Gridlock a small price to pay to save the Constitution

I have a couple of friends who are profoundly ignorant of history. Their ignorance results in an irreversible wrongheadedness about the far-reaching wisdom and timeless value of America’s founding documents.

My historically challenged friends lament the gridlocked mess that the Beltway crowd has foisted on us. They don’t understand how it ever got this bad because they have no sense of historical context. To unravel the mystery, let’s get to the point quickly:

The people at the root of America’s unfolding economic and social wreckage are those in power who are hell-bent on “fundamentally transforming the United States of America”, a campaign quote from the president about his intent. To fundamentally transform means, according to one maven, to “markedly change the nature, function, or condition of the foundation or base.” These “transformers,” most of them in positions of power, have caused us to veer away from proven methods of fair governance, to impose wealth redistribution and to increase federal debt and deficits to Mount Everest proportions.

The officials causing the most devilment in our government, the rogues most responsible for producing a wake of economic disaster and social upheaval, are the same villains who reject the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution, and who hold that the beliefs of our Founding Fathers are obsolete.

The people who intend to fundamentally transform America have rejected the value systems of the statesmen, jurists and successful intellectuals who got it right when they founded this country. These were people who put their lives and fortunes on the line, leaders of singular achievements and accomplishments. And almost nobody high in government today deserves to sit at the same table with them.

This new crop of transformers wants to tinker with and, in some cases, overturn what has worked well in government and the economy for generations. The transformers are conceited enough to believe they know how to make things better.

But now we see, more often than not, that these social experimenters should have left well enough alone. America has never in its history faced the magnitude of problems we face today, even during World War II.

We all know government and the elected officials who fill the seats of government can be improved. But the kind of radical restructuring that the executive branch wants to impose, the cradle-to-grave entitlement net they want to wrap us in, will require changing the very foundations, structure and fabric of a society built by private accomplishment. These extremist transformers do not realize the house of cards they are constructing.

But that’s what’s happening. Opposing the transformers are those who still believe that the U.S. Constitution is perhaps the most marvelous manifesto produced by the mind of man.  Frankly, if gridlock and bickering are the price we pay for opposing the transformers and saving our country as we have known it, so be it. One reason for our Constitution’s greatness, and why it deserves all honor to its name, is that it ties the hands of politicians who would discard it. Remember, a strong Constitution containing ageless values and common sense often prevents demagogues from gaining power.

What’s our best bet for preserving a strong republic in future ages? A Constitution that cannot be subverted by freewheeling, imperfect politicians who wish to do as they please, one that cannot be corrupted by judges eager to promote personal political preferences.  We don’t need law professors, judges and politicians imposing their ideas of what’s right by changing the original meaning of constitutional text because it’s getting in the way.


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John R. Smith


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