Guest Post By Brandon Smith
In the war for the continued existence of our Nation’s Constitutional principles, I had long wondered whether statists were simply confounded by the Bill of Rights and ignorant of its function or whether they were maliciously inclined, knowing exactly what it means but seeking its destruction anyway. In recent years, I have decided it is a combination of both faults.
Statists are people who view every aspect of society through the lens of government power. If you want to know the primary difference between Constitutionalists and anti-Constitutionalists, you have to understand that some people in this world only want control over their own lives, while other people desperately clamor for control over other people’s lives. Why do they do this? Usually, it’s fear. Fear of the persistent unknowns in life. Fear that they do not have the intelligence or the will to take responsibility for their own futures. Fear that they will be forced to take care of themselves. Fear that their ideologies will be found lacking. Fear that if others are allowed freedom, they will one day indirectly suffer for it.
This fear makes statists easy to manipulate by the establishment and easy to use as a tool for the expansion of government dominance. Because statists are so weak-minded and fainthearted, they become very comfortable with the idea of other people making their decisions for them; and they will always attempt to answer every perceived problem with more government control.
When confronted with a proponent of liberty, the statist typically reels in horror. He has so invested himself in bureaucracy that he sees himself as a part of it. To attack the bureaucracy is to attack him. To deny the validity of the bureaucracy is to deny the validity of his existence. His very personality and ego are tied to the machine, so he will spit and rage against anyone who refuses to conform. This is why it is not uncommon at all to find a wild collection of logical fallacies within the tirades of the average statist. Statists act as though they are driven by reason; but in reality, they are driven by seething bias.
A perfect example of this insanity is the article “There Are No Absolute Rights,” published by The Daily Beast.
Let’s first be clear about the kind of rag we are dealing with. The Daily Beast was launched by Tina Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker who was also a British citizen until 2005. I would say she’s a kind of female Piers Morgan. For anyone who might take that as a compliment, trust me; it isn’t. Brown and Morgan are European collectivists who immigrated to America just to tell us how our Constitutionally conservative heritage of independence is outdated; meanwhile, the EU is in the shambles of failed socialism. We used to drive such people into the ocean, and now they breathe our oxygen while telling us what is politically “fashionable.”
In 2010, The Daily Beast merged with Newsweek, a magazine notorious for its statist crush on the Federal government (and now out of print). To say that The Daily Beast is a socialist platform and a mouthpiece for the Administration of President Barack Obama is an understatement, but I would point out that the website also tends to agree with politicians and judges on the right that also promote a “living document” interpretation of the Constitution. Whether right or left, if you believe that the Bill of Rights is up for constant interpretation and revision or outright destruction, then you are the bee’s knees in the eyes of The Beast.
The article focuses on gun rights and how silly conservatives foolishly cling to the idea that some lines in the sand should never be crossed in terms of personal freedom. In a rather mediocre and rambling analysis, The Beast uses two primary arguments to qualify this stance, essentially asserting that:
1) Compromises have already been made to the Bill of Rights; therefore, nothing is sacred.
2) Even some Republicans agree with compromises to the Bill of Rights when it comes to other Amendments, so why are we being so childish about “reinterpreting” the 2nd Amendment?
First, the revisionist methodology of the Bill of Rights consistently ignores the history of its writing. The colonists and Founding Fathers of our Nation, having successfully triumphed in a bloody revolution against what many then considered the most advanced elitist military empire on Earth, had absolutely no trust whatsoever in the concept of centralized government. Many of the colonials were anti-Federalists who believed that an overly powerful central government was a threat to future liberty. They felt that an immovable and unchangeable legal shield had to be created in order to ensure that a tyrannical system never prevailed again.
Thomas Jefferson said:
“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
This statement includes modern governments as well. Technological advancement does not change the rules surrounding timeless inherent moral principles, as much as statists would like to argue otherwise.
The colonials demanded the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution as a prerequisite for the establishment of the Federal government. This means that the Federal government owes its entire existence to a very strict agreement made on the Bill of Rights. By extension, if the Bill of Rights is politically diluted or denied, then the legitimacy of the Federal government must also be denied, for it has violated the very charter that gave it life.
The writer of the article, Michael Tomasky, lists numerous transgressions against our Constitutional protections; but he does not do so in the spirit of activism. Rather, he lists them as examples of how “compromise” on our freedoms is necessary (or somehow inevitable) in the name of the collective good. He claims Republicans are perfectly willing to sacrifice certain liberties, like freedom of speech, privacy or even Miranda rights, in the name of political expediency.
I wholeheartedly agree that our civil liberties have been whittled away by the establishment. I also agree that many so-called Republicans have betrayed the founding values of our culture and even voted to diminish or destroy the 2nd Amendment. But let’s think hard about the faulty logic behind Tomansky’s position. Do two wrongs or hundreds of wrongs really make a right? Tomansky is saying that because we have failed as a society to fully protect our freedoms and because our government has been successful in criminally neglecting them, we should simply give in and relinquish all freedom.
He would respond to this accusation by claiming that he is not calling for the relinquishment of all liberties, only the liberties he thinks are dangerous to society. The problem is, that is not how the Constitution was designed. Amendments can be made, yes. But amendments contrary to the Bill of Rights are not Constitutional as per the original agreement made after the revolution. The Bill of Rights was meant to be sacrosanct, untouchable — period. No Federal law, no State law and no Amendment can be enforced that violates those protections. The Bill of Rights was not created as a rule book for what the people can do; it was created as a rule book for what government cannot do. Once you remove hard fast restrictions like the Bill of Rights from the picture, you give the government license to make its own rules. That is how tyranny is born.
As far as Republican attacks on the Constitution are concerned, Tomasky has obviously never heard of the false left/right paradigm. He finds solace in the totalitarian actions of neocons because neocons are not conservative; they are statists, just like him. Ultimately, there is no right or left. Only freedom and decentralization, or slavery and collectivism. There are those who revel in control, and those who rebel against control. The rest of the debate is nonsense and distraction.
“Imagine what conservatives would think of a group of liberals who insisted, while threatening an insurrection, on a pure and absolute interpretation of the Fourth or Sixth Amendment–and imagine how ridiculous they would look to average Americans.”
Actually, any true conservative would be standing right beside those liberals, as many of us in the liberty movement have done in the past in activism against the transgressions of fake conservatives like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney, with his dismal anti-Constitution voting record. Frankly, who cares what “average Americans” think about our battle for what is right? Does Tomasky base all of his personal convictions on what happens to be popular at the moment? I think so.
What statists also don’t seem to comprehend is that there is a factor in the fight over Constitutional law that goes far beyond the Constitution itself.
The Constitution, as a document, is not what we as Americans and human beings obtain our rights from. The Constitution is only a written representation of the inborn freedoms derived from natural law and inherent conscience. We are born with a sense of liberty and that includes a right to self-defense from any enemy, foreign or domestic. No amount of political gaming, twisted rationalizations or intellectual idiocy is ever going to change these pre-existing rights.
Tomasky insists that:
“[T]he idea that any right is unrestricted is totally at odds with history, the law, and reality.”
He uses the tired argument that some restrictions on personal liberty, including restrictions on gun rights, are “reasonable” given the circumstances of the times. And, it only follows that he and other statists should be the ones to decide what is reasonable.
I disagree, along with millions of other Americans; and believe me, this is a serious problem for statists. If Tomasky and The Daily Beast want to impose their collective worldview on the rest of us and dismantle our individual freedoms guaranteed in natural law and the Bill of Rights, then I’m afraid they’ll have to fight us for them. In the end, legal precedence is irrelevant. Political precedence is irrelevant. Political party is irrelevant. Historical precedence is irrelevant. The theater of words is irrelevant. Statists need to understand that there is no alternative. There is no “silver bullet” argument that will make us forget what is fundamentally true. There is no juxtaposition of logic that will muddle our resolve or confuse our principles. Some rights are indeed absolute; and we will not yield them, ever. The statist “reality” is a far cry from what actually is; and soon, I’m afraid, they will learn this lesson the hard way.
You can contact Brandon Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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