As a young boy, I always thought I’d grow up and become one of two things professionally: a doctor or a lawyer. I loved medicine. And I loved the Law.
I studied both diligently. By the time I entered high school, I decided I wanted to be neither. I loved current events, civics, and writing. So I threw myself into public speaking, debate, and journalism.
That (and my high school Speech/Debate teacher — who was a news director parttime at a local radio station) sent me into broadcasting. I worked parttime through high school and full time in college doing on-air radio work. I majored in Journalism, fell in love with writing, and have kept my hand in it since.
As a true entrepreneur, I started several companies and immersed myself in growing them. Having to twice monthly meet payroll, I learned about American economics and how everything in government impacted American economics. Politics grew in importance, and I found myself immersed in understanding and participating in the government process. My love for Journalism and politics, when linked to owning and operating my own companies, resulted in my discovery that I was (and am) a true Conservative. I watched closely as the divide between conservatives and liberals in the U.S. grew wider every year. Liberals seemed to want more control over our lives. Conservatives seemed to want less government intrusion and more freedom to operate in a capitalistic economic environment. I understood how each work, but I have never been able to comprehend the liberal political drive to tax Americans more and more, therefore making the federal government bigger and bigger and spending more and more tax dollars. I soon learned the liberal political drive in the late ’90s started pushing harder and harder away from “tax and spend,” and sprinted toward “more and more power to the government.” It dawned on me: when a government has unlimited power over its citizens, it STILL has control of all the money. But because of power, it controls everything else, too.
I never let myself get too far away from the Law. There are many parts of the Justice System I feel strongly are broken. I don’t like unlimited civil litigation. I’ve watched it destroy lives and bankrupt good people and thriving companies just because of the outrageous cost of litigation. I heard it stated a long time ago that “the only ones who win in litigation are the lawyers.” That fact is grossly understated. The costs of civil litigation are staggering.
Criminal Justice in America is as bad or worse. It favors the wealthy. Why? Because it’s expensive. It is grossly unfair to minorities — primarily because of the expense of criminal defense. And as we’ve witnessed, minorities find themselves facing prosecutors and needing good defense counsel more than Caucasians. I’ve written extensively about it in the past here at TruthNewsNet.org.
Today, our conversation is about the “principles” of United States Law. We are NOT going to talk about expense, attorneys, or its structure. Let’s simply stipulate that even with its issues, it is still the greatest justice system on Earth.
The U.S. Constitution and its contents are the reasons the United States is known as the most unique country on Earth, and from that uniqueness, the best country on Earth. It differentiates America and Americans from all other countries and people. The Constitution created and established the fundamentals of governing all Americans. Those laws in part have been treated universally for 240 years as the guidelines for the lives of us all. On the most part, they have worked remarkably well. But people and politics have changed American Law: not the “substance” — just the applications.
Our forefathers fled countries where a political elite class of European citizens either created all laws or determined who was forced to abide by them, who could opt out, and if and how when those laws as written (OR as interpreted by those elitists) would be enforced. From those travesties came the American promise to its people for all eternity, “Equal justice under the law.”
The Constitution was the guarantee to Americans that there will always be equal justice under the law. But it also guaranteed the freedoms in every area of the lives of the settlers. All laws would be put in place ONLY by those who were chosen from among the settlers and given authority by those same settlers to craft, implement, and enforce those laws. That promise for equal justice became “Liberty and justice for all.” T
No one could state it better than this:
“…Freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith.”
– Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
While we are quoting Thomas Jefferson regarding U.S. law, let’s keep going:
”I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
– Thomas Jefferson (1788)
And then a lawyer from Illinois — a mediocre attorney at best — weighed in with his thoughts about the Constitution:
“A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations…is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism.”
– Abraham Lincoln
MLK brought the “realistic” view of U.S. law and how it should operate equally for everyone when he said this:
“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Constitution: Selective Enforcement
Our early leaders in Philadelphia met over and over again, crafting, editing, debating, editing, arguing to find consensus to create a single document that would become and remain America’s template for justice. By all counts, they were successful. The United States Constitution became the fairest and most comprehensive roadmap over governance on Earth then and still is today.
It is unfortunate that during its lifetime, many have attempted to fundamentally change the Constitution. Fortunately, it contains a very difficult amendment process that has allowed its amendment only as deemed “vitally necessary.” That difficult process to amend was purposeful. Why? To prevent any fundamental change in it based solely on “political perspectives of the day.” The forefathers knew that times would change legal necessities which would necessitate amendments. But they were so certain (based on their European experiences) the Nation’s longevity would rely chiefly on the consistency of its fundamental legal backbone, they assured Americans that forever this legal treatise would NEVER be substantively altered based solely on peoples’ whims.
It has been amended only for very important reasons. BUT FUNDAMENTALLY, IT REMAINS VIRTUALLY AS WRITTEN. And for that, Americans are fortunate.
Sadly, there have been, and still, are today, those who want to amend it based purely on “current” political whims. The difficult amendment process thankfully has protected it so far.
Politicians have consistently sought and tried to find ways to circumvent parts of the Constitution with which they disagree. They’ve tried pushing through controversial federal laws, legal actions at the state and local levels, and through regulations. But the difficulty of making such changes so frustrated “politicrats” that their ability to govern has been seriously diminished. Politics has overtaken reason in that regard. Their unified cries for amendment of the Constitution are targeted chiefly at:
- The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press
- The Second Amendment: Protection of U.S. citizen’s to possess firearms
- The Tenth Amendment: The Details of Rights Reserved to the States
- The Twelfth Amendment: Established the Electoral College
- The Twenty-Second Amendment: The Two-Term Limitation of the President
- The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: The Inability of a President to Serve in his Office
It would be easy to spend much time debating the merits of each of these amendments. We have previously done so regarding several. But today we will not dive into these amendments, just briefly point out the obvious: the fact that these six Constitutionally amendments which were all passed and ratified through the extremely difficult and arduous method required are under attack primarily by politicians illustrates the reasoning of the founders used for this process. If amending was too easy, in a heightened negative political environment such as the one in which we live today, we certainly would be exhausting our government’s time and resources in amending the Constitution rather than abiding the Constitution.
Politically — especially since the 2016 Presidential election upset of Hillary Clinton — the cries from liberals are deafening as they push hard for a Constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college. Why? Hillary won the popular vote and President Trump won the electoral college, which is the deciding factor. Those on the Left argue that the electoral college keeps some voters from casting a ballot that actually counts. Our forefathers anticipated that the heavily populated areas of THIS nation would be similar to those in Europe, (like London, Paris, Barcelona, and others) and that the populations in those large cities are usually more educated and more impacted by political matters than were their counterparts in Middle/Rural America. The electoral college was structured to balance the power of votes
The latest and most egregious example of people of political power working to circumvent provisions of the Constitution were the appointments by President Obama of very liberal and politically active judges to federal courts at every level, especially in federal appeals courts. While there is no public proof that those appointed judges operated under a coordinated agenda, one must only look at the case results on which they have ruled to see that politically, they pretty much fall in line. All judges have political feelings. Hopefully, all judges vote. But what is dangerous for our system of laws is for federal judges to craft their rulings by instead of being based on their determination of Constitutional precedent and actual intent of applicable laws, based on what those judges felt what existing laws SHOULD HAVE been based upon, and even what they thought such a law SHOULD say!
In his 2017 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Neil Gorsuch (now a Supreme Court Justice) responded to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) when the senator asked Gorsuch what his opinion of the intention of our founders regarding separation of powers. He said this:
“Your job comes first, to make the law. Article II, the president’s job, is to faithfully execute your laws. And our job, Article III, down at the bottom, is to make sure that the cases and controversies of the people are fairly decided. And if those roles were confused, and power amalgamated, the Founders worried that that would be the very definition of tyranny. And you can see why.”
Gorsuch continued, “Judges would make pretty rotten legislators. We’re life-tenured, right? You can’t get rid of us. It only takes a couple of us to make a decision — or nine, or 12, depending on the court. That would be a pretty poor way to run a democracy. And at the same time, with respect, legislators might not make great judges, because they’re answerable to the people. And when you come to court with a case or a controversy about past facts, you want a neutral, rigidly neutral – fair, scrupulously fair, decision-maker. You want somebody who’s going to put politics aside. So the separation of powers, I don’t think has lost any of its genius over 200 years. In fact, it’s proven it.”
Justice Gorsuch believes in the Constitution and its strict adherence by members of all three branches of government. And, in case you haven’t noticed, our “abiding” by the Constitution instead of 24/7 debates to amend it has worked out pretty well!
Great question. With our fractured political climate exacerbated by agenda-driven politicians, the desired finish for our nation’s journey has changed. Therefore, where we’re headed now is totally dependent upon who one listens to and THEIR perspectives. In that regard, our destination options are across a broad spectrum. Which nirvana we’ll find is anyone’s guess.
In this journey though, there are some absolutes for us to consider. And those considerations just might make the trek a little less onerous. Wouldn’t it be glorious if we could just pull the plug on the national political discourse? How many reading or listening to this often think quietly, “Can’t we all just get along?”
- We have a roadmap. No doubt the gift of the U.S. Constitution is the best guide owned by any nation in World history. So why not study it objectively, discuss it objectively, and simply accept its success at maintaining the legal and social structure of the United States 240+ years? There are a plethora of nations who would LOVE to have OUR foundation, OUR legal structure, and OUR opportunity. Those didn’t just happen, they were collectively crafted and agreed to by Americans.
- We are a “Melting Pot.” Many scholars have maintained for more than two centuries that the backbone for America’s success is the diversity of its citizens. The linchpin of our society is the promise that citizens here have equal rights regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or social preferences. While other countries try to instill and perpetuate similar practices, none has done so as successfully as the U.S.
- We have geography. Few places on Earth have such choices of landscapes as America: oceans, deserts, mountains, valleys, prairies or lakes. And wrapping all of these zip codes is potpourri weather conditions that are as varied as are landscapes. Socially and culturally the U.S. has a citizenry comprised of Native American Indians and Alaskan Eskimos, Wyoming ranchers and Louisiana alligator wranglers, Hollywood movie stars and D.C. politicians, Conservatives and Liberals, Catholics and Pentecostals, Muslims and Jews. And all of these are in unity ruled by these people using one single document.
Here’s our problem: too many have lost the ability for realistic discourse regarding the political problem. Politicians talk “at” each other rather than talking “to” each other. They speak about voters based entirely on political “Identity Categories” that have been devised by political elitists to denote people they do not like. An example was Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” in which SHE “put” Donald Trump supporters. The opinion of almost every Democrat voter is that Democrats are smarter, more loving, kinder, and politically savvy than all Conservatives. There is no willingness to discuss differences or to even consider opinions of those from the other side.
Our forefathers dealt with much of the same issues. Think about this: the United States from its conception in the dreams of persecuted castaways in Europe has always existed as a country with unlimited diversity among its citizens. They knew for that to work, people would be required to be tolerant of others differences. They understood that tolerance did not mean approval. But tolerance was an absolute that must exist for this nation of laws to survive.
That tolerance is being torn out every day. And the attacks are not coming from rank-and-file citizens. They are coming from politicians — at least a dozen of who are running for the presidency! Not only is that a scary sight to behold, but it is also incomprehensible that those presidential candidates of that opinion represent many non-politicians who have chosen to adopt the intolerance of those liberal politicians and to make that intolerance as “normal.”
The scariest part of that: having high “normals” in every area of life for decades and even generations, only to watch those “normals” being lowered again and again by leaders in the nation, making “new” normals that accept compromise and failure in certain areas as “normal.”
That’s all here TODAY in America!
God help us….