If Constitution is irrelevant, liberty’s lost
By Darrell Beck
The Fourth of July cover of Time Magazine depicts a shredded U.S. Constitution; the caption asks: Does it (the Constitution) still matter?
Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time, attempts to convince the reader that the Constitution is outdated and irrelevant because the founders wrote it during Colonial times and knew nothing of 21st century things like antibiotics, texting or Medicare, therefore it should be changed to fit the changing times. But Stengel is clearly oblivious to history and common sense. He ignores the fact that, while times do change, human nature remains eternal. Thus he ignores the truth that the framers were well aware of the foibles of man and his tyranny and the cruel domination of an all-powerful central government ruled by an evil king or ruthless dictator. Therefore, due to the founders’ wisdom, it was their desire to preserve private property and liberty and uphold the rights of the individual, and that goal was best attained by calling for a limited federal government.
Stengel complains about what he perceives as “the Tea Party’s almost fanatical focus on the founding documents.” He just doesn’t understand why a great majority of people take the Constitution seriously and know it’s their duty to protect it so it won’t become irrelevant, and so they won’t lose their property and their liberty to tyrants. Stengel challenges those who defend the Constitution as being an obstacle to big government. He states: “if the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so.”
Richard Stengel is clearly not familiar with the Constitution and the founding documents that he writes about but obviously misrepresents. Surely he must know that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution defines the specific limited powers of the federal government. And how did he overlook the Tenth Amendment that specifically was written to maintain limited powers of the federal government? This amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Don’t our public schools teach these important lessons anymore?
Perhaps Stengel should have raised the red flag during the “Hope and Change” election of 2008 where the winning candidate promised “social justice” and to “fundamentally transform the nation” and to “redistribute the wealth.” Has anyone figured out what those illusive and flowery phrases mean? Maybe Stengel should ask if any of those ideas can be found in the Constitution, because they can’t. Maybe he should show where the Constitution authorizes the federal government to mandate that citizens must purchase health care, or be penalized if they refuse, because it doesn’t. Maybe we should ask if those ideas have something to do with overthrowing the Constitution, because we have been warned by wise and honorable men to beware of deceivers.
President George Washington said of the Constitution during his farewell address: “If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
President Abraham Lincoln warned: “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
There was another man of historical infamy who was an accomplice in an attempt to rule the world by force, a man who deceived most of the German people by ruling with lies and an iron fist: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister of the Third Reich.
Perhaps the question on the next cover of Time should be: “Does Time Magazine still matter?”
Ramona Tea’d (Taxed Enough Already) will be discussing the Constitution and Nullification of unconstitutional laws by the states at its regular monthly forum on July 30 at noon at Ramona Mainstage. See www.RamonaTead.com.
Darrell Beck is a Ramona resident.
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