I’ll bet many of you didn’t realize it, but today is a federal holiday.
Before you frantically search through your company’s employment manual for the calendar delineating paid days off, simply recall that today, September 17, is “Constitution Day” as proclaimed by Congress in 2004. Labor Day was just a couple weeks ago, which has always been regarded as the symbolic end of summer and stands as September’s lone holiday. There was also some clamor twenty years ago to make 9/11 an official federal holiday, but marking such a tragic event with a special designation wasn’t considered good for the nation’s psyche or business bottom line at the time.
Whereas July 4, 1776 is universally recognized and celebrated as Independence Day and has been afforded its due deference as a vitally important date in history, it’s safe to say comparatively few woke up this morning with the Constitution fixed in their brains. Schools that receive federal funding are supposed to teach the Constitution every year on this date, but here’s wondering how many “woke” public institutions will push Critical Race Theory to the side long enough to talk about the men who actually formulated the words of the charter -- and what those words mean?
These days, so much of the media chatter about the Constitution involves blubbering over liberal contrived “restrictions” on minority rights, essentially griping that the text of the document, because it reserves hefty powers for states and the People to govern themselves, is old fashioned and out of date, as though the Founders should’ve been expected to weigh-in on abortion or same-sex marriage or transgender protections back in 1787, when the Law that Governs Government was signed by representatives of the original thirteen states on September 17th.
The great men did, of course, touch on the right to bear arms, but liberals prefer to bypass that one.
For as much as our society talks about the Constitution, it’s astonishing how little average people really know about it, or how beneficial the document is to our daily lives because it restrains what government is “allowed” to do. Every time there’s a Supreme Court vacancy or the federal courts rule on a hot topic or a president issues a controversial executive order (see Biden, Joseph, last week when he wrote out several orders containing COVID-19 vaccine mandates), there appears a gaggle of stuffed shirt know-it-alls on cable TV news channels talking about what the event means in relation to the Constitution.
The fact is, most citizens don’t form their own thoughts on what the Constitution does because they don’t understand it. As a college and law student in the 80’s and 90’s, I spent years learning the Supreme Court and individual rights and rulings and interpretations and this law and that law, etc. For lay people, there’s a spectacular and helpful course called “Constitution 101”, assembled by the liberty-loving folks at Hillsdale College.
The price is right for the program. It’s FREE. Not paid for by the federal government, either.
Gaining a thorough understanding of the Constitution will bring the current government’s un-constitutional actions into focus for everyone to see. The Congress has made a mockery of the Constitution for years, passing legislation that tramples on states’ rights (such as Obamacare) and is currently in the process of enacting a complete federal takeover of the election system under the guise of “voting rights.” (The For The People Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act)
Over the course of the past century -- basically since the beginning of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency -- executive powers have grown immensely to the point we’re at today, where senile president Joe simply decrees that Americans have to stick a needle in their arm at the point of a gun or a law enforcement officer. Well, maybe not the gun part, but the consequences for not taking the COVID vaccine are pretty severe and in clear violation of the God-given rights secured by the Constitution. Imagine forcing individuals to look past their own judgment or personal convictions to obey a command from the illegitimate ruler. What is this, Afghanistan under the Taliban?
Biden regulates and destroys entire industries with his executive pen. He ignores and violates the Constitution’s precious guarantees of free speech, assembly, due process rights (the January 6 defendants), religious freedom and freedom from unlawful searches and seizures. It shouldn’t be this way. We cannot depend on the Supreme Court to protect us. We must be vigilant. Know your Constitution.
Biden’s unconstitutional abuses are so atrocious it has some wise observers talking about the dissolution of the United States. In a piece titled, “Has the Time Come to Break Up America?”, Roger L. Simon wrote at The Epoch Times:
“[T]he times being what they are and the man occupying the presidency being who he is, not to mention those surrounding him being who they are, plus the issues that divide us from national defense to education to immigration to race to public safety to the pandemic to values in general being so intractable, I feel compelled to discuss secession or division as if they were a real possibility worth considering...
“...Indeed, from what I’ve heard, even in the halls of Congress there are those so concerned with the inability of the red and blue to speak or reason together, who see a gulf between both sides so wide it will never be bridged, that some of our politicians are beginning to whisper about secession or the like as well...
“[I]f a serious majority of blue state residents want to be ‘woke,’ teach their children critical race theory, allow them to choose their sex at age eight and so forth, much as I abhor these things, they should have that ability, just as the majority of red state citizens who wish to preserve our constitutional republic for future generations should be able to do that as well.”
For what it’s worth, Simon was not arguing in favor of a second nation-encompassing civil war or an abandonment of the constitutional framework we’ve lived under for well over two hundred and thirty years. He was merely pointing out that the political breakdown between red and blue states has become so complete that the two sides don’t even speak to each other much less cooperate on enacting vital laws and governance.
Democrats are planning to completely bypass Republicans in cramming through a budget resolution containing their wildest socialist fantasies and all that stands in the way of realizing their schemes is the possible opposition from a couple so-called “moderate” Democrat senators. That’s right, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema could be our only hope to prevent trillions of dollars in appropriated special interest inflation-fostering, debt crashing spending.
The legislative process specified in the Constitution has been upended by party politics, and to some extent, distorted beyond recognition by procedural rules. It was supposed to be that bills were to be introduced in one of the two chambers, the members and senators would consider and debate the bills, and then pass them on to the other chamber for an additional once-over. Anything that gets a firm “yes” at that stage is presented to the president for a signature.
But, as Simon alluded to, the system breaks down in a nation of 330 million people and the establishment’s systemic fondness for federalizing every matter of living. In the Founders’ brilliant constitutional system, authority was shared between the federal government and the states, with the smaller entities tasked with police powers and solving local problems. Congress would handle national security, treaties with foreign nations, regulating commerce between the states and issues such as immigration.
The Constitution isn’t perfect. That’s why it can be amended, but only through an arduous process that requires not only the assent of representatives and senators, but the states themselves. That’s why there are still only 27 amendments, seventeen of which came after Congress passed the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.
What to do? Some smart people have proposed a constitutional convention under Article V, which would be empowered to pass amendments in an expedited way. “The Convention of States Action resolution allows the states to discuss amendment proposals that, ‘limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, and place term limits on federal officials.’”
Any proposed amendments from the convention would still require a three-fourths vote from state legislatures for ratification. This degree of unity on the big issues seems impossible to obtain given the current divide of anti-American socialist leftists versus true lovers of liberty and self-governance.
Maybe it is time to consider a break-up. But how?
While it’s terrific that there is such a thing as “Constitution Day”, it won’t have much meaning until the citizenry educates itself and then gets after the political class to keep within its legal bounds set by the document. The time for “fixing” the country might have already come and gone, and the current leadership is only making things worse. Is this a day for celebration or lamenting what might have been?
Hillsdale College course
Joe Biden executive orders
Article V convention