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.”