For Today's "Heroes", the Constitution is a License To Do Anything

The old interpretation of Constitution of the United States is bo-o-o-r-r-r-ing. This school of thought said that the Constitution limits what the federal government can accomplish. So what do people do who are annoyed by that inconvenience? They reinvent and "reunderstand" the Constitution so that suddenly it allows anything they want. This is the essence of modern-day heroism--rape of principle accompanied by masterful propaganda.

As a result of such claims of heroism, the Constitution has come to mean next to nothing. For today's "heroes," it has become a license to do anything. Today's "heroes" come from both major political parties and from every branch of government.
If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny how many conservatives have

I've come to the conclusion that many Constitution haters really don't hate the Constitution as I once thought they did. Rather, they have simply come to "re-understand" it, which makes it much easier for them to firmly believe in what they misunderstand.

come out of the woodwork lately claiming that President Barack Obama's policies are an affront to the United States Constitution. Where were these people during the eight-year reign of George W. Bush? In their recent book Who Killed the Constitution, Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Kevin R. C. Gutzman observe that The assaults on the Constitution are not the work of one party.
Every branch of the federal government has trampled on the Constitution, almost without interruption, for close to a century. ...Democrats and Republicans, justices, presidents, and congresses alike [have all] essentially rejected the idea that the Constitution possesses a fixed meaning limiting the power of the U.S. government.
That's because everyone wants to be a "hero" these days.

Thomas Jefferson said, "let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Today's heroes ignore such Jeffersonian statements.
Instead they limit their understanding of Jefferson to an attempt to throw religion from the public square by misinterpreting what he said about the separation of church and state.

In recent Facebook conversations about the Constitution, I've come to the conclusion that many people really don't hate the Constitution as I once thought they did. Rather, they have simply come to "re-understand" it, which makes it much easier for them to firmly believe in what they misunderstand. Such people have convinced themselves that the Constitution allows us to do whatever we feel heroic about.

Do you want a federal program to solve some problem, ask Woods and Gutzman? If you feel heroic enough about it, "nowadays the Constitution is no obstacle", despite the clear limitations placed on the federal government by the Constitution's Article I Section 8, and despite the fact that Amendments 9 and 10 thereto clearly indicate that all other rights and authority are reserved to the people and their individual States to decide.

Do you see a problem with health care in our country? Don't worry that the problem was mostly caused by the federal government. Just feel heroic about it.

Is the national economy going in the tank? The government "heroes", along with their courageous Wall Street cronies, can fix that!! Pay no attention to the fact that they were the ones that caused the mess--after all, they tell us that they are our heroes, so they must be!

Are you worried about terrorism from afar? Real "heroes" aren't worried, because they have the problem solved--by fighting terror with terror. They just tap your phone lines, read your e-mails, and check up on which books you check out of the library. That was easy--and heroic.

Woods and Gutzman say of this chaotic environment that
...the reigning assumption is that the Constitution does not really matter... Rational discussion of what the Constitution actually says is unusual.
Woods and Gutzman write that:
Instead of Constitutionality, federal officials rely on their noble intentions...the [current conventional] wisdom is that seemingly unconstitutional actions in pursuit of laudable goals [is] heroic, and that [such heroic acts] have brought tacit amendment to a constitution that otherwise would have become outmoded.
It is becoming, for those who think the constitution means what it says and is a document that should be adhered to that
Every significant appeal to the a thought crime of one kind or another. The plain truth is that today we are governed by little more than simple prudence--government officials' sense of what they can get away with.
That's no way to run a country. Health care failures, economic collapses, and global terror are the result of the actions of today's so-called heroes. I'm sick of what passes as heroic today. It should go without saying that what these people are doing to us is not helping. It's time to dump the lot of our self-styled federal heroes into the trash bin of history.

Because today's "heroes" don't have common sense. Common people do.


  1. Only one problem with this post Frank. The arguments you call the "rape of principle" are based in the constitution and the founding fathers.


  2. Would you care to elaborate?

    The principles were clear. Although they may not have been unanimously supported, they were preponderantly supported. Every state ratifying convention knew exactly what it was voting on. The Bill of Rights, promised to come up for ratification soon after the Constitution became official, made sure that those questions were answered. The Bill of Rights was ratified less than two years after the Constitution was.

    I find it ironic that even FDR realized that to establish many of the plans and policies he wanted, he would need to amend the Constitution. But, fearing that it would take to long, he decided to blow his nose on the document instead. If the document is clear--and it is to the Founders, as well as to those who study what they wrote and said about it--it must be amended for its meaning to be changed.

    The only word that came to mind when I thought of how the Constitution had been so abusively ignored is "rape".

  3. Actually, Hamilton and Washington's view of the general welfare clause dominated through the first two presidential terms. Care to respond?

  4. Washington fretted over the law that passed his desk to create the Union's first central bank. Persuaded by Jefferson and Madison that it was not within the federal government's authority, he nearly vetoed it. However, he gave Hamilton 10 days to persuade him otherwise. At the 11th hour of the 10th day, Hamilton's response swayed Washington.

    Now, it appears to me after further review, that Hamilton was advocating a general spending power (into which fit his idea of a central bank) but a limited legislative power for the federal government. (See "...Did Hamilton Waffle?" elsewhere on this site.)


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