Looking inside the Contract with America – The United States Constitution
I came across an article written on November 3rd, 2008 by Heather Higgins board of directors for the Independent Women’s Voice which I though was brilliantly written. She cited a 2001 interview with then Sen. Barack Obama where he saw the Constitution as being inadequate. While reading through this article it makes perfect sense when he campaigned on bringing Change to America that the kinds of change was not what Americans expected or wanted.
Let me say that we are not a Democracy or simply a Republic, but a Constitutional-Republic where the Rule of Law is the Constitution and is based largely in part by the Godly principles of the Bible. After more than 240 years there has never been, nor is there now another nation like the United States of America.
Heather so aptly put it in her article
“It doesn’t matter where you are born or what race or ethnicity you are—anyone can become an American.”
“At the root of the American idea are the truths that our founders described as “self-evident” but that many people first take for granted and then fail to defend: that this country is based on faith in the uniqueness and capacity for self-determination of each individual.”
“That central idea came from a certainty that we were created by “nature’s God” and that God—not government—had endowed each of us with rights, first among which were life, liberty, and property, the combination of which allowed the pursuit—but no guarantee—of happiness. (It is precisely because the power of this argument was understood that those who advocated slavery denied the full humanity of slaves.)”
“That understanding led them to create for the first time in history a government built out of and respecting these universal rights of man, a government that was “of, by, and for” the people, not the other way around. And it also led them to craft our Bill of Rights.”
Heather went on to say
“Obama in his interview disparages the Constitution as merely “a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.” He believes—and he’s right—that changing this is the way to bring about “redistributive change.””
The Constitution is a contract between Americans and the government, with the power not specifically given to the state or the federal government REMAINS with the people.
“But the founders were deeply purposeful and intellectually coherent in their definition of rights. Classically, rights are the lowest, most basic universal claims. Think of them as the ground rules for everyone, weak and strong, to respect each other and get on.”
This goes back to biblical principles where we are instructed in as much as it is possible we are to live at peace with each other.
Romans 12:18 (ASV) “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.”
Heather identifies these ground rules:
“Their important characteristics are these:”
“First, they exist outside of us, coming from God or nature, not government, and so are independent of the whims of government and cannot be either manufactured or, of even greater concern, extinguished when they get in the way of someone powerful. No one has to give us the ability to pursue happiness; it comes from within ourselves.”
In the first rule it does not come from government, but from God and is independent from government, it cannot be artificially manufactured or removed to accommodate the more powerful. The power to pursue happiness comes from within ourselves.
“Second, they are timeless, applying regardless of whether it’s 200 years ago or a thousand years in the future—governments can’t use the excuse “well, that was then, but times have changed.””
The second rule – it is timeless and does not change over time.
“Third, they are universal, applying to everyone, not just some preferred subset.”
The third rule – is a universal rule applying equally to everyone.
“And fourth, they are noncoercive, or negative: They delineate what others cannot deprive you of without due process of law. And they prevent you from being coerced.”
The fourth rule is non-coercive and declare what others cannot take away from you with due process, and they prevent you from being coerced (forced to give up).
“The founders were not coldhearted. The very understanding of rights as the lowest obligation means that there are also higher obligations: You can’t force someone to be a good Samaritan, but you can expect it of anyone decent. Those who give, give of their free will and consensually, not because the government forces it.”
The founding fathers understood that rights are the lowest obligation and that higher obligations that mean you cannot force someone to be good, however you can expect it from decent people, those who give freely and by their own consent, without being forced by government.
“Rights don’t exist in a vacuum; they carry corollary responsibilities that fall on the citizens who enjoy those rights. That understanding is precisely why volunteerism has such a strong tradition in this country; we knew caring for our neighbor was our responsibility as citizens, not the government’s.”
Because rights are not simply in a vacuum, they have responsibilities for each citizen who enjoys those rights. It is the individual not the government who is responsible for caring for our neighbors. That is true today when disaster strikes, it is private citizens who are often quickest to answer the call to help.
Here we are in 2019 and leftists like Obama see the Constitution as a constraint on what they see as the government MUST do on your behalf. That is taking voluntary responsibilities and moral obligations and calling them affirmative rights.
We can look back at affirmative action and what it has done for higher education and employment by effectively lowering the bar so that race not qualification is the determining factor according to government.
“It’s also important to remember that if the government is doing something for one person—”redistributive change” as Obama wants, it must do something to someone else—which is exactly what our Constitution specifically precludes.”
When government does something for a single person such as Obama’s “redistributive change” it must also do something TO someone else which is the exact opposite of our Constitution. Obama like thinking that undermines the American idea is that government can create new rights, if that is so government can also take them away.
With the upcoming 2020 election political parties are even more polarized as some believe the rich are not paying their fair share, yet those who complain are satisfied with the poor who chose not to work are demanding to be fully taken care of by government.
The Obama way of thinking seems center-left compared with the far-left progressive liberalists who want more government programs and control to strip away the basic rights enshrined in the Constitution. Hard work does not equate to higher earnings unless the minimum wage is increased along with higher taxes and a more restrictive government.
There are very few on either side of the political spectrum that are truly working and placing American citizens ahead of their own political future. They say all the words but to them it’s all about getting and staying in political office.
The Constitution guarantees certain unalienable rights granted by God, not government along with higher priority rights such as the right to freedom of religion, to bear arms (self-protection and defense), to vote and to live in peace. You may not always choose your friends, but you cannot fail to recognize your enemies (paraphrasing President Donald J. Trump). – I am the Real Truckmaster!