, 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Even if you dispute the actuality of the Garden of Eden story, you must catch the underlying truth: while capable of great and good, we choose low and bad, too often, to justify a claim that my preferences (or yours) are good, better, or best.
So when we gather in groups, couple, family, neighborhood, community, city, county, State, Nation, international treaty association, we really just are a collection of folks too often inclined away from the good, away from the great.
It's a truism. It isn't proof of perfect evil in every choice of every person.
It is sufficiently true that you should NOT trust your life, your liberty, your family, your future, to MY goodness and MY judgment.
Now my anarchically inclined friends see this part. That collectivism is just a way of describing group bullying. They reject all involuntary collectives and their authority, for, among others, this reason.
Those, like me, who have not fully made the leap to anarchy, have to find a method of preserving and/or pursuing the rights we claim to be ours innately, as an aspect of our created Nature: rights to life, to liberty, to pursue happiness. In our Nation, the basic idea of how things are, the essence of them, is stated in the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration is a sort of birth certificate for the Nation. It states the basis of our parentage and lineage. It states the causes of liberation and independence from England. And it asserts the philosophical underpinnings of this joint project: Natural Law.
On the other hand, the Constitution of the United States is not our birth certificate.
It doesn't state our identity as a people.
All that it does, and it does this well in principle, less well in fact, is to provide for a general government of 13, and then, ultimately, 50 sovereign States, and in doing so, to provide a set of highly constrained, limited lines of authority and restricted powers. That Constitution separates legislative powers (the Congress), executive powers (the President), and judicial powers (the Supreme Court and the inferior federal courts).
Of course, the Bill of Rights, an important component of the Constitution were a demanded condition for support of the Constitution, because the States and the People feared the creation of an overarching, growing, and overwhelming leviathan in the federal government.
But still, this is what the Constitution constitutes: a framework for limited general government, respecting the retained powers and prerogatives of the States and of the People.
Now, why do we keep talking about the Constitution? And, why do you keep ignoring the Constitution?
Because the Constitution is, in fact, a straight jacket of federal power. It was designed to allow the monster of a federal government to be unleashed on the Nation, while restraining it in ways that would keep it in check and incapable of infringing the liberties and rights of the States and the People.
So we talk about the Constitution because we see the federal leviathan exceeding its bounds. And you ignore it because you prefer the seeming largess gained by that miscreantical behavior of that same leviathan.
Eighty years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States made a watershed switch, concluding that previously clearly understood limits on federal powers and federal interests had been misunderstood. In doing so, the Supreme Court unleashed the National Labor Relations Act and the Social Security Act on the Nation, and then in subsequent cases found that virtually any program directed toward the general welfare proposed by the Congress and approved by the President had a sufficient nexus to the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce that it could be constitutionally justified.
So the rapacious hunger of the federal leviathan found a growing network of fans and lovers, folks that found that what the People would not do for them, what the States would not do for them, an errant Congress and an unbridled Court could inflict on them.
This dispute and contention is as real today and as recent as the horrible and unfounded idiocies penned by John Roberts when he saved Obamacare from constitutional challenges.
Want us to stop talking about the Constitution?
How about this?
Get your wants, needs, desires INSIDE the bounds of your own power to provide for them. Don't demand that your neighbor, or your neighboring State to give to you. Tamp down the adventurism of the overpowering federal government.
When the federal beast is reduced to a federal Chihuahua, we'll hold our peace.