I watched this video yesterday. Boy did it inflame the fires of passion in me to educate everyone on the Constitution.
This gentleman, Jon Root, asked this protestor if she feels that Roe vs. Wade was constitutional. While I understand where he’s coming from, feelings about whether or not something is Constitutional do not matter. Feelings are painfully arbitrary and subject to ever changing whims. What does matter is whether or not something is Constitutional or not, regardless of our feelings.
But that’s neither here nor there. The reason for this post is simply to emphasize, with greater fervor, the critical importance of Americans learning why we have a Constitution and why our government should follow it.
The young lady says, “I don’t care about the Constitution“.
My first response: “And why should she?”
Seriously, this is critical. Why, based on our education system today, based on what is spoken and known about the Constitution today, why should she care about the Constitution?
Mr. Root asked her if she feels Roe vs. Wade was constitutional and I cringed. Based on the education of today, why and how would she have a clue about whether or not this Supreme Court ruling was Constitutional? And why would she seek to know if it was when she has likely never been given a reason to care whether or not its Constitutional? What foolishness? What she cares about is a perceived “right”, a right that the Constitution apparently doesn’t give or protect. In her eyes, the Constitution is the enemy.
In time, I’ve come to realize that most people don’t have any understanding about why the Constitution matters.
And if people don’t have a deep rooted understanding informing their beliefs about the importance of, the fundamental reason for, the Constitution, why should they care about it, or whether or not the government follows it?
It is, very literally, a piece of paper.
And as this young woman so vehemently pointed out, it’s an “old-ass document”.
Yes, remarkably, it is. The oldest living written Constitution in the world. With reason, because the people in this country have, throughout our history, respected it, which has forced our government to respect it.
Why? Because the people knew why it mattered. (As their experience under governments with no Constitution was still painfully fresh in their memories).
Kill the understanding of why the Constitution matters, kill the Constitution. Why respect and fight for something when its purpose evades you?
We have a job in America and part of that job is to make sure everyone in this country knows their job. We can’t expect people to fight for the Constitution, condemn government behavior that is unconstitutional, or keep government accountable to the Constitution if we never tell them why they should care about the Constitution.
Truly. Why should this young lady care about the Constitution? Can you answer this question clearly and articulately for her in a way that has nothing to do with your party affiliation or ideological convictions?
…And no, we can’t expect arguments like, “Government should follow the Constitution because it’s the Constitution, and government should follow it…it protects our rights” to work, ever. The argument that the Constitution merely exists to protect our rights is patently false and does great damage to the Constitution. Think about it. If the Constitution exists to give us rights or protect our rights what happens when it suddenly doesn’t contain in it a “right” that modern civilization demands? Society starts arguing that it is outdated and unnecessary. It has now turned into the document that keeps us away from our rights. The Constitution is immediately turned into the enemy because its power is based on the arbitrary whim of the times.
Friends, words mean things. Saying that the Constitution exists to protect our rights is a slight but destructive perversion of the truth, a perversion that opens the door for such arguments like the one above.
The Constitution does not exist to protect our “rights”. It exists to protect liberty.
It protects liberty by giving government power not by giving citizens rights.
By giving government power, the Constitution confines government power.
How? Because then government’s power is not arbitrary–it comes from something, The Constitution. This means that government’s power is defined and therefore confined. Government can’t just do whatever it wants to its citizenry. It has a job description. It can’t say, “Off with your head…” one day simply because it wants to. It must justify its behavior according to the standard it’s been given to abide by and from which it derives the power to act. It’s not an arbitrary government–a government who’s power starts and ends with itself–relying only on itself to define what it can or cannot do or what is or is not good for the country.
My friends, it is this type of government, arbitrary government, that is the real “old-ass” way of governing, something that this young lady might cringe at if she truly understood what arbitrary power would mean for her and has meant for so many generations before her. “Abortion rights” would be the least of her concerns.
Arbitrary government power is as ancient as it gets. Confined and limited government power, allowing for liberty to thrive, is new and revolutionary.
And yet how many Americans have been taught this? How many Americans understand that the Constitution doesn’t exist to protect our “rights” (which can change by the day, and requires more government with each additional “right”), but to protect us and our private property from government. It tells government NO. It governs government by defining its behavior.
Because friends, remember, if government derives its power from the Constitution, meaning such power is not arbitrary, then from where does it get its power to do something outside of the Constitution? It gets such power from nowhere, and if gets such power from nowhere, this power is undefined, unconfined and unlimited. It’s arbitrary.
And if government can do one thing outside of its Constitutional limitations, it can do anything—just like all the ancient governments of old. As Thomas Jefferson so astutely put it:
“TO TAKE A SINGLE STEP BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES THUS SPECIALLY DRAWN AROUND THE POWERS OF CONGRESS, IS TO TAKE POSSESSION OF A BOUNDLESS FIELD OF POWER, NO LONGER SUSCEPTIBLE OF ANY DEFINITION.”Jefferson
This is why we have a Constitution.
Without such knowledge though, it’s merely an old document that gives us or protects for us some rights, whatever rights are in vogue at the time.
“IN SUM, THE CONSTITUTION’S FRAMERS THOUGHT THAT A BILL OF RIGHTS WAS APPROPRIATE FOR AN UNLIMITED GOVERNMENT, BUT NOT FOR A LIMITED ONE LIKE THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT CREATED BY THE CONSTITUTION. THE CONSTITUTION ACCORDINGLY SOUGHT TO SECURE LIBERTY THROUGH ENUMERATIONS OF POWERS TO THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN THROUGH ENUMERATIONS OF RIGHTS TO THE PEOPLE…IT REMAINS A GOVERNMENT OF LIMITED AND ENUMERATED POWERS, SO THAT THE FIRST QUESTION INVOLVING AN EXERCISE OF FEDERAL POWER IS NOT WHETHER IT VIOLATES SOMEONE’S RIGHTS, BUT WHETHER IT EXCEEDS THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT’S ENUMERATED POWERS.”
GARY LAWSON PH.D., PROFESSOR OF LAW, BOSTON UNIVERSITY
I gave a speech today on the Constitution. An older gentleman came up to me afterwards and told me something that gave me hope beyond the hope I thought I had. He said he’s always wondering what he can do. He knows he can vote and get involved but what can he do that would really change and affect things? Then he said, with passion and excitement, “And then I heard you speak today, and now I know! People have to learn WHY we have a Constitution. That’s what I can do. I can fight to see that people truly understand WHY we have a Constitution because knowing that changes everything“.
Indeed it does.
It changes everything.
Time to stop scoffing when you hear someone say, “I don’t care about the Constitution.”
Of course they don’t. They’ve been given no reason to, so why should they?
Wake up my fellow liberty loving Americans. It’s our job to give them that reason.
The Liberty Belle