Monday, September 19, 2005

The Constitution

We Are Revolutionaries

by Charley Reese

Some people seem to be under the erroneous belief that the Constitution grants us our rights. It does no such thing. To understand the Constitution, you have to remember the Declaration of Independence, which preceded it by several years. It is the Declaration that contains the philosophy of the American Revolution. The Constitution merely implements that philosophy.

The philosophy of the American Revolution contains three basic premises. One is that rights come from God and are unalienable. Two is that men create governments to protect those rights. Three is that when government fails to protect those rights and becomes abusive of those rights, men have a right and even a duty to overthrow that government and create a new one.

The Bill of Rights, which is a set of amendments added after ratification to reassure opponents of the Constitution that the new government would not usurp their rights, simply forbids the new federal government from abusing or abridging already-existing rights. The right to free speech and all the others existed prior to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

It is also good to keep in mind that the Constitution is a textual document, not a "living document." That was a false metaphor intended to provide cover for judges to legislate and amend by interpretation so that the Constitution would mean whatever they said it meant. Not so. It means what it says. It cannot be amended by interpretation or by Congress ignoring it, though modern politicians have committed both sins.


Post a Comment

<< Home