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Is the Constitution a Partisan Document?

February 15, 2010


From all outward appearances, one would think that the U.S. Constitution is a partisan document loved and revered by the political right, so-called Republicans, Conservatives or Constitutionalists, and hated or at least treated like an old worn out shoe no longer of any use by the political left, often referred to as Democrats, Liberals or Progressives. But how true is that first glance impression?

As a lifelong study of history and the Constitution, I have come to believe the Constitution as both a conservative and a liberal document.

Because it is based upon certain specific limited enumerated powers afforded the federal government, it is obviously a very conservative document in terms of limiting the scope and power of the federal government, made crystal clear by the Tenth Amendment which states – "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

It's hard to take a more conservative view than that. But this means that the Constitution is also a very liberal document in terms of affording individual citizens and the states a maximum degree of freedom and liberty, free from elitist federal intrusions.

So, why do conservatives and liberals find themselves at odds when the U.S. Constitution was written in such a way as to represent the stated goals of both groups? A very limited government restricted to specific enumerated powers for conservatives, which provides a maximum degree of individual liberty for liberals?

As is always the case, the devil is in some of the modern day details, beginning with a very narrow and for the most part inaccurate definition of today's political forces.

True conservatives are those who "seek to conserve" the founding principles and values of limited federal powers and maximum individual freedom. True liberals are those who seek a maximum degree of individual freedom, in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, which requires limited federal power. These two should find themselves on the same side of every political fight today, yet they don't. Why?

In short, because everyone who calls themselves a conservative is not really a conservative and everyone who calls themselves a liberal is not really liberal today. If they were, they would all be on the same side of the fight against a runaway federal government.

The rub comes when we separate how we seek to govern others from how we seek to be governed by others.

Nobody wants to be governed by others. But too many see the need to govern others, as if that has no bearing on the scope and power of government, or what individual rights have to be traded in for the "greater common good" of governing others.

As an example, the line between those who support socialized medicine and those who don't runs right down the line that separates those who will have to pay for it from those who don't think they will. People expected to pay for socialized medicine oppose the notion, but people who don't expect to pay for it like the idea.

Since individual health care is not an enumerated power of the federal government, according to the Tenth Amendment, it is not within their power and conservatives who oppose it are correct. But Jefferson liberals should oppose it as well, based upon the fact that the federal government must rob individuals of liberty in order to provide it.

My guess is, with more than 70% opposed to ObamaCare, both liberals and conservatives do oppose it. This explains why you see Republicans, Democrats and Independents throwing a fit at town hall meetings and marching in Tea Party and 912 events.

So, who are the 30% who support it and why do they support it? They are not conservatives and they are not liberals either.

They are Mother Jones "progressives" carrying forward the agenda of the Democratic Socialists of America, which is the joint political venture of international socialists and communists.

Being progressive is not about progress. Progressive is the new name and face of Marxism and this movement represents the 30% of Americans who prefer "free stuff" over freedom.

The other 70% of Americans are registered Republicans, Democrats and Independents, and they can be found in the "anti-establishment" movements known today as the Tea Party, 912 and town hall groups. They are conservative, liberal, libertarian, independent and concerned about constitutional restraints upon their runaway government.

Collectively, they are the vast majority of Americans and they have the power to shut down the agenda of the international left if they can find a way to cast off all of the political rhetoric of the past, aimed at keeping them all fighting each other instead of fighting the anti-American assault on freedom and liberty.

Bottom line – the U.S. Constitution protects the conservative and the liberal, the libertarian and the independent, the Republican and the Democrat. But if progressives (aka Marxists) succeed in replacing the Constitution, the law of this land, with the greater communal good of big government Marxism, then no American is safe from the tyrannical agenda of the international left.

Sooner or later, all Americans who want to live free in a constitutional republic will unify to defend this nation. At some point, they will have no choice but to do so. However, by then, there will be little left to save.

The challenge is to bring them all together now, while there is something left to save and a peaceful means by which to save it.

Copyright ©2010 J.B. Williams

 


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