Every Constitution Day I have the privilege of teaching classes about the Constitution at local Middle schools.
It continues to amaze me how this beautiful document has relevance to every topic currently driving our news cycles. From tax reform to health care, border security, mass shootings, kneeling at the national anthem and racial strife.
There is a lesson to be learned in all these areas just by going back to the rule book. I suppose this makes me an originalist.
I believe words matter. The more you know about the Framers the more you gain respect for the craftsmanship these men used in putting the proper words together. They created a long-lasting form of self-governance – unlike any the world has seen thus far.
Of the roughly 130+ countries with a modern written constitution, ours is the oldest. It is the model for all others.
Why don’t all these countries have a flourishing economy and middle class you ask?
Well, the first thing we usually hear about failing nations like Venezuela is how the leaders change, ignore or otherwise re-draft their constitutions to enhance and retain power. No document is immune to the eraser.
We often hear the Constitution is outdated. It has no relevance in the age of the internet. It needs re-interpretation periodically as a living document (whatever that means).
I would contend the framers allowed for this change by the Amendment process.
One of the first questions I usually ask my classes is “How many of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment can you name?” Most students can get two or three, some got none. No one gets all five.
(For the record, they are freedom of: Speech, press, petition, assembly, and religion.)
Next I suggest they go home and ask their parents the same question. Finally, I urge them to remind their parents that if you don’t know your rights, “how do you know when you’ve lost them?”
Last question, “Where do these rights come from?” Many reply: from the Government, the President or the Congress.
The Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson reveals the answer in the second line. “…endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…”
Struggling to understand the cryptocurrency craze, Federal Reserve policy, precious metals? Just check Article 1 section 10 for a specific definition of what is considered money under the law.
Tracing the history of this country illustrates that constant vigilance is required to protect these rights from politicians.
To name just a few recent transgressions:
- There was the creation of the IRS and the Federal Reserve in 1913 under Woodrow Wilson.
- There was the adoption of withholding during WWII by FDR.
- We witnessed the formation of the Education and Energy Departments by Jimmy Carter.
- Of course, citizens saw the Orwellian sounding Department of Homeland Security in response to 9/11.
- Last but not least: the power grab known as The Affordable Care Act. It defies logic to the degree that the deciding vote on the Supreme Court could only be a product of judicial activism by relabeled the law as a tax.
Recently our news cycle was consumed with coverage of the NFL protests during the National Anthem. Many folks got so fed up they tuned out.
Personally, I stopped watching the NFL in 1994 when it was revealed that O.J. Simpson’s pension could not be touched by the civil judgment brought by the Brown family.
Many said, can’t we just move on and forget about this take a knee distraction from more important business?
Well, no actually we can’t.
Anyone who watched the Ken Burns documentary about the Vietnam War had to be deeply moved by the dramatic ordeal of local eye doctor Hal Kushner.
Similar stories from the Middle East can be told about other heroic acts like that of Pat Tillman who sacrificed a multi-million dollar NFL contract to join the Special forces then sacrificed much more to serve his country.
Many of our most famous actors and athletes gave up prime parts of their careers to serve the nation in combat during WWII.
I thank God for growing up in a country that creates people like this who take up arms to defend their Beautiful Document regardless of the flawed political process behind those decisions to go to war.
When I think of the glue that binds all these people together I hear the National Anthem and see the Flag along with the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock to which we owe our allegiance and our identity as Americans.
Watching the systematic attempts to erase our history, our borders, our culture and our decaying institutions, which have become political weapons against the people, just draws my attention back to the Beautiful Document.
The illogical madness that comes from creating Sanctuary Cities, Safe Spaces that pulls down historical monuments is mindless thuggery to protest free speech.
Thuggery that goes unpunished begets more thuggery. Non-stop propagandizing on mainstream media shows we haven’t been paying attention.
How long will it be until the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Wall or the WWII Memorial are under attack?
Can anyone tell me what the term “Political Correctness” means without referring to Harry Truman’s version? (It is unacceptable to repeat here. You can look it up).
Could you picture the Founding Fathers locking themselves away from the press in Philadelphia Freedom Hall in the summer of 1787 to draft the Constitution? In an environment where they had to avoid the use of any terminology which might offend a representative from another Colony?
Even SNL couldn’t compose a skit on such an absurd premise.
How will our snowflakes compete in the real world when they find out not everyone agrees with them?
There are no atheists in foxholes and no responsible leaders come from the world of hot chocolate and blankets used to protect their self-esteem.
The families of both my wife and me come from long military backgrounds. We can only be glad most have passed on before they had to witness this systemic disrespect for our binding institutions.
Maybe it’s time to go back to the rule book.
A friend suggested that going after deposed politicians for illegal acts committed while in office makes the United States look like a banana republic. If we aren’t all subject to the same rule of Law (as required by the Constitution no less) then we do look like a banana republic.
Additionally, with no respect for application of the law comes the degradation of the order which follows the law. Either we all follow the same laws or don’t have laws.
Either our congress should be subject to the Affordable Care Act the same as the citizenry or they should eliminate the law. It is criminal to do otherwise. (Did I mention it is unconstitutional?)
Either thugs that set fires and break windows do jail time or we must eliminate the law for all people.
Either government officials face consequences for compromising national security leaking secrets and taking bribes or we must eliminate these laws for all of us.
If not for the excellent work of Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice – among a few others – we would never discover the illegal activities our government has been engaging in.
The DOJ declaring they won’t release emails from our Former Secretary of State because there isn’t enough public interest is as laughable as the “She didn’t intend to break the law” defense offered by corruptocrat James Comey.
The IRS, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, unmasking requests and the latest scandal involving the potential compromising of Congressional websites by a former aide to Debbie Wasserman Schulz should face the same scrutiny as the activities as average citizens.
These are the real scandals which deserve our attention. However, they are on the ‘back burner’ while we are distracted from with the “Russiagate” investigation.
We must remind ourselves the elected officials are public servants who are legally required to conduct all public business in accordance with FOIA laws. If the ‘important folks’ refuse to comply, we should recognize reality and just repeal the laws.
Selective enforcement is known in other countries by its common name: Tyranny.
Maybe it’s time to go back to the rule book.
What do you think? Please share your comments, below.
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