Interpreting The Us Constitution And How It Guards Against Tyranny
The Constitution of the United States of America is the document upon which our government is built. It includes the Preamble, the Articles of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Amendments eleven through twenty-seven. The facts stated in the Constitution are currently being foolishly challenged, and some believe that in today’s society, they should not be regarded with the respect and weight that they deserve. They believe that modern society is different from that of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. This, in my opinion, is essentially the beginnings of anarchy, led by those who wish to change and twist the words of the Constitution without any legitimate legal process or democratic vote.
It is disrespectful to question the wisdom of the founding fathers of our nation, even, unpatriotic. If we are to question whether the Constitution is correct or incorrect, then we question the stability of the country. Our country was based upon a need for a fair and just government that did not encourage tyranny. By straying away from what was written in the Constitution, we further stray away from the purpose of our country. A democracy is based upon trust in the country as a whole to make the best decisions and to elect intelligent, uncorrupted individuals for the different offices of our government.
Without trust in the national government, the citizens of America lose faith in America as a whole. The point of a Democracy is to represent all different points of views so that no one political group has too much power. Balance is important in our government. For example, despite their different beliefs, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson worked together to form our country.
The purpose of Democracy is to prevent one man or woman from making a decision that the majority believe to be wrong. By having an unbalanced government, and by using propaganda and falsehoods to bring a person to agree with that belief, we put this Democracy at risk of becoming inaccurate and dangerous. Citizens must be educated and must think about their opinions thoroughly. If the question of whether the Constitution is a living document is an important issue in politics, then it deserves to be looked at in more than the way the public looks at it (Rehnquist, 1976).
In another legal journal, Jack M. Balkin wisely states that “originalism and living constitutionalism are compatible positions. Although not all versions of these theories are compatible, the most intellectually sound versions of each theory are” (Balkin, 2009). This states that it is reasonable to think that things change over time. Without some sense of living constitutionalism, slavery would not be abolished and women would not have the right to vote. However, we must emphasize that only the most unselfish, constitutional ideals are reasonable. Both of these changes came to pass in the form of constitutional amendments. This is necessary so that every government member and citizen knows exactly what has been changed, and so that it cannot be taken to mean one thing when it really means something else entirely. Without real amendments, the words of the constitution could be twisted and misinterpreted to the point where it just as well might be non-existent.
One example of this is the foolhardy push for gun-control led by the Liberal parties. This, of course, directly violates our Second Amendment, which gives everyone the right to bear arms, including citizens. In the light of recent shootings, the Liberals have started a movement to eliminate the second amendment, saying that firearms are too dangerous for the public to have. They wish to create laws that ban guns, limit their use, and just restrict them more and more without consulting our Constitutional rights or otherwise choosing to believe that those rights do not apply to today’s modern society. This is entirely incorrect. By taking away our right to own firearms, the Liberals strip citizens of their only means of personal defense. The wicked people out there who would use guns for violent purposes will always manage to purchase and obtain them through illegal means. Conversely, lawful citizens who will not go to such lengths, and will not have any means of protection. Wicked people who now have the upper hand will be able to attack the public only more easily, especially in private homes or secluded places, which completely defeats the foolish idea that gun control protects society.
Several things have been happening that one could easily say are in violation of our constitutional rights. While some argue that “in the name of equality, [we should] force those with…objections to participate in…functions, thereby diminishing their equality while elevating the equality of others” (Lynch, 2016). According to an article published by the New York Times in May of last year (2018), this has actually happened. This issue has been identified in a recent case involving a baker and his establishment, Masterpiece Cakeshop. Two homosexual men had approached the baker, asking him to make their wedding cake. When he refused because he had religious objections to supporting the event, many lashed out at him for violating the two men’s civil rights, even though forcing him to bake the cake was in violation of his rights stated within the first amendment (Greenhouse, 2018). Sadly, the majority opinion does not lie congruent with mine but supports these ideas and in turn, supports the problems that will surely be created in the future. Fifty-five percent of U.S. citizens believe that living-constitutionalism is the best solution. That includes seventy-eight percent of all Democrats, but only about thirty percent of all Republicans, that support those ideals (Carter, 2018). However, we should all start to realize that it is “a matter of society catching up to our Constitution, not the other way around.” The constitution is not a living document. It is a document that was written by our amazing founding fathers that have worked effectively for two-hundred thirty-one years, and there is no reason that it should be changed now.
Balkin, J. M. (2009). Framework Originalism and the Living Constitution. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/illlr103&div=21&id=&page= Comment by John Wright:
Carter, J. (2018, May 14). Justice Scalia explains why the ‘living Constitution’ is a threat to America. Retrieved from https://blog.acton.org/archives/101616-justice-scalia-explains-why-the-living-constitution-is-a-threat-to-america.html
Greenhouse, L. (2018, May 10). How the Supreme Court Grasps Religion. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/opinion/supreme-court-religion.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FScalia%2C%20Antonin
Lynch, R. (2016, March 9). The Constitution is not a living document. Retrieved from https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/opinion/2016/03/09/constitution-living-document/81553232/
Rehnquist, W. H. (1976, May). The Notion of a Living Constitution. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/tlr54&div=38&id=&page=
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