Monday, April 21, 2014

"Amendments Will Therefore Be Necessary"

I'm hearing people talk out both sides of their mouths. Today I heard someone suggest that the United States Constitution does not need to be amended. They went further to imply that amendments are not ever necessary anymore. The implication is that we just need to follow it...and that it is somehow a perfect document. Now to be sure, few have spent more time, sweat, and their own personal resources than I have defending, teaching, espousing the brilliance of the United States Constitution than I have in the last 15 years. No one presses the case for our adherence to that document than I.  No one presses the case that we need to only elect officials to office that will OBEY that document more than I.

So they are opposed to amendments to our Constitution. So they are either ignorant of the fact that our Constitution has been amended 27 times, including the Bill of Rights (1st 10 Amendments). Granted, I would reject the 16th and 17th, if I was breathing back in 1913 but alas I was not. Or, they are ignorant of the purpose of the amendment process as envisioned by the founders.
Such a simplistic viewpoint put forward by those that would have you believe they are scholars. Here's a lesson in history and reality. The framers knew that their document was imperfect. I think it is the most brilliant document for government ever devised by man because I know that God was behind the scenes providentially guiding their hands. But the document was made by imperfect men who understood it was imperfect and hence gave us not one but two processes to amend it when the need arose. Indeed, we all cherish our Bill of Rights, so I dare say that the document was made better with those amendments and other amendments that would follow.
The founders understood the natural tendency among fallen men to pull, push, and try to stretch on the limits of power that would be in their hands. They knew that over time men would twist the language and text of the Constitution to make it mean what they wanted it to mean. Col. George Mason told us that "amendments would therefore be necessary" (June 11th, 1787), so they wisely gave us a process to make course corrections.  Ladies, the next time you hear someone tell you that we don't need to amend our Constitution, take them to task for the fact that you would not have the right to vote without the 18th amendment to the United States Constitution. We would not have Presidential term limits without the 22nd Amendment. And we will never have term limits imposed on the United States Congress or the Supreme Court without an amendment to the United States Constitution. I could go on and one with other examples of other amendments but suffice it to say that thinking people understand why we have an amendment process.

What is pathetic is listening to folks that bark loudly as if they know what they are talking about, but their statements and arguments betray a complete lack of scholarship and a frankly basic effort to think what they are saying through.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Check on Tyranny

One by one Americans are coming to understand and embrace the wisdom of the founders and our God given provision within the Rule of Law to rein in a runaway federal government.

The founders understood the principle of the Depravity of Man and designed a system of government that separated power in order to prevent the tyranny they were accustomed to when power was centralized in one individual. They designed a system of limited, enumerated powers in order to protect state and individual sovereignty and liberty. They designed a system with "checks" to power in the case where office holders abused their power. They also understood that as time progressed, one of the ways that office holders would abuse their power would be by stretching and pulling on the boundaries and interpretation of the text of the enumerated powers. So they designed a system whereby the text of the Constitution could be amended when necessary to correct those "twists" and "perversions". We have done that (amendments) 27 times to date in our nation. They gave us two methods to propose and ratify amendments in Article V of the Constitution. The method that has been employed all 27 times, has been the first method listed in Article V, where the Congress proposed those amendments and sent them out to the states for ratification. They also understood that there might come a time where the Congress became so intoxicated with its own power that it would never propose amendments to reign in its out of control abuses. So they inserted a 2nd method where the States and People could propose amendments when Congress was to the point where it could not, and would not control itself, or take measures to control itself. Those proposals from an Article V Convention of States would still have to go back to the 50 states for ratification just like the method in the first process. The Article V Convention of States is the Constitutional pushback for the states to use on an out of control federal government.

It is imperative that we understand that history and how our system was designed. They gave us the 2nd process in Article V for exactly where we find ourselves today. Rome is burning. It is time to answer the call and use the Constitution to fix the abuse.