Indefinite detention. Loss of due process. Unwarranted surveillance by unmanned aerial vehicles. Regulation of fire arms. Registration of fire arms. Full out banning of certain kinds of fire arms. State sanctioned molestation/unwarranted search and seizure by the TSA. Forced participation in a government run health care scheme. Federal regulation of raw milk and plants produced and sold in state.
The above are just a few of the issues making headlines across the country. Those with even an inkling of what the Bill of Rights is actually meant to protect, have to be shaking their heads every time they turn on the t.v. or browse the Internet. It does indeed seem that more than ever before, our constitutionally protected rights are under attack. Is this a conspiracy by the federal government? Or perhaps they have fallen victim to the same old story; motivation by greed. And, for some of them, doing things they naively think will keep people safe, though history has proven otherwise. Whichever way you look at it, our government has some serious problems, and all of those problems lead to the inevitable destruction of our rule of law.
I’ve found that there are always people who rejoice in telling me that the Constitution is just “a piece of paper.” Well, as with any contract, the Constitution only ever had as much power as was put into enforcing it. Unfortunately, we stopped enforcing the Constitution long ago. The people grew prosperous, satisfied, gluttonous, apathetic. We started seeking gratification in entertainment, rather than in hard work, and we neglected the things we saw as such – including our own governance. More and more, the people who pursued office were those who did so, not out of a sense of obligation or duty, but out of a desire for power, and to feed the ego; a need to be recognized. Worse, we rewarded these people by voting for them, regardless of what skeletons popped out of closets. We did this at the local level and beyond. Consequently, the states stopped holding up their end of the constitutional agreement.
With few citizens to keep state government on track, who was going to check the feds? The Supreme Court? Right. Another branch of the same malfunctioning government which had been bred. Too long ago to think about, judges stopped interpreting law from the language of the constitution, and started relying instead on case law. That means that if one judge made a made a bad call, chances were relatively good that the next similar case was going to be built on the shaky foundation of a judicial mistake. This hasn’t been true across the board, but much too often for comfort. In fact, most law students are now taught more case law than anything else. The consequence of this is that judgments have moved increasingly further away from the original intent of the constitution. Some will poo-poo this, as if it doesn’t really matter. My question is; how far away can you get from the rule of law, and still have any at all?
Now, with the seeming war on the Bill of Rights, we ask ourselves why we can’t win in court. We ask ourselves why our federal government spends, spends, taxes, and creates ridiculous amounts of red tape and bureaucracy in nearly every area of government imaginable.
I submit that the answer to all of this, is that we have abdicated our right of being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Those sentiments now are just words on “a piece of paper.”
The only way to get back to any sense of balance, is going to be by reasserting those original constitutional principles in the local sphere, and moving from there into our state legislatures. With the eyes of most Americans still firmly fixed on a team of oligarchs and a pseudo monarch in D.C., we are going to have to fight much harder for this ground than some imagine.
If anyone thinks that it will be an easy job that we can occasionally work on in our spare time, they are sadly mistaken. Just ask those few representatives who are already trying to do it. It is going to take all those principles of integrity that have been given up by we and our countrymen, starting years ago. Blood, sweat, and tears. There will be hard choices.
We will work long, hard hours for little pay – if any. We will have to educate those who don’t wish to be educated. We are going to be ridiculed. Friends we think we know are going to turn their backs on us, probably family members as well. Some of us will be asked to leave our places of worship. We are going to have to embrace that feeling of swimming against the current, because we will be labeled, targeted, and criticized by our own government and the deceived masses who are still blinded by it.
Will it be worth it? I would like to say yes. Perhaps that is because I believe in the principles of the Constitution. In itself it isn’t perfect. However, it’s purpose was to grant us the most possible amount of freedom, with the least weight pressed upon us by a central government. We aren’t even close to that kind of freedom anymore, and it is a wonderful thing to aspire to.