Constitutional Libertarianism

Constitutional Libertarianism

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What does it mean to live in a Constitutional Republic?

We are a Constitutional Republic.  The rules are written on the wall, it is everyone's duty to respect those rules and to make sure that we each, individually follow those rules.  There is damned good reason for having a constitutional government.  The rules are out in the open, for everyone to see.  They apply to one and all.

This allows every individual to go on their own way, live their own life and be the person they would be.  There is supposed to be no hidden agenda.  No different rules for different people.  The law is suppose to be clear and open.  We put the laws high up on the wall because then no one is above the law.  The law is above all.

That is freedom, true freedom.  Freedom which we take for granted.  It is our own and we police ourselves, at least, we are supposed to.  It is an expectation of self discipline.  "You know the rules, follow them and go on about your life".

The Constitution tells the government what it's job is.  It tells the government how to do that job and it is written in a way that limits the authority of that government.  Essentially, the Constitution tells the government, "If it's not specifically written in here, you can't do it."

The Declaration of Independence is more than just a letter telling the world that we are no longer a subject to British rule.  It is the key point that established our identity.  It is what established our culture as a nation and heavily influenced the writing of the Constitution so that it, the Constitution, would reflect that identity and culture. 

The Declaration of Independence established not only who we are not, subjects of Britain, but who we are.  A people who would live our own lives and never fully trust government again.  The Constitution was written to limit government and to make sure that every person had the same level playing field to start from in terms of law.  No one person is more special than anyone else where the law is concerned.

We are not a land of mob rule.  The majority is not always right and the minority is protected from being trampled on just because they disagree or would do their own thing.  The Constitution makes sure of this.

At the same time, the real power of the Constitutional Republic is that the leadership comes from within.  The elected representatives are supposed to be one of our own.  Someone who we trust t represent our local interests as well as contribute to the looking out for the interests of everyone.

The power and leadership does not come from the government, it comes from the people.  The people decide who to send forth and they decide who not to send.  They decide who to recall if they aren't doing what they were sent to do.

The people do this, not the elected, not the government.

The leadership comes from within.  That's the power of a Constitutional Republic.

We are not the rest of the world

An argument always comes up and inevitably, someone will bring up how some others countries address or are affected by the issue at hand.

That's fine for general discussion.  But we have to consider that the history of the U.S. is not that of a follower.  it is not necessarily that of a "leader" as well, at least not by intention, or at least, it hasn't always been.

The U.S. does it's own thing, goes it's own way, forges it's own path.  Others have followed and some have been told or suggested to follow.  What the U.S. Doesn't do is what everyone else is doing.

There is a good reason for that.  Some make the argument of following what other countries do or have done when faced with a similar situation, whatever that may be.  They will say that it is wise to learn from others mistakes and successes.  In one person to the next situations, that is often good advice to a point.

The other thing to consider in that is that there are key differences, for people and nations, that may and will arise that can make a solution for one not the solution for the next.  In the long run, each must find their own way.

Take the gun regulation discussion currently going on.  The second amendment of the Bill of Rights specifically says that every person has the right to keep and bear arms and that this right shall not be infringed upon.

Many people think the addition of the word "infringed" means that regulations is not to be imposed on issues of arms.  Others suggest that it only means the amendment cannot be removed but is otherwise up for regulation.

Inevitably, the discussion turns to what other countries have done, like Britain or France in Europe, with the issue of citizens keeping and bearing arms.  We can certainly observe what other countries have done, but that doesn't mean that what they have done applies to our country.

We have a very different culture built on the premise of liberty.  Liberty means that no person, group or government can tell someone how to live, what to do.  Our Constitution shows exactly how hands off our government is supposed to be in the affairs of people's lives in the way it was written.

As a matter of fact, it clearly states that the federal government is to have no authority outside of that which has been specifically enumerated within the Constitution.  Any other authority not so described or defined belongs to the state and to the people.

That means that the government is intentionally to have a "hands off" approach regarding anything that the Constitution and therefore the people have allowed them.  Liberty, leave people alone unless it has specifically to do with what you have been told is your job to do.

Our elected representatives keep trying to sneakily buy our liberty from us in the name of "security". They try to sell sneaky interpretations of the Constitution to trick us into thinking they somehow have the authority to infringe on our liberty based on what is already in the Constitution.

But we are not Europe.  We are not Canada or Russia or China. Their cultures are vastly different from ours and are not based on individual liberties.  Their people have not had the experience of a non-invasive government.  They are used to their governments historically being their overlords.  They accept such invasive-ness much more readily.  They are used to it.   We are not.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Because We Are Americans

To be free is to live unshackled, unconfined, unimprisoned, unrestrained.

To have liberty is to make your own decisions, to have no person, group or government telling you how to live your live.

Our Constitution makes sure that no one can take these things from you, however nothing stops you from giving these things away.

Whenever we use freedom and liberty as a bargaining chip for security and feeling safe, you give away the very things that ensure your security from slavery and tyranny.

We have not known slavery and tyranny for many tears in this country.  It has been hard fought for and hard won and in some places and ways, the battle still continues.

We have not known tyranny in this country for even longer, though many factions continue to make the effort for the few to control the many.

Read the founding documents of this country.  This country was not founded so that the government would do everything for us.  This government was founded so that we would be able to do for ourselves as a free, self determined people can and should do.

We, as Americans, have the greatest power in the world in our Constitution and with that power comes responsibility to make sure that we all have that power, that no one tries to interfere with that power.

We, as Americans, have the ability to think and do for ourselves.  To be the person we want to be,  to make the living we want to live, that carries risks.  We take those risks every day.

Now we want to trade our liberties and freedoms for security from those risks.   We have people who would rather live in a gilded cage and feel safe instead of accepting responsibility for themselves and what they do. 

These people would not only imprison themselves, but everyone else as well, in order to avoid responsibility from the risks of their lives and to feel safe.

Do not sell yourselves or others out for a false feeling of security.

Those that are selling you that "safety" cannot guarantee what they offer.  They are selling you an empty box knowing that they cannot guarantee safety, they cannot guarantee security or comfort or an easy life.

They are liars and deceivers and traitors to our way of life.  Don't let them steal or trick out of you what they know they cannot forcefully take.

When someone threatens your freedom and liberty,  I will stand up to defend you.  When they come for one of, they must face all of us.  If they if they try to take your independence, we must stand together to take it back.

I do my own thing,  I live my own life, I go where I will go and I do what I will do.  I am my own person and I am an American.

When you fall,  I will help you up because I choose to, not because I have to  When you need help, I will help you because I choose to, not because someone makes me.

When our own turn on us,  I will fight beside you because when they try to take your freedom and liberty, they will try to take mine next unless we fight them shoulder to shoulder and send them back

because we are Americans.

Friday, January 11, 2013

One Nation, Under God

Which is the God of America?  Is it just acknowledging that there is a god in general?

The U.S. Constitution acknowledges that the rights it recognizes are those given to mankind by God, a higher power and thus immutable by mankind.

I think most people would say that the god in question is the christian god.  However, it is not spelled out thus.  No, it is left to subtlety.  For example, most assume that by referring to capital "G" God, automatically refers to the christian god.

Technically speaking though, the christian god has a name.  YHWH, Yahweh, also known as Jehova.  some sects admonish using the name directly, but that is the name.  Our founding documents do not recognize any of those appellations.

It is not likely they were referring to the islamic god, which most likely would have been referred to as "Allah" though it is claimed that the islamic god has 99 names.

One could just about bet every penny that it was not the name of a native american name for god. 

Personally, I am of the mind to say that the writers of said historical documents were thinking that there is only one god and that by any other name, is the same.  thus, the capitalized "G" God refers to a singular deity which is called by many names in many languages and religions.

For me, that resolves the concern of "what God" is America's god.  It is the one and only god that goes by many other names but is one and the same.  (them still thinking to themselves this is the christian god most likely).

What of those at the time and now, who profess to acknowledge no deity at all?  If there is no deity to confer these rights upon mankind, then where do the rights come from if not the Constitution?

If the rights come from the document, then surely they come from the assembled men who created/signed the document.  If men can confer these rights upon other men, then men can take them away.

In the context of the rights that we observe as applying to all men, the is notion of men conferring and men taking away bothers me a lot, a whole lot.

This sets the stage for one or a few people to step up and try to force or otherwise convince the people that they are the "special" one(s) to give, change or take away the peoples rights.

They see people as the highest authority and themselves in particular as the ones who should wield that authority over other people.  That's not a good thing.   I don't trust people at all.  The best intentioned would be "leaders" have brought societies to their knees because of their failed and imperfect wielding of absolute power.

That's what it really comes down to in my thinking.  Do we trust humans with absolute power?  The writers of the U.S. Constitution did not.  We must divide power over the people among many and separate them so that collusion is unlikely, if not impossible.

By accepting that the rights we recognize are from "on high" beyond us and that we are held to those as a nation of people having to work together, absolute power is kept away from the one or few and the people will lead themselves.

Just my own, scattered, meandering thoughts on the subject.  Feel free to leave comments in a respectful, polite manner to discuss it more.

Being An American Should Mean Something

I am at least a third generation American by birth, maybe more.  I'm not entirely sure how many more, but that's another story.

A lot of people were hurt, bled, were abused and died in the making of America.

While the Constitution said all men were created equal, people were still treated as if they weren't men.  Human beings lost their land, their lives, their dignity because of how the Constitution was being interpreted.

At the same time, even while many people were being oppressed in America as it was forming, many other people were coming to America because they believed it held the chance for a better life for them.  For those already here, many stayed because whether the oppressors liked it or not, this is their America also.

They CHOSE to come to America because even while many groups of people were being treated unfairly, it was still better than the places they were coming from and there was hope.  Hope that the injustices would change.  Hope that America would change to accept those it held back before.  Hope that their children's lives would be better than their own.

America stands for Hope.

People chose to become Americans because they could do things here that were not able to be done where they were coming from.  They could choose what they did for a living.  They could choose what church to belong or not belong to.  They could choose who represented them in the government.  They could choose to be who they wanted to be.

America stands for Choice.

For many, they came because where they were wouldn't allow them to speak their mind.  If they did, they would be jailed or even killed.  They couldn't go where they wanted, the government or some other group restricted their activity and movement.  They couldn't change their career.  Some gov't agency or religious group would keep them fixed into a place and would not allow them to change.  They wouldn't allow the children to change.

America stands for Liberty.

I am here in America not because I "have" to be here.   I could move anywhere I want to.   I choose to be an American because nowhere else can I go to have the liberties  I enjoy under the U.S. Constitution.  Nowhere.

I choose to be an American and because of that,  I will not sit quietly while those who do not appreciate what they inherited try to squander it.

Being an American means something to me and a lot of other people like me who, every day, CHOOSE to be an American.