Reclaiming the law that governs government

Veteran of the conservative movement for over 50 years, Richard Viguerie, and American Thinker contributor Mark Fitzgibbons have published what they call an "e-pamphlet" for Constitution Day.

The 63-page pamphlet is called The Law That Governs Government: Reclaiming The Constitution From Usurpers And Society's Biggest Lawbreaker, which the authors describe as "a comprehensive and defining pamphlet of principles, purpose and proposals for constitutional conservatives."

Those who are familiar with the candid and pugnacious Viguerie and Fitzgibbons won't be disappointed.  The pamphlet begins this way: "Government is the oldest, largest and most pervasive lawbreaker in America."

Here is an excerpt from the chapter, "The Constitution is law, not a blueprint to be ignored":

What then can we do when the constitutional structure that was designed to protect us against scofflaw government is damaged and seems headed for oblivion?  Economically, the barbarians have broken through the gates and are in the citadel.  Our institutions have been taken over by progressives.  Our culture lacks enough visionaries of self-restraint.

Politically, we may have the worst and certainly the most ideologically hard-leftist president in history.  Even that does not seem to be enough to sober up the entire Republican leadership from its drunken bender of power and compromise.

It is becoming clearer that the answers to our political problems, at least, depend in large part on how we view the Constitution, and how we enforce it against a government prone to violate it.

The Constitution has been subject to many views and interpretations.  Some call it a "compact," a "social contract" or a "living document."  Time magazine's June 23 cover story calls it "a blueprint for the protection of democratic freedoms," and then lists the magazine's perceptions of the Constitution's flaws and why it is acceptably ignored.  Using the approach of the essay's author, Time managing editor Richard Stengel, this "blueprint" couldn't be much of a protection of freedoms.

The evidence that those views are insufficient "to retain their hold on men's minds" [quoting Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek] is not necessarily Obamacare or unlawful actions of unnamed bureaucrats.  The Framers anticipated there would be unconstitutional acts by government, which is why they created a structure of checks and balances to minimize government lawbreaking.

The greater evidence that we need a restatement of the old truths for our time is the contempt shown by public officials for the notion that a law governs them at all, except when they might seek to expand government through curious, strained or radical interpretations of the Constitution.

Without respect for the Constitution as law, our system of checks and balances breaks down and becomes ineffective.  Ultimately, that respect is derived and imposed on elected officials by their sovereign bosses, the people.  We've learned that hard way that the buck stops with us.

We must therefore begin by continuously reminding ourselves that the Constitution is the law that governs government.  How we approach scofflaw government and cure the problem begins from that first step.  If we are merely a nation of laws unbound by our paramount law -- or as stated by Chief Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, if the Constitution were "on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and like other acts . . . alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it" -- then we are subject to tyranny under the law.

Unless we shift the discussion from merely being a nation of laws to one in which the Constitution is the law that governs government, we will continue the spiral downwards from our founding principles that are the basis for our exceptionalism.  Unconstrained by the notion that government is subject to an overarching law, government will continue to be the biggest and most pervasive lawbreaker.

The entire pamphlet is available at no charge at