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Wednesday, December 8. 2010
What happened to the Constitution?
From Powerline's Scott in a piece of the above title, mainly about Obamacare:
It's too late now, but I'd like to see an experiment in which one state in the US would operate under the Constitution as it is written. See how it works out. See who would go there (me, for one) and see who would flee limited government power.
Posted by The News Junkie in Our Essays, Politics at 10:56 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
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The keys here are to understand that a) the Founders of this country took as a central, binding principle that liberty depended upon the security of private property, and b) the left views State provision of security of private property as an evil perpetuated by wealthy property owners as a means to maintain oppression over working and poor people and as something to be eradicated
In three generations in the US (I'm the 4th), my family has been poor, prosperous, then working class.
I am working on the prosperous cycle.
The word "rights" as used by the Founders and by conservatives means something that God says you cannot be interfered with in obtaining or achieving such that you provide it to yourself through your own efforts, and that the State is obligated to prevent such interference.
As used by the left, a "right" is something that their consensus says you are entitled to, such that if you cannot obtain or achieve it through your own efforts the State is obligated to forcibly take resources from others and provide it to you.
In commentary on the Constitution http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/10/obama_2001_scrap_the_constitut.html during a radio interview on WBEZ in Chicago in 2001, then State Sen. Obama disparaged the Constitution by saying that it was essentially flawed. He called the rights defined in the Constitution as "negative rights", and introduced to his listeners the idea that the Constitution is flawed because it does not define "positive rights", which would be things that the government must provide to you. He also called the Supreme Court flawed because it had failed to interpret the Constitution and the Civil Rights laws to provide such.
Of course, what he sees as a bug we see as a feature. People dependent on the government will never be free. The fact that some people fail to provide a proper livelihood is the price of freedom. But then, freedom and liberty are not the concern of people who wish to have the populace dependent on the government.
If you ever get into an argument over rights wherein someone says that people should have a right to housing, or a job, or healthcare, ask them if that means that since it is established that we have a right to keep and bear arms, we must by that logic therefore provide poor people guns at government expense. Watch them twist and crawl to try to avoid that one.
"If you ever get into an argument over rights wherein someone says that people should have a right to housing, or a job, or healthcare, ask them if that means that since it is established that we have a right to keep and bear arms, we must by that logic therefore provide poor people guns at government expense. Watch them twist and crawl to try to avoid that one."
Semantics are all important, aren't they?
Look at the difference between, say, an idea like "the right to work" and "the right to a job".
The former implies that no one who wants to work can be barred from doing so. The latter more or less requires employment be provided.
I certainly don't argue with the sentiment (of operating strictly by the Constitution as we understand it and I'm sure we would have little disagreement on how to do that), however it has to be said that while the country has operated more faithfully to it before, even when it was new and presumably well understood there were things like the Alien and Sedition Acts that would clearly be unconstitutional in my understanding but was apparently not at the time - at least to Congress.
I guess my point is that as plainly as it is written, there is still room for fairly substantial disagreement and I wonder how long the idyllic Constitutional lifestyle would last in the full light of a day that includes terrorists, enemies abroad, and organized crime (add your own boogey man here).
This should not be construed to be disparaging as I would jump at the chance to live under the Constitution. There are clearly large swaths of our government that would be a joy to dissolve and "unfree" ideas to dispel or ignore.
The Holy Grail is self government and the problem is self government. We have gotten this far away from the original intent on our own. Maybe distributed power doesn't prevent eventual despotism, but only delays it...
I think it was Walter Williams who proposed something like this a few years ago, News Junkie. I remember him suggesting a small state (New Hampshire?) that a bunch of conservatives could move to and set up a real constitutional government.
I'm all for it too.
Were el presidente to properly measure An Act Concerning Aliens he'd deport himself.
Don't hold yall's breath but i like the idee.
I heard (or maybe hoped I had heard) he was thinking about Texas & Louisiana. My wife and I offered to take him to the best places to eat in New Orleans if we all moved (back) down there.
Texas sounds good to me right about now. If I understand correctly, their business climate has been about the best in the U.S. for awhile; they've got plenty of conservatives; a thriving gun culture; and, the older I get the less I like the cold of the northeast!
Time for Texas to secede, and show 'em how it's done!
I believe Texas is the only (or one of the few) states that has actually gained jobs since 2009. At worst, it has only lost a small number. It is very business friendly. It has a problem with illegals, but they, like AZ, have the right attitude about it. I would have to live in east Texas (but not in Houston even though my sister in law, whom I love, lives there) or San Antonio (where I also have friends). Austin is very nice. I think west Texas might be an acquired taste.
I certainly favor the right to secede - in fact I don't know why there is a question about the right to secede - but practically, it has to be a large regional movement to be successful and obviously people have to be REALLY pissed off. I'm frustrated enough with the way things have been going in the last forty years that I'd be for it, but I think it's a little early to seriously talk about that (though I know it is seriously talked about).
Yeah, forgot about them there illegals. But Texas IS a big region, right? And I think if we (they) were free to police the borders as is necessary, they'd get 'er done.
I don't exactly remember Williams' plan, so this little twist on it I have might actually be stolen from him:
What if Texas plainly said, "We're seceding as a grand experiment, to test whether the original constitution and founding ideals make us more free, safe and prosperous. We're confident it will work beyond our wildest dreams. And when it does, we'll be glad to join back up with the United States and share our prosperity with you... IF y'all agree to the same model of government."
(One can dream, right?)
Oops, I might have stole that idea from News Junkie's last paragraph above! hehe...
But I think it's been bouncing around in my or others' heads for awhile.