“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
– James Madison

Thank the Tea Party for reminding us of that great Enlightenment paean to liberty, the US Constitution. Our Constitution never disappeared; rather, it became that great 18th-century edifice plastered over with modernist 50s and 60s facades that appeal only to socialist utilitarians for whom natural beauty is as valueless as natural law.

A creepy heap (many call ‘Democrats’) now feverishly advocate for a Federal polity that blends socialist Sweden, an Orwellian nanny state and the piñata politics of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. Nancy Pelosi’s resume speaks for itself: the Constitution is a joke.

And Barack Hussein Obama led the deep-end plunge. No triangulating Clinton would have succeeded as spectacularly in awakening a free people to the assault on American essentialism. But the quick boiling of liberty that commenced in January 2009 jarred a jaded public into defense of our first principles, and for some, into a steep learning curve.

How had America forgotten the Constitution? We Americans are better (or at least more) educated than our parents’ generation. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann hail from Stanford and Cornell, respectively. Reasonably intelligent people otherwise, but as Ronald Reagan would understand, too much they know isn’t so. I don’t know Maddow or Olbermann, so I can’t argue whether they are indeed merely ignorant, or, more plausibly, Keynesian do-gooders, if by doing ‘good’ they mean impoverishing us into a nation of government dependents and media celebrities.

The Left sneers at us. They say we fetishize the Constitution. They care not whether socialized medicine is legal, let alone economically sensible, or even salutary. To progressives, the States are merely differently-accented instrumentalities of the national government, not co-equal sovereigns bound by constitutional compact.

Why consider the 10th Amendment if the Constitution is whatever an imperial Congress says it means? Activist jurists are even worse. The Warren and Burger Courts created a new cottage industry of judicial activism: more rights for criminals, fewer rights for the unborn. I admire creativity on a canvas, not in my casebook. The 10th Amendment requires no creativity. It means what it says.

The November 2010 election returned to civilian life many of those who voted for Obamacare, the nationalization of General Motors and the bailout of Wall Street. Progressives’ post-mortems of the drubbing suggested the time was ripe for a new Constitutional convention, with their growing awareness that our American Constitution was the barrier to an all-out assault on private property and individual responsibility.

That the average Daily Kos reader would prefer a US Constitution drafted by Maddow to the one drafted by Madison should frighten you into tithing to your local Club for Growth–endorsed candidate. Imagine a Soviet-era Eastern European constitution edited by the UC Berkeley English department. Need I say more?

Our charge now is to proselytize liberty. With the vast majority of the individual United States under care of the party of liberty, let us examine the social studies curricula of each and every state and local board of education. Study of our Constitution should be given more time than, say, the Battle of Little Bighorn or the Kennedy assassination. To understand its 20th-century context, our youth should read Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. To understand its 21st-century perversion, require dissecting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Perhaps a Tenther Report Card is in order.

The well-educated will understand that States build roads and that the Federal government builds the Navy. That freedom doesn’t come at the end of a line in the doctor’s office. That liberty isn’t doled out by governments, it is made manifest by its people.

The spirit of freedom that Alexis de Tocqueville identified as unique among nations, that essentialism, that American essentialism, is alive and well. Thank goodness. Credit the Tea Party for clamoring against tyranny, which is what it took, apparently, to remind us of our liberty.

Benjamin Gross
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