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The Greatest Failure Conservatives Make When it Comes to our Constitution

constitution

Forward Progressives

Perspective—it’s something I always encourage people to use.  Unfortunately many people are reluctant, or incapable, of doing so.

This is especially true when it comes to our Constitution.  How dare anyone say an unkind word about the “infallible Constitution.”

But let’s take a look at just a little bit of what the original interpretation of our Constitution allowed.

Our Constitution, when it was written, allowed for very young women (13-14 in many cases) to be married off by families in arranged marriages to much older men.  Well it didn’t “allow” for it as much as it didn’t prevent it from happening.

This probably had to do with the fact that the average life expectancy in the late-1700′s was around 35 years of age.  Probably another reason why our right to health care wasn’t that big of a deal back then.

However, now days if a 13 year old girl was married off to a 30 year old man we would call that child trafficking, statutory rape, child molestation—or all three.  The man would be labeled as a sex offender, then be required to register as one for the rest of his life.  By the rest of his life I mean as soon as he was freed after serving a very lengthy prison sentence.

Then we have the almighty Second Amendment and the words “shall not be infringed.”  Many believe this amendment is one of the foundations of our rights as Americans.  It’s meant to empower people against a tyrannical government.  When people use this argument, based upon words written over 200 years ago (during a time very different from our own), they completely ignore the glaring fact that our society has changed drastically.

The Second Amendment was written during a time where militias were our primary means of defense against enemies, Native American conflict was frequent and “going out to dinner” meant a family hunting trip in the woods.

Oh, and when guns were single-shot muskets.  (Ed. Emphasis are mine)

Do you really think that if the Founding Fathers knew what our society would become, and what weapons would evolve into, they would have been so general with the wording of our Second Amendment?  After all, couldn’t some argue that “right to bear arms” means all arms?  Things like plastic explosives or military style rocket launchers and missiles.  I mean, if weapons are meant to “keep our government fearful of its citizens,” why is it that the federal government gets to have all of the really kick-ass weapons?

Shouldn’t we, as American citizens who celebrate our Second Amendment, be allowed to own F-22 Raptors loaded to capacity with however many missiles or bombs it can carry?  What could possibly go wrong with selling RPG’s at Walmart—without a background check?

Just imagine if someone could travel back in time and tell a father in 1780, “No, you cannot marry off your daughter to that much older man, that’s illegal.  Oh, and so is owning slaves.”  That father would have scoffed at your attempt to “infringe upon his rights as an American” and you would be deemed unconstitutional by many—if you were lucky enough not to be shot, or hung as “treasonous” for even suggesting something so preposterous.

Yet, in 2013, if someone advocated for the rights of families to sell off their young daughters to older men and for people to be allowed to own slaves, sane people would call them disgusting monsters.

Perspective is not a dirty word.  In fact, it should always be used when referencing the “core of our Constitution” (something written over 200 years ago) and how it translates into a modern society. Refusing to acknowledge proper perspective is the greatest failure conservatives make when discussing our Constitution, and how it should be applied today.

Because I hate to break it to conservatives, but progressive liberal ideas are an American tradition.  They’re what freed the slaves, gave women the right to vote, ended child labor, created Social Security and Medicare, built public schools and our Interstate Highways, integrated schools, brought groundbreaking technologies, discovered life changing health advancements and pushed our country forward.

Those were all done by “radical liberals” bucking tradition, not conservative Americans sticking to it.

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Filed under 2nd Amendment

The Tea Party: It’s Worse Than You Think

The following article is provocative and informative.  It’s a very long article but I’ve only inserted the relevant parts as it applies to the title of this post.  I recommend that everyone read this article over at truthdig from beginning to end:

Truthdig

A debate has raged over the last 18 months as to whether the tea party movement is racist. Never mind that the inauguration of the first black president in January 2009 was followed in February by the first of the tea party “moments”—when CNBC’s Rick Santelli called for a Chicago tea party on national television from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Never mind that April 15 of 2009 saw the first nationally organized protest of the tea partyers in cities across the country. When the summer of 2009 arrived, all tea party guns (some real firearms were openly carried at Obama events) turned on President Barack Obama and his health insurance reform proposals. Obama was demonized with invective that included being called Hitler, Stalin and the Antichrist.

[...] The tea party is racist. Its followers have deployed a brilliant strategy to deflect charges of racism by using a form of the legislative provision known as severability. Whenever a tea party group or person is “caught” with a racist sign, or saying explicitly racist comments, they simply “sever” that person from the movement by saying, “That person does not represent the tea party.” They get away with it because they claim the status of a “movement” with no structure, leadership or cohesive identity except allegiance to the three magic phrases: “Constitutional Republic,” “Founding Fathers” and “I want my country back!”

I submit that their defense, while clever, is inadequate. Racism virtually drips from their lips when they spew out their ridicule of President Obama. It lies just underneath the surface of all the signs imaging him as a native African, a Muslim or an animal. But, one might note, they never called Obama by a racial slur. They have never said they don’t like him because he is black. Well, they don’t have to say it—he is black. And to say, “I don’t like [black] Obama because he is black” would be redundant.

[...]

However, I will make my argument for their fundamentally racist opposition to Obama and their racist opposition to any and every government program that they perceive to be taking their hard-earned tax dollars and redistributing them to people of color. This racism is at the core of their opposition to health care reform that would subsidize premiums for people who cannot afford them or educational or tax credits to low-income persons and families or any of the myriad social programs meant to strengthen the general welfare of the nation. In their opinion, these monies are going to noncitizens who do not deserve the benefits and blessings of their dear USA, USA, USA.

I stumbled across my evidence through an e-mail alert I received for tea party “meet-ups” near where I live. When I noticed a tea party meet-up in south Orange County [Calif.] being held at a church, I couldn’t resist taking a closer look. Five clicks later I was enthralled by a document that I found both horrifying and revealing. The document was titled “The Non-Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment” and written by A.H. Ellett, a retired Utah Supreme Court justice. Ironically, the tea party movement generally “supports with worshipful intensity the constitution of the United States,” according to historian Mark Lilla, but when its followers say “Constitution” they don’t mean the same U.S. Constitution that you and I mean. The recent issue for the tea party has been the repeal of the 14th Amendment. But repeal is just one small step compared to the giant leap that Justice Ellett makes in claiming that the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments (the so-called Reconstruction Amendments) were never legally (i.e. constitutionally) ratified in the first place. When the tea party folk say that they want their country back, I’m starting to understand just how far back they want it—back before the Civil War!

 The goal of this retrogression is revealed in Ellett’s opening paragraph of his arguments specifically against the fact of the ratification of the 14th Amendment. He writes:

The validity, or should we say invalidity, of the Civil War Amendments is very important to reinstating the inalienable rights of free white Citizens in the United States of America. At every juncture where the government of the United States of America and/or the governments of the several States attempt to usurp inalienable rights, the Civil War Amendments are ultimately claimed to be the authority for such deprivations of rights.

His 200-page treatise is filled with sophist (not sophisticated) argument that hinges on whether the authors of the 14th Amendment used uppercase or lowercase when conferring C/citizenship and P/personhood on the newly freed slaves. He also warns the contemporary reader that his citations may make some uncomfortable but they are necessary to the truth of his argument. He warns and then continues:

Please remember that the following Authorities reflects the understanding of the Founding Fathers at the time the Constitution for the United States was adopted, and although they may not be “politically” correct today, the Authorities represents the law at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was (purportedly) adopted.

This is further clarified in Amy v. Smith: /60

“Free negroes and mulattoes are, almost everywhere, considered and treated as a degraded race of people; insomuch so, that, under the constitution and laws of the United States, they can not become citizens of the United States.”

Amy v. Smith, 1 Litt. Ky. R. 334.

In light of this, no person would be considered as a United States Citizen or a citizen of the United States; as the Constitution was framed to incorporate the common law, in opposition to international law.

· common law—one race governs;

· international law—all races govern.

The capitalization of the words “Person” and “Citizen” could mean only one thing, the denoting of only those of one race in compliance with the common law.

“According to the common law principle (upon which our Constitution was founded), only the race (family) of people forming the sovereignty to adopt the Constitution (We the People) are considered “Citizens.” All others born inside the Country and owing allegiance to “We the People” are natural born “Subjects.” Under principles of International Law, that is, inter-racial law (See definition in Webster’s Dictionary, [1828]), these “Subjects” (who, by special privilege, are licensed to become something or do something normally illegal under the common-law), are said to be “citizens” and “persons.”

… [B]ut only those of the white race could be recognized as national citizens under the Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America and be treated as “Citizens” in any State they entered.

And finally he reaches the ultimate point of it all for the tea party. While party followers might like to disenfranchise all persons of color, they are really after one in particular, President Barack Obama. To wit, Justice Ellett continues:

Thus, only white State citizens held the privileges and immunities known to Article IV, Section 2, among the several States, and no State could confer that Constitutional protection on any other race. In consequence thereof, the “also” could not authorize a “non-white” to be an “Officer” of the United States government.

Thus, according to Justice Ellett, Obama cannot constitutionally be president of the United States.

Continue reading…

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Filed under Tea Party, Tea Party Anger, Tea Party Ignorance, Tea Party Racists, Teabaggers