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December 31, 2012
Hey! Let's have a 'Burn the Constitution Day!'
See also: Subverting the Constitution
I had to read this screed from some obscure "Constitutional Law" professor twice to make sure he wasn't kidding.
Louis Michael Seidman teaches at Georgetown University and wrote an op ed in the New York Times titled "Let's Give Up on the Constitution."
The prof should give himself an "A" for orignal thinking, a "B+" for unintentional humor, but an "F" for being a total butthead.
This is what passes for thinking by Seidman:
It's true. Seidman has an 8th grade understanding of original intent.
It's all there - in all its glorious bigotry and bias. "White propertied men"; uh-oh, here comes rich whiteys telling us what to do again. And no, few of them thought it was "fine" to own slaves. Most of them recognized the hypocrisy of declaring liberty for all while keeping millions in bondage. It bothered them greviously - haunting most of the slaveowners to their graves. And other northerners - like one of the first presidents of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society Ben Franklin - not only didn't think it was fine to own slaves, but actively sought to free them.
In fact, that one paragraph proves an important point: Seidman knows less about our Founders than the Founders could have guessed about modern America.
This is why I thought Seidman was joking:
Really? What evidence do we have for that? Maybe one example would suffice? Funny - I can't think of anything at the moment that would show how ignoring the Constitution has "helped us grow and prosper." Perhaps in the short term, riding roughshod over the "General Welfare" or "Commerce" clauses may have led to some prospering at the expense of others. But as will eventually be the case with Obamacare, forgetting the Constitution is far more likely to bankrupt us than help us grow and prosper in any significant way.
I don't believe the Constitution is holy writ nor do I think that the Founders had all the answers for today's America. But all public officials and members of the military swear fealty to our founding document for a reason; it is the most visible, the most tangible representation of our sovereignty as a nation. We don't have kings, or castles, or ancient ruins to which we can point and say our sovereignty lies within. It is the Constitution that unites us as a people.
And positing the notion that we should just throw it away is outrageously stupid and disquietingly radical. Seidman may scoff at original intent and embrace the living constitution interpretation. But that doesn't mean that what the Founders thought should be dismissed out of hand by anyone. At the very least, their idea of limiting government power is as relevant today as it was 200 years ago.
And we don't need a smarmy, sneering Georgetown professor to tell us otherwise.
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