For those of you wondering where the quote on the front page of my blog comes from, here’s the blog post that inspired it.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, the fact that we need the Bill of Rights right now means that the federal government’s power is unlimited and has far exceeded its Constitutionally enumerated powers. If this is confusing to you or you don’t understand, please either re-read or read for the first time, The Amendments Series: Today, We Need the Bill of Rights…but We Shouldn’t. Don’t read today’s article any further until you go over the Amendment series article, or today’s article will make no sense.
I’m learning new things every day. The more I learn, the more I realize I have so much more to learn. After realizing just how unnecessary the Bill of Rights were during the founding era, I’ve begun to realize just how broken our conversations about rights and the Constitution are today.
You see, we focus so much of our time debating and discussing our “rights”; specifically, those eight rights (the final two rights in the Bill of Rights were Federalist additions restating what the Constitution already says) in the Bill of Rights that we miss the actual Constitution and liberty.
Frankly, friends, do we only have eight rights? Because, in America, you’d think we do.
No, in fact, we have liberty.
The Constitution, through enumerated powers, lays out for Congress exactly what it can and cannot do. The founders wanted to protect liberty through enumerated powers, rather than enumerated rights (Lawson). It’s a safer, cleaner route. Try to list every right the government is supposed to protect and you run the risk of missing some and then giving government the opportunity to violate those missed rights on the premise that they aren’t violating the rights listed.
Give government a tight leash, limiting its powers to a select few topics, issues of liberty and rights are never the point and are never threatened.
But see, in America today, we never discuss those enumerated powers or the Constitutionality of the laws our federal government now passes. No. Today, when Americans say “the Constitution”, they usually mean, “The Bill of Rights”.
So, this means the government is free to violate the Constitution—and our liberty—all day with little to no repercussions from the citizenry or the courts.
Because at least the government hasn’t violated those eight rights in the Bill of Rights.
So the point I want to make today with this article is simple. All the debates, the arguments, the articles and papers, the conversations on TV, and the court interpretations about the meaning of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, are pointless.
Think about it.
Why do we need to figure out exactly what part of speech or our guns or our right to trial by jury can be infringed upon by government if government was never given the power to make a single law about any one of these topics in the first place?!
Seriously, why is there even a debate? Entertaining a debate about what “free speech” is, or what a militia is, gives credence to the idea that government can make laws outside of its enumerated powers, laws that would come close to topics like guns or speech.
We’re so out of kilter, so far from the reality of what the Constitution actually says and actually does, that debates and conversations that seem noble and seem good for liberty, actually damage liberty.
Friends, appreciate “rights” but cherish “liberty”.
Cherish liberty by fighting for the Constitution. Keep your federal government accountable to the Constitution. Otherwise, government will siphon liberty out of our country completely, all the while claiming to at least have never violated the Bill of Rights.
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” -Thomas Jefferson
The Liberty Belle