The irrelevancy of the constitution
By Linda Prussen-Razzano
Throughout most of 2009, the liberal wing of the Democrat Party, the inhabitants of the White House, and the slavishly progressive mainstream media dismissed the Tea Party movement. They apparently assumed that the Tea Party was populated by the "fringe conservative" element of the Republican Party, which meant that their base was still solidly affixed. They apparently assumed that the Tea Party would not organize, which Tea Partiers have done – quite effectively. They apparently assumed that if they could force enough laws through by political will and curious expediency, the Tea Party would dissolve under the weight of new bureaucracies. Moreover, leaders in the Republican Party foolishly believed that Tea Partiers would "return" to the fold after their period of wandering.
All of them were wrong.
Long before the Tea Party movement came into being, a quiet war was taking place in America. Popular talk-show host Glenn Beck has gained a huge following by connecting the dots between Cloward, Piven, Progressives, and the White House, which is symptomatic of the war. He has put together many pieces of the puzzle, and new pieces are fitting everyday. It's no surprise he's the darling of and inspiration for the Tea Party movement. He sees, and more Americans are beginning to recognize, that the goal of fanatical Progressives is not progress; their goal is rendering the Constitution irrelevant.
Progressives have long used the law, whether through the courts or the legislature, to force radical change. When propositions are repeatedly defeated in the public forum, progressives seek any and all alternative routes to push their agenda. They believe that they can effectively intimidate the American people, and strip them of their identity, through the weight of the law, regardless of Constitutional limits or safeguards.
Is it any wonder that they actively promote the flawed notion of a "living" Constitution? If the limits within the Constitution are malleable, they can be altered to expand the role of government on a whim. Is it any wonder that they slap the term "rights" onto initiatives or programs that are, in fact, privileges, thereby blurring the line between the two? They do not see rights as an inalienable, integral and inherent component of our humanity; rights, like "privileges," are viewed as gifts of the State. The more Americans they can convince of this twisted logic, the easier it will be to affect the kind of change informed Americans would otherwise reject.
This also explains why there was such a rush to pass as much cumbersome, grandiose legislation as possible. They know their time is short. They know that the Constitution is not a living document, but rather a tangible representation of a powerful commitment. They know that rights are a timeless component of our humanity. They know that the Tea Partiers are not "astroturf." They know that the dropping poll numbers reflect a genuine rejection of the President's initiatives.
And they are scared witless.
Regular Americans, some of whom have not been political for most of their lives, are now cognizant of the war. They may not recognize all of the enemies, may not see exactly where the battle lines are drawn, but like the rumble of carpet bombs in the distance, they can sense that trouble is marching in their direction. What the media, both political parties, and the White House forget is that the quest for liberty, justice, equality, and reason are not a purely American constructs. Throughout the course of recorded history, from across the world, human beings have cast off the shackles of their oppressors with no more justification than the instinctual sense that it was their right to live free. Tea Partiers are drawn together by one common thread: they know that their rights are inalienable, not subject to negotiation, and that the government has ceased to respect this fundamental truth so necessary for our future as a country.
Politicians would have us believe that the Constitution is irrelevant, thereby freeing them to implement their own bizarre vision for America. Declarationists such as myself agree: the Constitution is irrelevant. A piece of paper does not grant me my rights; it merely enumerates the ones I already possess as a member of the human race. No amount of scribbling on a document can take them from me; the government can only actively force or passively coerce me not to exercise them.
Ultimately, this argument historically does not bode well for those in power. Our current crop of politicians, who failed to realize that the veneer of respectability enshrined in the Constitution was their only shield and now have so carelessly tossed it aside, are all politically vulnerable.
While I, and others like me, are politically empowered.
Linda Prussen-Razzano is frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right and a number of other online magazines.