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By Alan Caruba

We the People

We the People

Alan Caruba

Column by Alan Caruba

Manasquan, NJ --(Ammoland.com)- Perhaps the stupidest idea given an airing in a recent edition of The New York Times is Prof. Louis Michael Seidman’s opinion, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.

According to his commentary, Prof. Seidman has “taught constitutional law for almost 40 years” and he was “ashamed” it took him that long to conclude that it was an outdated, “bizarre” document.

Apparently President Obama, who was a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, arrived at that conclusion more swiftly. His disregard for the Constitution recently got a slap down from the courts that ruled his recess appointments to the labor relations board were unconstitutional insofar as the Senate was not in recess.

I am not a constitutional scholar, but it should be self-evident that the oldest living constitution in the world has served to create and maintain the greatest republic in the world. Prof. Seidman asserts that Americans have “an obsession” with the Constitution and that is a very good thing indeed. Without it, we would likely have fallen prey to tyranny.

The framers of the Constitution did not spring it on their fellow citizens as a fait accompli, but rather as a new instrument of governance to replace the failed Articles of Confederation. A literate population was able to read the Federal Papers that argued for its various elements. It was submitted to the legislatures of the states for ratification.

We can thank those legislatures for the Bill of Rights because they insisted on amendments that would protect the right of free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, and other elements that protect the individual against abuses of power that we take for granted, but which exist throughout the world. It can be argued that the Arab Spring that overthrew a number of Middle Eastern despots are a reflection of those rights as understood by citizens in nations that have never enjoyed them.

We tend to forget that many nations even today are ruled by monarchs and others exercising power that denies their citizens any definition of freedom. The Founding Fathers, having fought a long war against the English monarch and his parliament, were particularly sensitive to that, creating an instrument of governance that deliberately created a system of checks and balances to ensure that no President or Congress could act in a manner contrary to the intent of the Constitution.

The Constitution intended to slow down the process of legislation to ensure it received a full debate and was not subject to the whims of the times. In a January 2011 policy analysis published by the Cato Institute, Marcus E. Ethridge noted that “In the wake of the 2010 elections, President Obama declared that voters did not give a mandate to gridlock. His statement reflects over a century of Progressive hostility to the inefficient and slow system of government created by the American Framers,” adding that “A large and growing body of evidence makes it clear that the public interest is most secure when government institutions are inefficient decision makers.”

The most recent example of this was the 2,000-plus page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). At the time, then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, famously said that “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” That’s the opposite of what the Framers had in mind and is an example of what happens when a political party acts in a tyrannical manner. We are already finding out that Obamacare is causing healthcare insurance rates to increase and will deny healthcare to older Americans and others deemed by bureaucrats to be a burden on the system.

Even so, the Supreme Court which is supposed to protect Americans from abuses of the Constitution, deemed Obamacare to be a “tax” and thus legal. The Obama administration had argued that it was not a tax until it got in front of the Court. The Court had long since dropped the ball, allowing the Commerce Clause to be stretched beyond its intent to permit Congress to justify all manner of legislation and regulation of the nation’s economy.

The Framers had to compromise on the issue of slavery, in effect “kicking the can down the street” in order to get assent from the Southern States. The Supreme Court exacerbated this with the Dred Scott decision that ruled that blacks were property no matter where they were. The result was the Civil War.

The argument that the Constitution is an outdated document ignores the fact that it has been amended twenty-seven times and remains the gold standard of law in America.

There are many enemies of freedom and Prof. Seidman’s opinion is just one example, a reflection of the way some intellectuals hold the rest of us in contempt.

One of the greatest plagues on mankind was the notion of communism, the product of Karl Marx’s hatred of private property —the keystone of the Constitution— and the view that people should be seen as a collective, not as individuals. The Constitution affirms that the power of government resides in “the people” who, as individuals, determine who shall “represent” them and are to be protected against the arrogance of power that spawns the inclination to “rule” rather than represent.

The Framers of the Constitution understood this. It is the only thing that stands between us and a tyrannical government run by Progressives, Liberals, and Marxists.

c Alan Caruba

About:
Alan Caruba’s commentaries are posted daily at “Warning Signs” his popular blog and thereafter on dozens of other websites and blogs. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews.

  • 9 User comments to “Enemies of the Constitution – Progressives, Liberals, & Marxists”

    1. Michael Reed on February 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM said:

      Mr. Caruba makes several mistakes in his early paragraphs.

      One, Prof. Seidman’s infamous essay did not say America’s obsession with the Constitution was a good thing. Exactly the opposite, in fact.

      Two, “A literate population was able to read the Federal Papers” should read “Federalist Papers.” This was a series of newspaper essays written by Madison and others arguing in favor of adopting the constitution. There was also a series of Anti-Federalist essays.

      Third, the constitution was NOT sent to the state legislatures, but rather, to specially called state conventions. Debates were sometimes fierce. The New York and Virginia conventions were among the most dramatic. In short, opposition to the constitution was so strong it almost did not pass.

      After ratification, one of the first orders of business of the First Federal Congress was creation of a Bill of Rights, which Madison himself wrote and shepherded through. Several amendments were sent to the states, but only ten were adopted.

      The constitution was written by special delegates to the Philadelphia Convention, and then debated and adopted by citizens in special state conventions. Governments were not involved. This really was an effort of “We the People.”

      The anti-gun crowd is historically illiterate enough without folks on our side muddling things further.

    2. The person who wrote the pledge of allegience was a socialist.

    3. When a politician takes the oath of office he/she swears to defend and uphold the United States Constitution. Once they take office if the try and destroy and dismantle the U.S.Constitution that is treason ! The candy ass liberals seem to think they are something special and laws don’t apply to them,and that the Constitution is something that can be manipulated for their own personal agendas. Start prosecuting this scum now !!! BH

    4. The last time I check no part of the Constitution or Amendments has an expiration date,and never will. The candy ass liberals are about done.BH

    5. SBeecher on February 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM said:

      Liberals are proud Americans. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are looked as one of the great hallmarks in the liberal tradition. The use of the term liberal education refers to the entire tradition of seeking knowledge and contributing to civilization in a way that raises the intelligence level of humanity.
      That said, arguments we have about whether or not the 2nd Amendment can tolerate public safety debate are less wide in scope. It is not a debate about whether any American loves the Constitution or America less.
      It would foster a climate for clear thinking to have clear analysis not clouded by emotionalism.
      The question is really a local public safety (general welfare) issue. How de we deal with day after day, month after month, year after year the killing of too many peoria, especially children? It seems like in the real world, background checks and gun buybacks may help. Restoring funding to schools and mental health programs so they can do what they do better. Figuring out why youth are so alienated and frustrated. Those will take a lot of clear headed and persistent efforts. None of it will be easy. Name calling could make it worse.

    6. Oathkeeper Vet on February 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM said:

      So SBeecher Beecher says. That definition is that of the “classical liberal”. Not th e so called “progressives” ( read as statists) of today. No classical liberal tradition has also a large measure of libertarianism, again unrecognizable from the ‘liberals’ of today. In fact Jefferson was a classical liberal and he by his own words would and did speak for the second amendment without reservation. You Sir/Ma’m are entitled to your opinions , not facts. And trying to associate the “liberals”/ socialists/ marxist rabble of today with ‘classical liberalism’ is out of order and has no basis in fact…

    7. Winston Smith on February 6, 2013 at 6:45 PM said:

      General welfare and public safety? Well by the Justice depts own numbers violent crime is on the decline in a major way. Even including places like Chicago into the annual statistics! Hows “gun control” instead of criminal control working out for Chicago? Hmmmnnn? I will take Texas ,or Wyoming anyday over Chicago. The land where leftist democrats are in charge of everything and nothing works! There is your liberal of today and its results. Dont blame middle America and 90%`of our landmass if we arent impressed with what the ‘liberal tradition’ has become.

    8. It was not “progressives, liberals and marxists” who drafted the USA Patriot Act, which eviscerated the Fourth Amendment.

      It was not an administration of “progressives, liberals and marxists” where the president complained that the Constitution “is just another goddamned piece of paper”.

      It was not an administration of “progressives, liberals and marxists” that proclaimed the right to lock up anyone they chose without bringing charges or hearing the evidence in court.

      You want to complain about fascistic tendencies on the left, then you had better clean up your act on the right– something about not worrying about the speck in the other guy’s eye when you have a stick in your own.

    9. Oathkeeper Vet on February 6, 2013 at 10:49 PM said:

      Absolutely two sides of one nwo globalist coin. Republicans also have violated their oath. In as much they too belong in prison! By and large however its not republicans who are screetching like banshees to infringe upon the second amendment. There are some exceptions like Bloomberg etc. But they share infection of elitism ,and feel that they are entitled to the armed defense they would deny you as well. Also during Bush 2 , the secret police werent issuing inflammatory innuendo about dangerous left wing radicals! Nor were they saying that returning peace corps volunteers were liable to domestic terroristic recruitment. Nope thats on the left . As is NDAA, Libya, Egypt,Benghazi, etc .

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