A Working Document of Statecraft or a Museum Piece?
M.E. Boyd, Esq., “Miss Constitution”
Miss Constitution had lunch with a friend who let her know that nothing will be done to save the Constitution and our Rule of Law until people feel they have “lost” something. Miss Constitution agrees but by the time the loss can be shown sufficiently she feels that it will be too late to recover the Constitution as a working document and not a museum piece. A true Catch 22.
What can we do?
Miss Constitution recommends three patchwork remedies until we can catch our breath and stabilize the resonating bridge.
*Stop chipping away at the Constitution with what are “sold” as small chunks off the base but are really integral parts of the integrity of the document
*Push back on lawmakers, administrators, and judges who “get out of their Constitutional lane” or distort issues so that the public cannot understand what is going on
*Blast a PR campaign out there about how important the Constitution is, as well as our other bundles of law, and show what will be lost if our Founding documents are mere window dressings of a faux Republic
The national popular vote movement to replace the Electoral College is an example of chipping away at the Constitution and doing real damage. The Founders did not want total direct popular voting for a very good reason. They knew that mob voting or duplicative voting can be corrupted and can be contrived. The whole immigration issue, in part, is the cynical attempt to import votes by creating conditions of instability in our nation for the purpose of mass mob voting. Only citizens can vote in our country. It is a civic duty with the civic responsibility to know complex issues and the judgment required to hold the servants of citizens accountable for corruption and incompetence. The Electoral College requires a Presidential candidate have broad perspective and knowledge of each state since he or she is President of all the people. The Electoral College creates parity between large and small states so that a President does not just concentrate policy and attention on the large state voting blocks. Any attempt to change the Electoral College should have to go through the Amendment process in Article V of the United States Constitution; it should not be changed by an unconstitutional end-run to avoid open debate on the subject and a vote by the people’s representatives.
Again, the immigration issue illuminates persons in federal service who get out of their lane, so to speak. Immigration is a federal not a state issue. The Constitution of the United States gives the federal government, more particularly Congress, plenary power over this issue. Federal laws regarding immigration supersede any state law and make state laws that counter federal law voidable. Sanctuary states and cities violate the preemption doctrine that says that where federal and state law conflict, federal law prevails. So this whole notion that state governors or actors can encourage the breaking of federal law and its enforcement for the purpose of mob voting is destructive of the Constitution itself. For the Speaker of the House to ask the public to violate laws she helped pass is beyond ludicrous. The immigration issue is a public policy issue of great importance to the nation. We are a nation of examined, not unexamined, immigrants who are allowed to come here because they contribute in some way to our society. In return, they are required to take an Oath of Allegiance, and assimilate into our society and obey our laws. There is a whole section of our federal law, Title 8, section 1182, which outlines who is inadmissible under any circumstances and must be deported if in the country. The distortion of the issue by many politicians is, in part, because they are confusing the public with what amounts to social work not public policy arguments. The two fields are not the same. “Immigration” is a public policy issue for the benefit of the nation; “immigrants” is a social work issue for the benefit of the person. Each is handled differently.
Without the rules our Constitution provides, and without the other bundles of law (see prior columns) that control behavior in our society, all becomes subjective and all promotes the worst in human beings. Rules create a more equitable playing field with the least amount of injury. Rules move human behavior to the Golden Mean, as Aristotle put it, avoiding extremes. Rules provide a stable social order so that business can plan the long-term with reliability. What would be lost if we lose the Constitution through ignorance, neglect, or deliberate subversion is:
*the sanctity of private property – one’s property becomes communal; the politics of envy take over
*economic certainty – a free for all in assessing currency value and a withdrawal of international investment
*personal liberty — a robust police and or military presence would be required to keep public order
Miss Constitution cannot, for the life of her, understand why the citizens of the United States, lucky enough to have the statecraft genius that the U.S. Constitution represents and the prosperity and stability that it has delivered, would allow anyone or any group to destroy it all by smoke and mirrors, distortion of fact, chipping away, or anything else. No one has proved smarter than the Founders in their understanding of the flaws in human nature and their attempts to address those flaws. Miss Constitution should not have to show what we lose if we lose the Rule of Law. Our parents and teachers and public servants should have taken care of that throughout our lives.
Copyright©2019 M.E. Boyd, “Miss Constitution”