Why the Constitution?
Febuary, 1, 2016
As I go about my daily adventures in liberty, I sometimes run across a vein of anti-constitutionalism, and some have questioned why the SDL chose a basic platform based on the US Constitution. The quote below is often referenced, or made into memes. In an effort to save time by answering each instance, I decided to explain why the Constitution is so important and why Spooner is wrong, and why every conservative, libertarian, and even anarchist should rally around this founding document.
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”
The answer sir, is very simple.
The constitution does not authorize such a government.
It gives us all the tools to prevent such a government.
It is WE as a people who are the problem. We did not participate. We allowed our republic to become a democracy. We did not hold our status, as an educated and participatory electorate, near and dear.
We did not use the check and balance of the second amendment to water the tree of Liberty, with the blood of patriots and tyrants, in a number of cases where we should have, since the last time ending in 1865.
The Constitution is the greatest existing national charter mankind ever achieved. It isn’t perfect, but it is in opposition to nearly every complaint we have.
A piece of paper wont ever prevent anything. People do that. The piece of paper is the authorization. We are nationally the freedom police…… with a search and arrest warrant on tyrants, that we essentially refuse to exercise, for reasons that can only be cowardice or laziness. No nation finds virtue in either.
Furthermore, it is the law of the land that most people understand, and you can build large coalitions around its restoration, in a way you will never get broad understanding of, say,…anarcho-capitalism.
Last week I addressed the Florida House Judiciary Committee on a bill to allow open carry for Florida CCW permit holders. In my testimony, I appealed to their basic American identity, to support the rights of those we may disagree with, or not understand. I was questioned on this very principle by a female Democrat lawmaker afterwards. Below is a link to the hearing, my testimony regarding the constitution and the questioning can be heard at 1 hour, 33 min, 10 seconds- 1:38:20.
Further comments at 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 37 seconds-2:09:40.
I can assume open carry is not very popular among female Democrats. I do not know if she was already inclined to do so, or if my arguments appealed to her and changed her mind, but I do know she gave me a nice compliment in the hallway afterwards, and regardless, she spoke the language, Even if we had a different take on interpretation, the Constitution is the field we all play on. It is that common ground. It is the point on which I argued with Rep. Kerner. We may disagree on whether the US or Florida Constitutions allow regulation of firearms carry, but I know I can win on the truth among the body politic, and he will have to eventually accept that.
So from a tactical standpoint it is the rallying point. The drug war and prison industrial complex, interventionist foreign policy, gun control, excessive taxation and the welfare state, the surveillance state, the biggest issues of the day all fall under a perversion or violation of the Constitution. Therefore, it is the best justification to use when tackling these issues.
Spooner should have spent more time on legislation and litigation and he would have seen that HE is the problem. Just like all the modern internet blowhards on politics who have never even been to a city council meeting or county commission meeting. Let alone the state capitol.
Another common argument is that the Articles of Confederation or even the Constitution of Liberland, a European micronation, are superior. Perhaps so. The Constitution is what we have. There is room for discussion about the future but in the meantime we must stop the advance of tyranny. We have enormous room within its confines to effect massive change that could renew America.
The Constitution is not the problem. The people who condemn paper for not protecting their rights, when they have done nothing, are the ones to blame.
We were given a nice healthy tree of Liberty. We sit underneath it and watch the leaves fall off one by one, as the sun begins to burn. The ignorant and weak among us start to complain about the tree.
The patriot realizes it’s a great tree, but you have to water and fertilize it regularly, or it will not be healthy. He recognizes his obligation to care for this tree, if he wants to enjoy its shade.
The Sons and Daughters of Liberty have plenty of opportunities to help take back our rights, and restore the Constitution. Quit talking, start acting, Contact us, start a chapter. Implement the Free County Initiative in your local community. Water the tree.
National Councilman, The Sons and Daughters of Liberty
About the author:
A lifelong political activist, he sits on the National Council of the SDL. He is also the Director of the Florida Liberty Project, founder of Jacksonville Open Carry, and Bradford County, Florida, Chairman for the Libertarian Party of Florida.