THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
By: Dr. Charles Ormsby – July, 2012
If the Constitution is not dead, it has certainly been rendered impotent by the recent Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare.
The survival of the healthcare law is of minor significance when compared to the demise of our Constitution. Laws can be changed, but the precedent set by this decision will long be remembered and will be frequently invoked to eviscerate our liberties.
The recent decision has removed all meaningful limits on the power of our federal government to command behavior. Any remaining obstacles to the exercise of federal power can now be finessed by any third-rate politician, bureaucrat or lawyer.
What government control of our behavior is now unthinkable?
If you can be forced to buy anything mandated by the federal government or be subject to a fine, few if any of our liberties remain protected. [Aside: the semantic argument associated with the terms ‘tax’ vs. ‘fine’ may have some import, but if you pay it only if you do not do what you are told, the implications for your liberties are the same: They are wide open to attack.]
At the present moment, we may still enjoy some apparent freedoms in our daily lives, but we enjoy them only if the government grudgingly approves, NOT because we have the right to those freedoms protected by a rock-solid constitutional guarantee.
We can no longer go to sleep with any assurances that our liberties are safe.
Those who found the Constitution (may it R.I.P.) to be an annoying impediment to change either placed no value on human liberty or they were tragically ignorant of the intended protections that our previous constitutional form of government offered.
Our Founding Fathers, whose glories were once taught to all our school children, understood that government could serve a useful purpose, but that it must be treated like a fearsome beast and kept confined lest it run amok and wreck immense destruction.
The Constitution was the fortress they carefully designed to keep the beast from devouring our liberties.
With the recent decision on ObamaCare, the beast is on the loose and our liberties are in imminent danger of being devoured.
We are still a nation of laws and democratic institutions. Historically, our legal and democratic institutions that previously were restrained by and shaped by constitutional limitations provided a layer of protection for our liberties. Now, unfortunately, they are more likely to be used to enslave us.
Of all our protections, our Constitution was the most powerful. It was intended by the founders to set strict limits on the powers of the federal government. The procedure for amending it was intended to be difficult. Our Constitution was designed to last, but nothing lasts forever if it is not valued and maintained.
The Constitution we once had could only survive and continue to serve its central purpose if each succeeding generation appreciated the values it sought to preserve and understood how it was designed to maintain those protections. Once either of these waned, the Constitution was destined to become a relic … an impotent one at that.
If the plain English meaning of our supreme law is systematically ignored and distorted, as it has been for the last century, why do we think we can rely on our politicians, bureaucrats and justices to respect our rights?
Those who run our government are mere mortals and they are subject to all the same frailties, jealousies, prejudices, and vices of laymen. They will conspire to amass power and confiscate wealth using the now unfettered power of government at the expense of honest citizens, citizens who are merely trying to earn an honest living while accumulating enough property to ensure their family’s security.
In a society that respects the rule of law and where government powers are strictly limited, infringement of individual liberties will be correspondingly limited. As the rule of law is weakened and the limitations on government power eroded, the potential damages that government can inflict grow exponentially.
Just look at the consequences of permitting governments to operate without strictly enforceable limits.
It is unfashionable to bring up tyrants such as Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, or Bashar Assad, when discussing the consequences of governments without limits, but it would be inane to not call them out as examples.
These tyrants did not come from another galaxy. They were born in Europe, Asia, Africa, or South America. They can just as easily come from America.
Why has America avoided the horrors of regimes led by tyrants such as these? The reason is that we had a Constitution designed to limit the power of our government. The fact that our government was one of enumerated powers – and no others – and that the various powers enumerated could only be exercised within the context of a system of checks and balances, has kept our government on a leash and limited the opportunities for tyranny.
Americans, with the exception of the courageous members of our military, have been shielded from having to directly experience the horrors of totalitarianism. As a consequence, we believe “It can’t happen here.” Unfortunately, it can and the recent Supreme Court decision makes it more likely that it will.
If unlimited power is put within reach of evil men, they will form a gang, they will seize that power, and they will wield it unmercifully.
When they do, it will be too late to quote the Constitution. Much too late.
If Republicans take back the reins of power later this year, their number one job is not to rescind ObamaCare, or to avoid the coming tax increases, or to moderate some oppressive regulations. It is to restore our sacred Constitution and the public’s appreciation of its importance.
This will be an extremely difficult assignment. We cannot leave the fight to a few public figures and hope they will succeed. We must be active participants in the revolution. Those on the front lines in the fight for liberty will only be able to succeed if they are supported every day by millions of committed and educated Americans who will never take no for an answer.
Our freedoms evolved as a result of centuries of struggle – a struggle that cost many, many lives. Once lost, these freedoms will not be easily reclaimed.
It is now or never. If you do not join the fight for freedom, you are not worthy of being called an American and you have given up your right to complain about your future servitude.