Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Constitution is not "Living"

The Constitution of the United Stated of America is the document that organizes our system of government and secures our rights as citizens of this great Nation. You might have heard or read in recent time that this document is a “Living Document”. You might even recall that Al Gore made this point in 2000 during the presidential campaign. You may also be aware that Barrack Obama supports this concept as he wrote in his book, “The Audacity of Hope”. Many others also support this idea and have written about it over the years but does that make it a reality?

Progressives believe this wholeheartedly as it was they who originally started this concept, going back to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as well their Supreme Court Justices Louise Brandeis and Oliver Wendell Holmes. They created the idea that instead of referring to the actual document we could refer to our own case law and their decisions in future matters. They believed they knew better than the founding fathers. These very same progressives were those who supported eugenics’ and it’s use it to eliminate the black race. These initiatives where hidden in plain sight mixed with more tame ideals such reductions in corruption and improvements to government efficiency.

Ask yourself if our Constitution was intended to be a “Living” Constitution why is that we never heard of witnessed those words until 1937 when Prof. Howard McBain wrote a book with that title. No earlier record shows any reference to this and you certainly will not find this mentioned by any of our founding fathers but our education system teaches this as a guiding principle to our youth. There is no shortage of this concept anywhere you look so to the undiscerning eye this seems like a logical and sound rationale. You will read books and articles by classically trained Authors and journalist referring to this concept like it’s understood fact without regard to the original source documents.

Now the Progressives of the early 20th Century did bring us some key ideas that I will not attempt to challenge here although each can be in great length. They did bring us Child Labors laws and the idea of “Trust Busting” as well as Prohibition. OK, maybe Prohibition didn’t work out so well, but I digress. They also supported Conservationism and Reclamation as well as Union Labor. Even though they are responsible for these changes does not make it right for them to change the entire foundation of our Government. Let us not overlook or dismiss the thoughts and words of those who designed this great nation.

In Federalist 45, ”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”. The Constitution from its very origin was the frame of a national government made up of special and enumerated powers, and not of general and unlimited powers. Thomas Jefferson said it best, “Let no more be heard of trust in men, but bind them down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” And possibly the most powerful of his arguments, “On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

Do our leaders follow this guideline today? You be the judge.


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  1. So are you saying that slavery should still be legal, woman shouldn't vote,etc.? Just curious.

  2. That's a ridiculous and overplayed argument.

  3. Why Mike, because it goes against your idea of the Constitution? So yes or no.....

  4. Anonymous, if you'll recall, the federal government didn't outright get rid of slavery itself. It actually helped institutionalize it in the first place in order to get the Constitution ratified by a majority vote of the states (southern states were a pain in the ass). Eventually, you had the north helping fight slavery via the underground railroad and such. You do remember that it was the federal government that said slavery wasn't allowed north of the Ohio River, right? Doesn't that mean the federal government was involved enough to say that slavery was a-okay?

    As for women voting, they DID vote early, though not all, and once again, you can thank states for getting the ball rolling to make it mainstream. Once upon a time, you had to own land to vote as well, which would have put a damper on things of this nature.

    See, once an idea floods from state-to-state, then it becomes something that needs to be addressed nationally, as most likely it is something infringing on the people.

    Also, Mike is right on. HIS idea of the Constitution? Can't you read? It's THE idea of the Constitution, not your living, breathing tripe. It is the law of the land, and if laws are living and breathing, then I demand to know why I can't get out of traffic tickets. I mean, you know, the living, breathing law and all.

    There is a reason we have an avenue to amend the Constitution.