Posts Tagged With: Constitution

A Republic at Risk

When the 1776 Commission was created to produce the The 1776 Report, the normal mindless, partisan politics ensued. The report couldn’t possibly be of importance and was ignored and deleted. So I, unlike many others, decided to actually read it. Here, quoted from the report, is what it was fundamentally about:

The core assertion of the Declaration [of Independence], and the basis of the founders’ political thought, is that “all men are created equal.”

[This] does not mean that all human beings are equal in wisdom, courage, or any of the other virtues and talents that God and nature distribute unevenly among the human race. It means rather that human beings are equal in the sense that they are not by nature divided into castes, with natural rulers and ruled.

Natural equality requires not only the consent of the governed but also the recognition of fundamental human rights…as well as the fundamental duty or obligation of all to respect the rights of others. These rights are found in nature and are not created by man or government; rather, men create governments to secure natural rights. Indeed, the very purpose of government is to secure these rights, which exist independently of government, whether government recognizes them or not.

…the Ninth Amendment [establishes] that the Bill of Rights was a selective and not an exclusive list; that is, the mere fact that a right is not mentioned in the Bill of Rights is neither proof nor evidence that it does not exist.

In other words, the Declaration of Independence is a statement of the ancient belief that human rights are innate and exist whether or not any particular government thinks otherwise. These were the founding principles of the United States, all of which used to be taught in schools. That was a primary purpose of schools after all. The report writes:

Education in civics, history, and literature holds the central place in the well-being of both students and communities. For republican government, citizens with such an education are essential. The knowledge of human nature and unalienable rights — understanding what it means to be human — brings deeper perspective to public affairs, for the simple reason that educated citizens will take encouragement or warning from our past in order to navigate the present.

When the lessons of the past are ignored, the truth of natural rights ignored, and politicians try to undo or work around checks and balances of power, this is cause for great concern. When these cancers began to eat away at a republic, often hidden behind movements and catchphrases that hide the decay, one day people wake up wondering how their government moved into tyranny. History, however, tells us how easy governments can fail:

Republicanism is an ancient form of government, but one uncommon throughout history, in part because of its fragility, which has tended to make republics short-lived. Contemporary Americans tend to forget how historically rare republicanism has been, in part because of the success of republicanism in our time…

We only need to look to that famous republic, the Roman one, and its slide into tyranny, and the warnings it has left us. Edward Watts in Mortal Republic writes:

A republic is not an organism. It has no natural life span. It lives or dies solely on the basis of choices made by those in charge of its custody…The [Roman] Republic could have been saved. These men, and many others less famous as they, chose not to save it…When citizens take the health and durability of their republic for granted, that republic is at risk.

The 1776 Report wasn’t a partisan document; it was a warning. As Daniel Webster wrote, if the American experiment fails, “there will be anarchy throughout the world.”

Categories: Critical Thinking, History | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Allow Your Rights to Slip Away

The Bill of Rights can withstand a hostile political class if it’s supported by a culture that genuinely wants to be shielded from the depredations of government officials. If, instead, people come to see the Bill of Rights as a barrier to their efforts to harm their opponents, its component amendments will be reinterpreted or overturned so that they don’t get in the way of political warriors sticking it to each other. – J. D. Tuccille

It’s troubling enough that there are politicians who openly undermine rights and the criminal justice system, but when the people start going along with it, history tells us terrible times follow.

Oh, I forgot, history isn’t very high on the importance list in education. Given some of the dark paths mankind has gone down, it should be number one.

Remember, what power you give the government today, will come back to haunt you tomorrow.

Categories: General | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Waking Up

“Washington doesn’t represent the American people anymore, because the bureaucrats and elected officials in Washington pursue their own self-serving agendas rather than doing what is objectively right for the country…Congress [has] only one problem that they’re serious about solving — and that’s getting reelected.”

Those are strong words from Congressman Ken Buck. In his book Drain the Swamp, he gives an insider’s look into the rampant corruption in Congress. From outright ignoring the Constitution, to dead laws that never die, passing laws through intimidation, to purposefully creating problems so they can cash in.

It’s troubling how easily people are distracted by the smoke and mirrors, the staged drama, and the promise of money, from our government. If only more would look behind the curtain. Buck writes:

“The federal government is supposed to be small. Its power is supposed to limited. The United States is supposed to be a union of largely sovereign states…Our founder’s default position was to keep power as far from Washington as possible.”

The scary truth is that they don’t want you to know this. Why? Then they lose the power they gave themselves.  The power we turned a blind eye to.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” Ronald Reagan warned.  “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”

What will you choose to do?

Categories: Critical Thinking, Modern History | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

America: Miracle or the Titanic?

So I ran across The 5000 Year Leap, subtitled A Miracle That Changed the World: Principles of Freedom 101, at a book sale. Here, in one volume, is an accessible volume on the principles that went into writing the U.S. Constitution. The chapter I opened today reads:

3rd Principle: The Most Promising Method of Securing a Virtuous and Morally Stable People is to Elect Virtuous Leaders

Isn’t that a novel idea?

Continue reading

Categories: Critical Thinking, History | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everyone Lost Yesterday

Many upset, others happy. Some don’t care.

The truth is that everyone lost.

We’ve allowed the Supreme Court to (once again) step outside its power. The Constitution instructs it to determine the constitutionality of laws, not write them. The Constitution does not speak on marriage — does not list it as a “right” — so the court shouldn’t have even heard the case — if they were following the law. They could have argued that since marriage for many is a religious ceremony, defined by religious beliefs, that the government has no business meddling with it (as the First Amendment forbids).

The Constitution was written to define and limit the federal government’s power, not engage in social engineering. “Marriage equality” is a nice-sounding catchphrase (and an obfuscating one), but it’s not the government’s job, or right, to define what that means. Giving them the power to do so was a mistake. Letting a small group of unelected judges to do it is even worse.

Why? Because any time the views of the politicians and their judges change — and they change like the wind — they can redefine marriage or anything else at will. The people, over 300 million, have ceded their democratic control to a tiny minority of people in Washington.

This should trouble everyone, regardless of what you think of the Supreme Court’s decision. It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, or of any other politics, philosophy or religion.

You all lost. We all did.

We let emotion supersede reason and the law be ignored. We have given power to the few — the very reason we created this nation was to not have that dangerous situation. Notice that the dissenting judges didn’t base their decision on opposition to “marriage equality,” but on what the Constitution does or does not state. Wrote Justice Samuel Alito:

…not what States should do about same-sex marriage but whether the Constitution answers that question for them. It does not. The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact – and the furthest extension one can even imagine – of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.

So I guess if you think a couple of politician-appointed judges are needed to sanction or bless your beliefs, and unconstitutionally redefine the law in the process, then yesterday was a good day.

Most people, when they stop to think about it, probably want to decide for themselves and for the government to follow the rule of law.

When the law becomes an option, we are all in danger.

cons

Categories: Critical Thinking | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: