The folks at American Thinker have seen fit to publish an article I’ve written entitled:”Somebody Needs to Make the Case For the Constitution“. Though AT’s interest has everything to do with content and nothing to do with this author, I am of course pleased, grateful, and honored to be included among such fine company, if only for a time.
To the content of the article, I think the subject matter is clear enough, though it’s not so clear exactly who this “somebody” is. I don’t know, maybe it’s you… It is also somewhat ambiguous to some as to the reasoned urgency of “making the case”, but to the same this will be evident once the case is made.
Judging from some of the reactions to it thus far [on A.T.], I want to make a few quick comments: 1.) The article means not to imply that “nobody” is currently, vigorously making the case for the Constitution, 2.) some consideration as to whom, primarily, the case needs to be made, is in order, and 3.) being that the article is bit of a clarion call, it was hoped that it might encourage greater summaries in defense of the Constitution. ~tdv
Update 02.24.2013: Posted the complete article here
Somebody Needs to Make the Case For the Constitution
by Ted Vaughan (subconch) 02.09.2013
Somebody needs to make the case for the Constitution of the United States, before the case is closed. It is that which united us then, that shall unite us again.
Somebody should argue, firstly, that if our government can do whatever it wants, however it wants, to whomever it wants, then we as individuals are enslaved by it. It matters not who is favored by it today. The Constitution is the governor of government, and where government cares not to be governed by it, we have subjective, authoritarian rule, the mark of tyranny, and the antithesis of the American founding.
Somebody should make the case that the Constitution, where observed, has succeeded in its primary objects, such as to “establish justice” and to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”; that as we are that posterity who inherited it, we are equally charged with handing it down. Somebody, while on this subject, should also maintain that the objective to “promote the general welfare”, was achieved by the establishment of the Constitution itself.
Somebody might want to mention, that the Constitution created the environment in which we the people were free to build the greatest, wealthiest, strongest, most charitable nation in the history of earth.
Somebody needs to put it out there, that this “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, this republican principle, as it’s known, is put into practice by none other than the Constitution, without which our country would be something other indeed.
Somebody needs to inform people that the old adage “It’s a free country” is in no place truer than in the United States, but that the extent of this truth is always relative to government’s fealty to the Constitution, and to the respect for the same by we the people.
Somebody should remind our countrymen of the blood and treasure sacrificed in defense of the Constitution and the freedom that is assures us; that such a revered document deserves not to be discarded with any ease, in whole or in part, and it would be especially profane to do so without the first study.
Somebody needs to make it clear that while the specific protections of individual liberty outlined in the Bill of Rights are widely celebrated, that these protections are merely a sample. The Constitution doesn’t specifically protect our right to raise our families as we choose, for example, but we of course retain this right.
Somebody should ask the question, what is it exactly that places the wisdom of those who so avidly undermine the Constitution above the wisdom of our founders, the framers of the document, and those who so dutifully practiced the principles therein for centuries?
Somebody needs to recap that the Constitution is the very thing that protects us from all sorts of abuse by government when power goes to its head, for example:
• government can’t, just because it feels like it, break down our door, ransack our home, take our stuff, or secretly or indefinitely lock us up;
• government can’t make a law today and punish us for breaking it yesterday;
• government can’t force a religion on us, or stop us from practicing our faith;
• government can’t stop us from speaking our minds, or peacefully protesting and criticizing government;
• government can’t stop us from arming and defending ourselves;
• to protect us from unjust prosecution and detention by government, we have a right to reasonable bail, a speedy, public, impartial jury trial, to know the accusation and accuser, to have counsel, and if convicted, fines may not be excessive or punishment cruel;
• and government can’t deny us whatever rights that citizenship brings on account of race or gender.
This is just some of it, but all of it is in the Constitution. Somebody needs to recall that if any part of the Constitution is expendable, then these necessary protections too, are expendable.
Somebody should make the point that the Constitution is ”the supreme Law of the Land”, with which all other law is supposed to be in accordance. As such, it provides for we the people a concise, reliable, and stable reference to the rightful authority of the federal government, so that we may be clear when to resist it, and when to replace it.
Somebody ought to bring it up, too, that since people in government are prone to corruption and abuse of power, the U.S. Constitution’s barriers to these dangers are ingenious:
• It limits the authority of the federal government to specific nationally-related arenas, leaving the balance of powers to the sovereign States or the people, so as to avoid too great the scope of power in the hands of too few in a central government;
• the powers vested and enumerated are diffused and shared among the separate federal branches and within the legislative branch;
• the greatest number of powers are entrusted to the branch of government closest to the people;
• and the machineries that empower government officials are varied, such as by regular elections or checked appointments, and assure that people are always directly or indirectly represented.
Somebody ought to bring light to the reality, that no man is immune to his propensity for evil, even as he has our favor, for the trappings of power are corrosive indeed. This is a case for the Constitution.
Somebody should make the argument that since every government official is required to take an oath to support the Constitution, that not only does this clarify the higher station of the document to those who serve, but that it also identifies the lack of integrity in those so bound when they circumvent the Constitution. Somebody can still make the argument for honor, and for our judgment of men by the soundness of their word.
Somebody should illustrate that it’s a good thing that the Constitution is so hard to change, because this prevents smooth-talking crooked politicians who would manipulate the people in a crisis moment to effect unreasoned fundamental change.
Somebody needs to make the comparison that the Constitution is no more a “living and breathing document” than our mortgage documents, or our car loan agreements, or our cell phone contracts. We would never tolerate any change to these without our consent. So why then would we accept without question the unlawful change to the great compact between we the people of the United States?
Somebody needs to make the case for the Constitution. Maybe that somebody is you.