I’m very much looking forward to being with you at Tea Party Patriots’ ‘Stop Socialism - Choose Freedom’ rally on Thursday.
I went back through the Constitution Minutes to see what I had written about socialism on prior occasions. This is what I found:
People who have considered the question have cited various provisions in arguing that socialism is incompatible with the Constitution. For example, Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution says the United States shall guarantee to every state a republican form of government, not a dictatorship. Article 1, Section 8 sets up limited government and says Congress only has certain enumerated powers. Under the 5th Amendment, no one can be deprived of property without due process of law. If the government takes property, it’s supposed to provide just compensation. This would seem to prevent the wholesale nationalization of industries under socialism.
Moreover, early Supreme Court jurisprudence strictly enforced property and contract rights on natural law grounds. [Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law, 4th Ed., p. 622 – citing, e.g., Fletcher v. Peck from 1810] The rationale changed to the due process clause in the Lochner era, but the Court continued to strike down state laws that regulated private business.
But Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a famous dissent in the Lochner case declaring that the “constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory, whether of paternalism … or of laissez faire.”
Then the New Deal changed everything. The Supreme Court began upholding federal statutes regulating business. The last time the Supreme Court struck down a regulation on constitutional due process grounds was 1937. [Chemerinsky, p. 641]
If socialism means equalizing incomes, we have a progressive income tax no one has successfully challenged on constitutional grounds. What principle stops progressive taxation until it completely levels everyone’s income? I can’t think of one.
If socialism means government ownership of the means of production, we’re already half way there in terms of a constitutional stamp of approval. The Chrysler bondholders were wiped out after the financial crisis of 2008. Thanks to Obama, their money went to UAW retirees who were unsecured creditors. And it was all considered perfectly legal. AIG shareholders are still in court trying to get back what they believe was wrongfully taken from them in the financial crisis.
And I haven’t even mentioned the amendment process yet. FDR proposed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing everyone a job, a home, and healthcare, among other things. The Second Bill of Rights would even guarantee a right to adequate recreation. You can’t have Utopia without adequate recreation, right?
We have a Supreme Court that turns night into day and makes up rights out of whole cloth. Why not a right to an equal income? If Obamacare is a tax and, at the same time, not a tax, anything is possible at the Supreme Court.
The delegates [to the 1787 Constitutional Convention] did not put any particular economic system into the Constitution, or rule any out. If you want to preserve limited government and free markets, don’t count on the Constitution to keep socialism at bay. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.
I wrote that in 2017. Now, just for a little teaser about what I have coming up for you: I’m reading the proposed constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States. It’s almost a hundred pages long, whereas the entire U.S. Constitution can be read in little over an hour. These Leftists are nothing if not wordy. But there are some real doozies in Revcom’s proposed constitution I’ll be telling you about in coming weeks, starting with one-party rule. Yep, they wrote themselves into their own constitution all over the place as being in charge of, among other things, political nominations and the military. No other political party - or even the possibility of another party - is mentioned.
So, three cheers for the U.S. Constitution and its enshrinement of limited government which allows political parties of all stripes to exist - even ones like Revcom that want to destroy the country as we know and love it.
Stop Socialism - Choose Freedom!
The title of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s new book, due out Tuesday September 10th, will be familiar to every Tea Partier: A Republic, If You Can Keep It.
The book is a collection of essays, speeches, past opinions, and thoughts on the separation of powers, civil liberties, and the role of judges under the Constitution. Gorsuch believes originalism and textualism are the best guides to interpreting the Constitution and protecting our freedoms.
Justice Gorsuch is “everything conservatives hoped for and liberals feared,” the liberal dean of the UCal Berkeley law school, Erwin Chemerinsky, told the Washington Post. While on the Supreme Court, Gorsuch voted to uphold the travel ban on certain Muslim and other countries, to add a citizenship question to the census, and to allow a ban on transgenders in the military to go into effect. But he is a maverick, sometimes siding with the liberals, for example, in a case overturning a precedent allowing local and federal prosecutions for the same offense. Gorsuch is not afraid to revisit the Court’s earlier jurisprudence. In his two terms on the Court, he has voted to overturn, or suggested taking a fresh look at, established precedent 11 times.
But the most interesting aspect of the book to me is the connection he draws between civic education and mutual respect in political discourse on the one hand, and self-governance and popular sovereignty on the other. He is distressed that people don’t understand the basics of the separation of powers. “Only about a third of Americans can identify the three branches,” Gorsuch told the Washington Post. “Another third can only name one branch of government.” Ten percent thinks Judge Judy serves on the Supreme Court, he went on to say.
Gorsuch is worth reading because he discusses the duty of every American to help maintain the Republic. It is not a given we will always have a Republic. It takes work to maintain one. It’s either that or go back to having a tiny elite rule over us because we are too lazy to govern ourselves.
Gorsuch is also worth reading because he is young - he just turned 52 - and prolific: he writes more pages of opinions than any other Justice currently sitting on the Court. This is somebody who is going make his mark on constitutional jurisprudence well into the next generation. He will influence the direction of the Court and the country on important issues of public policy for decades to come.
The Constitution is not only one of America’s founding documents, it can be a really good engagement tool for your festival booths.
My Tea Party created a Constitution quiz and it was a big hit at the Irish festival in our area yesterday. We had as many as eight people taking the quiz at one time. A big sign - How Well Do You Know Your Constitution? - and a scoreboard underneath drew people to our booth.
The questions, ten in all, started off easy - What is the age requirement for U.S. President? What amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms? The questions got harder from there: True or False - Laws enacted by the States are the supreme law of the land. True or False - Members of Congress can give themselves a pay raise before the next election.
A couple of the questions were disputed by Constitution geeks. For example: Does the General Welfare clause authorize social spending? We asked the question because actions justified by the General Welfare clause are supposed to benefit all the people, not just a subset like people who receive government checks, yet the General Welfare clause is being cited more and more often now to justify all kinds of things, including more social spending. Two people objected to the question, arguing that writing government checks to welfare recipients ultimately benefits all the people. So we will drop out problematic questions in future events because the point of the exercise is to educate the public about the Tea Party and our core values, not spend 20 minutes debating fine points with Constitution geeks. After scoring each individual who took the quiz and placing a colored dot on the scoreboard to mark their results, we quickly pivoted to asking what they think the Tea Party stands for. Many had never talked to a Tea Partier before. We gave each individual a card expressing our core values and giving our website address.
It was very gratifying to see so many people who know next to nothing about the Tea Party display such an interest in the Constitution. It is often said the Constitution is one of the few things left that all Americans have in common. The tremendous interest the quiz generated at our booth yesterday certainly shows lots of ordinary Americans are still very attached to our Constitution - and this was in a Deep Blue area! There’s hope for this country, yet.
Suppose it’s the year 2011 and Texas passes a law no presidential candidate can appear on the ballot unless the candidate releases their college records to the public. You might recall that President Obama refused to release his records from Columbia University. What do you think would have happened if Texas had passed such a law? The Obama campaign would have screamed the law was unconstitutional, Republicans in Texas would have countered that the law promoted transparency, and the Supreme Court would have ruled in Obama’s favor, if my analysis is correct.
California recently enacted a law requiring presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release five years of tax returns before being allowed to appear on a primary ballot. President Trump and the RNC sued California earlier this month to block the law.
It seems pretty cut and dried to me - Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution lays out the qualifications for President. It talks about the President having to be a natural born citizen and at least 35 years old. California - or any other state, for that matter - cannot add extra qualifications like releasing tax returns before someone can be President. That is, indeed, one of the arguments made in the lawsuits. The Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that states could not add term limits to the qualifications for members of Congress. Moreover, the Supreme Court has not looked with favor on states trying to add restrictions in a nation-wide electoral process.
The lawsuits go on to argue that the California law violates the First Amendment for targeting President Trump for his political views, violates the 14th Amendment, and is preempted by the federal statute requiring candidates to file financial disclosure forms.
So are the law professors and others who support California’s law completely crazy? Well, maybe not completely. They argue, first, that states can impose some requirements, like a signature-gathering process for independent candidates in federal elections. But when Ohio tried to impose an early filing deadline on independent candidate John Anderson in 1980, it got shot down. Next, it is argued that California’s law merely gives voters information they care about and applies equally to all candidates. Third, some say California’s law only affects party primaries, not the national election. But the Supreme Court extended constitutional protections to primaries in 1941 [United States v. Classic]. Finally - and this is really exotic - it’s been argued that Presidents are not elected by popular vote and states have wide discretion to set requirements for who may serve as electors in the Electoral College. Therefore, it is argued, there is nothing wrong with requiring that electors only pledge support to candidates who have released their tax returns.
All of this is too clever by half. It’s dangerous to make predictions, especially about the future, but I’ll go out on a limb and predict the judicial branch will ultimately find California’s law adds extra qualifications to the office of President and is, therefore, unconstitutional. The stakes are high because same law has been proposed in at least 25 states. If California’s law is upheld, Trump could be off the 2020 ballot in half the country. Stay tuned on this one.
I was appalled when I saw a picture of a biological boy maintaining a stranglehold over a girl contestant in a school wrestling match. This is the insanity that results from letting boys who self-identify as girls take over girls’ sports
I’m not the only one who is struck by the basic unfairness of the situation. In June, three female high school athletes in Connecticut filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education for Civil Rights alleging that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference unlawfully discriminated against girls when it allowed transgenders to compete in girls’ sports. The girls argue that the school policy violates Title IX, a federal law passed in 1972 to protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls. The Obama administration opened the door to allowing boys in girls’ sports when it usurped legislative power and administratively puffed up the definition of ‘sex’ in Title IX to include ‘gender’, thus protecting transgenders against discrimination. So, does protection for transgenders trump protection for female athletes for whom Title IX was written? We’re going to find out. This last week, the Department of Education granted the request to investigate the girls’ allegations of illegal discrimination against them. The case will go forward.
Title IX states that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX is an example of how the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause has been interpreted and applied over time.
The complaint describes how one boy, who didn’t do so well in male track events, all of a sudden started competing in girls’ events. That student now holds 10 records that used to belong to 10 different girls. The girls complain, and rightly so, that the inclusion of boys in their events has deprived the girls, not only of recognition and publicity, but of college recruiting and scholarship opportunities. This is yet another example of how liberal policies are not just wrong, they hurt people. It’s also an example of the pretzel logic of the Left where you can complain all day about the evil patriarchy, then turn around and make sure the patriarchy squelches any real chance girl athletes have for advancement. Can it get any crazier than this?
The Left is eating up an award winning Broadway play - “What the Constitution Means to Me” - that is about to tour the country. The playwright, Heidi Schreck, has discovered, like the producers of the play Angels in America and many other artists before her, that the ticket to success in the arts world is to tilt to the Left and serve up exactly what Progressives want to hear.
As a teenager, Heidi Schreck loved the Constitution and paid for her entire college education by going around the country giving speeches on it. Her play “What the Constitution Means to Me” features her as an adult revisiting her teenage love of the Constitution and finding fault in the document now that she’s older. Her current views are quite far to the Left. She believes that transgenders have a basic human right to serve in the military, when the fact of the matter is NO ONE has a right to serve in the military. It’s a privilege reserved for those who qualify. She’s in favor of the Climate Kids lawsuit which seeks to establish a Constitutional right to a pristine environment, even though it would mean that the entire U.S. economy would be run by one federal judge out of a courtroom in Oregon, which is what the Climate Kids are asking for. She believes that our democracy is a lie and the United States is sliding into tyranny under President Trump, even though he has not shut down any newspapers or thrown any editors in jail. Schreck suffers from full-blown Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The adult Heidi Schreck has developed two problems with the Constitution, both straight out of the Left’s playbook - first, that the Constitution fails to achieve diversity and inclusiveness and, second, that it fails to protect people against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. With regard to diversity, Schreck says the Constitution only protects “the people who are already protected” - whatever that means - and is working perfectly as intended - to protect rich, white men. Everyone else is pushed to the margins of the Constitution, she says. We all belong in the Preamble, she declares. Never mind that the Preamble starts with “We the People”, not “We the Rich, White Men”. It’s an “appalling” document, she says, because it views blacks as property, not human beings. Never mind that the Constitution set things up to eventually get rid of slavery. [E.g., Slave Trade Clause - Article I Section 9].
The original Constitution may not look so good when viewed through the narrow prism of today’s identity politics, but this ignores the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments - getting rid of slavery, ushering in Equal Protection, and guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race or biological sex. Why would you throw out a document that has shown it can bring the blessings of liberty to more and more people over time, as our Constitution has? The worn-out observation that the original Constitution included some people but excluded others is true, but misleading.
Moreover, judging the Constitution by the standards of the Left’s diversity narrative du jour ignores all the things that are wrong with the narrative itself. Here are just three: First, it’s way out of balance. It crowds out other important values that the Constitution does embody like limited government, popular sovereignty, personal freedom, and individual rights. Get people all hepped up on diversity theory to the exclusion of all other considerations and, before you know it, they’re in Kentucky teens’ faces at the Lincoln Memorial [Nicholas Sandmann] and committing hate crime hoaxes in Chicago [Jussie Smollett]. Second, diversity policies hurt people. Just ask the excellent Asian students who can’t get into Harvard because of affirmative action policies favoring other groups. Third, the diversity narrative is leading to absurd results, like the resegregation of college dorms and the self-identify phenomenon where you can wake up one morning and proclaim you are something you are not and everyone else just has to bow down to it. Schreck and her play say nothing about any of these complications.
But there’s a second, more fundamental flaw in Schreck’s thinking. She criticizes the Constitution for failing to protect people, like her grandmother who was the victim of an abusive childhood. “I believe we need a brand-new positive rights document...,” she says during the play. The Constitution contains mostly negative rights that keep the government from doing bad things to you, like shutting you up or searching your house without a warrant. Positive rights include various forms of economic security, such as the rights to housing, education, and a job in FDR’s Second Bill of Rights. But positive rights also include the right to police protection, thus her beef with Justice Scalia’s opinion in a 2005 case [Castle Rock v. Gonzalez] declining to find a due process right to police enforcement of a restraining order against a father who ended up taking and murdering his three children. With positive rights, the three children and Schreck’s grandmother would have been protected, Schreck evidently believes. Forget that that police don’t always get there in time and all the other real-world complications to her rose-colored view.
The impulse behind all these positive rights is to have the government put a soft pillow under absolutely everybody for absolutely everything. Security in all things. As Schreck puts it, "Maybe instead, we could start thinking of the Constitution as a kind of ur-mother, whose job it is to actively look out for all of us, especially the most vulnerable among us." That’s the pioneer spirit.
There’s a lot of pseudo-science coming from the Left purporting to show that people on the Right are a bunch of fraidy cats and their brains are wired differently to seek security in all things. [Language of Terror by Kendall, et al.] Never mind that Social Security was a left-wing invention. But here we see the impulse for absolute security on full display from the new darling of the Left, which gets to the heart of the matter. As told to me by a former Leftist, the Left honestly believes it can bring about heaven on earth and the end of all human suffering. They believe they alone possess the secret knowledge to fundamentally transform human nature and bring about this earthly paradise. The rest of us are too stupid to figure it out. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s a bunch of malarkey. It’s a pipedream, it’s not ever gonna happen. Which makes Heidi Schreck’s play a nice bedtime story but nothing of substance that goes beyond the realm of fantasy.
So there you have it: a complete mirage from a mixed-up playwright. One minute she’s calling the Constitution “magical” and a work of “genius”, and saying it’s “appalling” the next. One minute she’s expressing her fundamental faith in the Constitution because it gives us what we need to make the country better, then calls for “a brand-new positive rights document” the next. Just because she’s conflicted and mixed up about the magnificence of our country’s founding document doesn’t mean we have to be.
Last Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an interim ruling against the Trump administration’s policy of indefinite detention of certain asylum-seekers pending their deportation hearings. The court ruled that the government failed to make “a persuasive showing that it will suffer irreparable harm if it is required to provide bond hearings pending the outcome of this appeal in the same way it had done for several years.” Getting to the heart of the matter, the court went on to say that the government is not likely to succeed on the merits of its “underlying argument that the government may indefinitely detain the plaintiffs without affording bond hearings at all.” Bottom line: the affected class of asylum seekers will have the opportunity to post bail while an appeal on the merits goes forward.
There is a long history of revulsion for indefinite detention going back at least as far as the English Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 which the noted legal authority Blackstone called the “second magna charta, and stable bulwark of our liberties.” The late Justice Scalia recounted this history in a 2004 dissent, concluding, “The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive.”
Habeas corpus is found in our own Constitution - Article I, Section 9, Clause 2. We also have the 8th Amendment which states “excessive bail shall not be required.” All of this applies to noncitizens by virtue of Due Process which, under the 5th Amendment, is afforded to all “persons”, not just citizens.
Abraham Lincoln is reviled by some for suspending the writ of habeas corpus, rounding up 14,000 political prisoners, shutting down 300 newspapers, and throwing editors in jail. Lincoln also ignored the Supreme Court which ruled he did not have the authority under the circumstances to suspend habeas corpus. At least he had the excuse there was a Civil War on.
FDR placed Americans of Japanese descent in internment camps in World War II. On that occasion, the Supreme Court upheld the action in the Korematsu case, which is widely recognized as one of the worst decisions the Court has ever made.
In recent times, the U.S. has used indefinite detention in the War on Terror, notably at Guantanamo. Efforts to amend the NDAA to prohibit indefinite detention of U.S. citizens failed in Congress, but the ACLU and others object strongly to the practice. To sum it all up, we have had some instances of indefinite detention in our history, but it’s still strongly disfavored.
We’ll have to wait and see what the 9th Circuit does on the merits when the indefinite detention question is squarely before the court. The court granted the government’s request to expedite the appeal, so we should have an appellate-level ruling sooner rather than later.
Observers were pretty amazed earlier this month when the 9th Circuit, of all places, handed President Trump a win in a sanctuary city case. I got curious because previous cases made it clear the Trump administration could not take away funding, or place extra conditions on federal grant money, or commandeer state employees into enforcing federal immigration laws.
It turns out, according to a 9th Circuit three-judge panel, all the Trump administration had to do was change the grant process to award bonus points to cities focusing on illegal immigration and promising to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. In contrast, Los Angeles - whose case was before the 9th Circuit panel - chose “building trust and respect” as its focus area and declined to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in such matters as turning over fugitives for deportation.
The 9th Circuit panel noted that no federal funds were withdrawn from Los Angeles, nor was Los Angeles automatically barred from receiving federal policing grants because of sanctuary city and state policies. The administration did not add extra conditions to the grant; it merely prioritized money to locales that would serve the administration’s policies better, something which L.A. and California had been free to do. Thus, the administration’s bonus point system complied with all the requirements that had been built up over time in case law interpreting the Spending Clause of the U.S. Constitution [Article I, Section 8, Clause 1].
The panel went on to say that merely awarding additional points to grant applications that emphasize lawful purposes did not amount to coercion. No city or state laws were overturned in the application process. There was no coercion and no Tenth Amendment violation, the panel said. The panel concluded by saying the administration had acted within its statutory authority, that Congress had been silent on the precise question presented, and that the administration had acted reasonably - not arbitrarily or capriciously - in prioritizing recipients of federal grants closer in line with administration policies.
Los Angeles received over $3 million from the police grant program at issue the year before the case arose. The latest report I could find indicated the city is reviewing the panel’s decision. Conceivably, Los Angeles could appeal to the full 9th Circuit or to the Supreme Court. Stay tuned.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave the last six months, you undoubtedly have seen story after story about how the authoritarian Left is trying to silence conservatives and other non-Left voices. Whether it’s breaking down Tucker Carlson’s front door or attacking journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, Oregon, it’s clear we’ve entered a new phase. Now is the time for all good people to fight back, or watch the Left destroy our First Amendment.
In January, I gave you lots of examples of how the Left is assaulting free expression in public, on campus, and online. More recently, I’ve been tracking stories about how people are fighting back. Here are some of the more interesting ways people are taking a stand:
Our friend Senator Ted Cruz will hold hearings Tuesday July 16th on Google’s anticonservative bias. Dennis Prager, who was kicked off of YouTube - owned by Google - will testify. This follows previous hearings about anticonservative bias at Twitter and Facebook. The tech companies are probably not free speech zones, which one may reasonably conclude after the Supreme Court declined to apply the First Amendment to public access cable television earlier this year. So going after the tech giants is in the interest of free expression overall, not free speech rights under the First Amendment.
But speaking of Facebook, Laura Loomer sued Facebook for $3 billion for defamation for calling her a “dangerous individual” and a domestic terrorist. Other recent free expression-related litigation includes #WalkAway founder Brandon Straka suing a New York City gay community center for canceling his event and the state of Texas suing San Antonio for denying an airport concession to Chick-fil-A. The Chick-fil-A controversy also resulted in a new state law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor to rectify the situation, as well as an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Elsewhere at the state level, 28 states now have campus free speech laws or bills and Kentucky has a new law allowing Bible classes to be taught in public schools. A pending resolution in the Pennsylvania legislature condemning a state lawmaker for harassing anti-abortion protesters now has 40 co-sponsors.
On campus, an incoming freshman tore up her acceptance letter from NYU for its anti-Semitism. Her great-grandfather had founded the music department there.
Playwright and activist Phelim McAleer fought back by finding a new venue after a theater in Washington, D.C. cancelled a contract allowing him to stage his play ‘FBI Lovebirds’ about Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The play was rescheduled in the Ronald Reagan building. It is based on Strzok and Page’s unintentionally funny texts. The show went on and a good time was had by all.
Shareholder resolutions protesting censorship or seeking ideological diversity on corporate boards were introduced at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Twitter. Shareholders also went after JPMorgan Chase for debanking conservatives.
What can you do? Here are two easy-peasy action items that will take you a grand total of five minutes. First, sign the White House petition to designate Antifa a domestic terrorist group. The petition was inspired by Antifa’s attack on Andy Ngo in Portland. Second, sign the open letter to the U.S. Army War College to reverse its decision to disinvite a speaker after CAIR - the Council on American Islamic Relations - made trouble.
Finally, there’s the story of the 10-year-old girl in Britain who was suspended from school after asking to be excused from LGBT lessons during Pride Month. She said the lessons were confusing her classmates who are now calling themselves bisexual and trans. If a 10-year-old girl can fight back against the authoritarian Left and its insanity, so can we.
My Tea Party wrote an Instant Graduate Degree in Political Science early on in the Tea Party movement and refined it over the next several years. It’s the American Idea on one page. We wrote it to celebrate the 4th of July - Independence Day - every year, and I’d like to read it to you now. Please distribute it far and wide:
Too many Americans have deliberately been cut off from their heritage and no longer understand the set of ideas the country started with, or why the Founders' ideals remain important today. Understand these ideas and you will know more about your country than many politicians or college graduates. These ideas are simple to grasp, yet more powerful than the mightiest army. America is a special place. It’s the only country in all of human history founded on an idea – individual liberty. The Declaration of Independence states that you have the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are not something the government gives you. As an American, you are born with these rights. Some say these rights come from nature, and call them ‘natural rights’. Others say they come from God, and call them ‘God-given rights’. The point is, YOUR RIGHTS DON’T COME FROM GOVERNMENT, or even the Constitution. What the government cannot give, it cannot take away. This is the true meaning of the American Revolution, and it was truly astounding. For the first time ever, a government was instituted to protect the rights of the people, not the privileged few or those who would set themselves up as your rulers or benefactors. THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. In fact, the Founders instituted a system of limited government so that your rights could never be taken away from you. Not only do your rights NOT come from government, the truth is that government’s rights come from US. In America, we live under the revolutionary idea that WE THE PEOPLE ARE SOVEREIGN. The federal government has only the enumerated powers expressly set forth in the Constitution. It has only the powers We the People give it. Under the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution, all remaining rights and powers belong to We The People and to the states, not to the bureaucrats or politicians in Washington. The Founders were very far-sighted in instituting limited government. They knew that every now and then a charismatic demagogue would come along singing a siren song about how much the government could do for you if only you would surrender your liberty. The Founders knew that somebody would always want to be King George and that the inevitable tendency of government is to grow its power and expand its reach over the people. The system of checks and balances the Founders created will, if faithfully observed, forever prevent a tyrant or tyrannical government from emerging and ruling the land by personal whim or decree. The Founders' ideas are in accord with human nature and have stood the test of time. They are superior to all political theories that went before (might makes right, let them eat cake, the divine right of kings), and to every political ideology that has come along since (various forms of collectivism which destroy individual liberty and turn the clock back to when We the People were subjects, not sovereigns). Individual liberty is the only political idea that is humane, compassionate, and sustainable in the long run. So, as you celebrate Independence Day, remember the true meaning of this occasion and why we in America truly have cause for celebration. We the People are free – we live in a free country where the people are sovereign - and, sadly, that has not been the case for most human beings who have ever walked the earth. Congratulations, you have just graduated. Now go in liberty and cherish every minute of it. Use your freedom wisely; it's a great gift. And don't let anyone denigrate the magnificence of the Founders' ideals, confuse you with sophistry, or take away your liberty without a fight. It's your heritage and your foundation as an American living in this special place we are so incredibly fortunate to call home.
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