by William Spencer-Hale
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
The Constitution of the United States is a peculiar document in the annals of history. Although not without precedent – it is, after all, rooted firmly in such concepts as the Magna Carta and peppered liberally with Aristotelian ethics – it is the first document to define such philosophy as law, instead of mere tradition. It is a document which contains the radical idea that men and women are free to make their own decisions, to live their own lives, to choose their own destiny and to live, die, prosper and fail on their own terms, without coercion, threats or edicts from an all-powerful governing body.
The Constitution defines the citizen as sovereign; above the government but, in league with neighbors, comprising the government. It is the first document in history to not only define, with a limited and enumerated list of powers, what the government is allowed to do, but goes one step further and lists a number of things that the government has no authority to do, such as violate the free speech of the citizens, or impede our right to worship, assemble, read, write and publish, arm ourselves, defend ourselves and be safe in our property and possessions. It defines these rights as given to all men and women by God, and are merely acknowledged in the Constitution as inviolable. What God has given, government cannot take away. It was written and ratified to keep the populace free and untethered; as a barrier to tyrants and despots.
And, because of this, the Constitution is not for everyone. Those who cannot or will not take care of their own affairs and are eager to subsist on what is given them, instead of by the sweat of their brow find the Constitution to be a liability. They are forced to provide for themselves, or take limited handouts from a government that is not powerful enough, by design, to provide for all of their needs. The Constitution was never intended for a lazy, unmotivated, uneducated or immoral populace. It defines government as more of an endeavor than an institution. It requires the active participation of the citizens and a level of intellect to understand the problems facing the nation. It also requires a morality strong enough to allow your neighbors to live in peace and freedom, just as you would wish to live in peace and freedom. In many ways, it is the Golden Rule, codified into law.
This is half of the problem we have in this country today. An uncomfortably large percentage of the nation believes themselves to be entitled to one thing or another, based on a sense of victimization, an historical slight or simply because they prefer leisure to work. As such, they continually vote for their own benefit — for handouts, subsidies and welfare — as they believe it is the responsibility of government to care for them. They don’t understand that these benefits are not created out of whole cloth, but must be taken from someone else first. Those who do realize that nothing is for free believe they are owed a living wage or a house, car or job, as they are being oppressed by the rich, powerful or more fortunate. They have been deceived to no longer understand that their fortune is in their own hands; the very hands they hold out for their next government payment.
The other liability to modern America is the small but vocal minority of would-be tyrants who see the Constitution for what it truly is — a weapon wielded by free people to prevent the socialist enslavement of the masses. And that is where we find ourselves today. We find ourselves being led by a group of preter-Constitutional rogues who believe the founding document of our nation contains only negative rights. The fact that it specifically disallows government from doing all the things they believe will usher in Utopia has had this type of progressive mind-set in a rage for several generations — almost a century. But now, they are making their end run, their final play.
The next two years will be critical to the future of America. The current occupant of the Oval Office believes himself to be above the House of Representatives, above the Senate, above the Supreme Court and above the law. He truly thinks he has the power, not the authority, but the power, to act alone without congressional or judicial interference. The next two years will be the most dangerous time in our nation’s history since the Civil War.
So now, we must ask ourselves, are we the type to embrace the freedoms secured to us by the Constitution? Do we face failure without fear, knowing we have the right to fail, get back up and try again, on our own terms? Are we comfortable with our sovereignty or do we need the guiding hand of a nanny-state? Are we rough and rugged or soft and dependent?
Is the Constitution still for us, or was our brief light of freedom merely an historical anomaly?
William Hale is a polymath, a conundrum amongst his friends and coworkers, a man whose interests run contrary to modern stereotypes. William is equally adept at both trapshooting and pastels portraiture, armed defense instruction and Christian philosophy. A veteran of the Cold War who served as a Pershing crew member during very worrisome times, his faith runs deep and his knowledge of history is formidable. This combination gives him an understanding and insight into the intertwined physical and spiritual aspects of life that few understand. His gift is that he has no fear of the evils he perceives and is able to explain the world around him to those who listen.