I received an email response from a “conservative” Republican office-seeker – Bill Fawell (see here) to my piece about the Constitution which I cannot make heads or tails of, in particular the accusation that I am a member of something called the “alt progressive left.”
Perhaps some of you, whose teeth ache less, can deconstruct the following:
Bill writes: The “the people” is the same argument you used before and you don’t understand that phrase either. Within the context of the law there is the concept of “Rules of Construction”. This requires that anytime a word or phrase is used within any legal document it must mean the same thing every time. You denigrate “the people” in our Constitution as if it doesn’t exist, but it does in Amendments I, II, IV, IX & X (5 out of 10 of our Bill of Rights). Instead you say it really means “everyone” and this is simply not the case. Do you understand your first argument I took apart was based upon this same random word branding, which you then declare to be a new truth or fact. The problem is, just because you say it is so does not make it so. Your arguments don’t exist. It’s like saying the Sun is the Moon. Sorry I bothered you, but you’re just not making any logical sense. Is this all the alt-progressive left has in its tool box? No wonder your (sic) losing.
My reply: I am not interested in “the context of the law,” nor in parsing the law. I am interested in whether such a thing as “the people” has any reality as other than a vague rhetorical device.
In whether “the people” are sovereign – or each of us as individual human beings.
We are told “the people” got together and ratified the Constitution, this giving it moral validity because “the people” consented to be bound by it.
In fact, some people – a small minority of “the people” – got together and wrote the thing, then ratified it.
Correct or incorrect?
We are told by people such as yourself that we are bound to obey edicts imposed by “the people” – which means (again) some people.
What gives you or any other person the moral right to violate another person’s rights? To compel them to abide by a contract they never agreed to? To suborn their consent via the shuck-and-jive of “representation”?
In plain language, do you endorse the idea that some people may rightfully use coercion against other people, provided it is done in the name of “the people,” whose will they claim to represent – even when it is obviously the case that many people reject this claim?
You accuse me of being an “alt-left progressive.” But the thing which defines both the left and the right is their agreement on the principle of coercive collectivism as the basis for human society. You have much in common with the “left” you accuse me of being in bed with. Because you support coercive collectivism, as the left does.
I am a Libertarian. That means I reject coercion and collectivism in principle.
In practice, this means I reject any interference with other people, any taking of their rightful property, except in the event that some action of that person has caused harm to others, who then have a right to defend themselves and to compensation.
These are simple but important ideas. Moral ideas. Principles.
I’d much rather discuss them – than parse legalize about “the context of law.”
Nosotros escribimos la verdad los años pasados
Y entonces que pasa?
Let’s see the bill of rights.
1st: “or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The government has successfully worked around this with free speech zones, countless forms, permissions, need for appointments and so forth. So what are the people? Lincoln even had a congressman deported because of his speech. So this is long since gone. Obviously the plain meaning isn’t in play.
2nd: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”
Again, circumvented with countless permission slips, licenses, convoluted laws selectively enforced. Of all the amendments this is probably the most weasel worded and what “the people” are here changes from time to time.
4th: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
This was completely gutted after 2001. There is no security in our papers. Government may come into our homes any time it wants to rifle through our papers, spy on us electronically, disappear us, and so on. All it has to do is “suspect” us of being a “terrorist” or “enemy” or whatever it needs to say for each individual piece of law says is required. This amendment has no effective meaning for any ordinary person. “the people” obviously has been redefined along the way. Perhaps those the government has not declared to be terrorists or enemy combatants or criminals or something?
9th: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
This was reversed by the government school system and media. They both teach people that the USC grants rights. The courts generally concur that no specific enumeration allows government to do as it pleases. The plain language of the ninth is obviously no longer its legal or practical meaning.
10th: “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.”
Abe Lincoln destroyed this one. There are no state’s rights. Any state which insists upon them will be subject to the US military. This has been proven as recently as when TX was going to stand up to the TSA. If there are no states rights then there’s nothing left to fall to the people, however defined.
The way things are in a practical sense has the government changing what “the people” are as it sees fit. Either that or it’s just plain ignoring the BoR. I think more of the later. Bill doesn’t define “the people” but it’s clearly either some very special class or just calvin ball wording.
Brent, an excellent analysis!
Typical of the political class.
Eric, you say you might reach him “quoting scripture”. Perhaps but, what is his religion. Based on the fact on his webpage he states he “believes in the Constitution” I’d say he is a follower of the great god GovCo. He wants to be part of the “priesthood” (h/t Will Grigg) and rule over us lesser humans. He talks about ending the endless wars and getting rid of the Federal Reserve, OK, but he makes no mention of the military and how to reduce it. He does heap praise on the Rock Island Arsenal and its ability to keep “the troops in the field” supplied. He calls himself a “Ron Paul Republican”…fat chance.[pun intended]
His logic, such as it is, does make sense…from a Statist perspective. He reminds me of the local pols I’ve seen over the years. If a public hearing is held on an issue that the local pols want and 100 people show up in support and none in opposition it’s declared that they’re doing “the will of the people”. However, if 100 people show up to oppose it and no one is in support why they “have to represent the folks who aren’t here”.
Head they win, tails you lose.
I long ago came to the conclusion that anyone seeking public office is automatically disqualified on that basis.
Mark, “I long ago came to the conclusion that anyone seeking public office is automatically disqualified on that basis.”
I will go one better. Every two years we should have an “election”. All the narcissistic busy bodies who sign up to run for office should then be taken out back and promptly shot. Nip tyranny in the bud, as it were.
Since the democratic process is such a failure due to the corruption of the political class, I think we need a different system for holding them responsible for properly and honestly executing their duties.
Those who want to represent the people offer themselves up.
Vote or randomly pick a representative, makes little difference it seems.
At the end of the term, another vote. Did the Pol do his job satisfactorily, honorably and within the bounds set by the laws of the land?
Yes? Give him his full appropriate pay and benefits. No? Claw all pay and benefits back (or 50% maybe), ban the Pol from ever holding office again. Maybe shoot him for treason if the evidence is there.
Not sure this is a good idea, but at least it would be SOME incentive for the Pols to behave like they represent the will of the people, unlike now.
All assuming that having a central ‘representative’ government is a good idea in the first place. Obviously never going to happen (without burning the existing system to the ground) as the one thing ALL politicians place before all other concerns is their own survival and avarice.
Yep, he is definitely another Up-and-coming politician, and even lists his namesakes’ political resumes to make that point. Yes, he is a moron, but one with a following, scary as it sounds, as all of the fat bastards that are in office have proven. But somehow they find support, and money? How? I’ll let you answer that one, because frankly, I don’t have the disposable income to support anyone, right, wrong, or otherwise.
These people can’t reason, apparently. This defeats me more than anything. A disagreement between people who agree to accept facts and logic and what flows from these as the basis of debate can be edifying and even enjoyable. But attempting to reach someone like this guy… how? By what means?
Maybe if I quoted scripture?
He claims he “took apart” my argument… I think the only thing he took apart was the all-you-can-eat buffet at Red Palace!
Bill Fawell’s rebuttal is just another example of political Double-Speak all of these pricks use to “put us in our place”. His “saying so” is supposed to “make it so”, but it doesn’t. We will all be equals again when we are all 6-feet deep. In my opinion, they can be first; that’s what they want anyway, isn’t it, to always be first? OINK!
This guy is a bonafide moron. This “conservative” is every bit the product of the broken public education system that the liberal snowflake leftists that can be seen barking at the sky because Trump occupies the Oval Office. One thing in the “Constitution” that grabs me is that the People and the people seem to be two separate entities with two separate sets of rights
It’s people like this guy that make me want to give up and run into the woods.
BTW, he looks comfortably fat, healthy and wealthy, wouldn’t you say? OINK!