In the United States of America, we have the freedom to believe as we choose regarding the sanctity of the Constitution of our republic. We can choose to believe that it is the most magnificent and timeless blueprint for governance ever devised by the mind of man. Or we can choose to believe that it is an outmoded government design, in need of constant revision, because it was written by nearsighted men who couldn’t see past the eighteenth century.
Being allowed to embrace either belief, or any other, is what individual freedom is all about. But there are a certain few among us who, by virtue of their position, ought not to have the right to all such beliefs.
There once was a time when national office holders (especially presidents, senators, congressmen, and Supreme Court justices) believed that the Constitution was the incontrovertible law of the land and that it was their honored duty to uphold it. The words 'preserve, protect and defend' had a tangible, concrete meaning. And that meaning in no way allowed the infiltration of the concepts of 'edit, assault, and declare obsolete'. As a matter of fact, it forbade them.
That someone would seek elected or appointed national office, the prime duty of which is to preserve, protect and defend a document, would consider that document malleable, and every aspect of it interpretable in countless ways, is ludicrous. Why would anyone want to take an oath to protect something whose very definition (and therefore its value) is forever changing?
There once was a time when America’s leaders were (as they should be) a cut above the rest of us. That time is long past. It has been waning for decades, but drew its last breath around 1989. Before that time, if our leaders were not Constitutional scholars per se, they at least had a working knowledge of the document they were charged to defend, and they were generally committed to seeing to it that it remained whole, and supreme.
Those once-upon-a-time strict constructionist leaders, who regarded the Constitution as a sacred trust, for the most part are now viewed as dinosaurs – and dangerous dinosaurs at that.
To which I say to the dinosaur-phobes, ‘Then go back to private life, where you may hold any Constitution-related belief that you like. Let someone else take your seat – someone who reveres the document he was elected/appointed to defend.’
When those who are entrusted with the defense of ‘sacred’ ground are allowed to defile that very ground, the ground is then neither sacred nor worth defending.
The dismantling of the Constitution amounts to the corruption of words whose sources are pure and well-conceived, in order to justify power-hungry, self-absorbed, irresponsible human behavior. And if we continue to allow government leadership to chip away at that precious, timeless document, we will find ourselves adrift in deep, dark waters, without anchor or compass. And then we had better hope (having forfeited our right to pray) for a storm-free future.