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    The danger of a government with unlimited power

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    Jess McVay

    Posts : 35
    Join date : 2010-05-20
    Age : 64
    Location : Dover,DE

    The danger of a government with unlimited power

    Post by Jess McVay on Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:56 am

    This is from a 3 June 2010 article by George Will in the Washington Post. The link at the bottom is to the Durant Daily Democrat which offers the article without a subscription.

    Today, as it has been for a century, American politics is an argument between two Princetonians — James Madison, Class of 1771, and Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879. Madison was the most profound thinker among the Founders. Wilson, avatar of “progressivism,” was the first president critical of the nation’s founding. Barack Obama’s Wilsonian agenda reflects its namesake’s rejection of limited government.

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    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    Re: The danger of a government with unlimited power

    Post by Will McVay on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:26 pm

    The Constitution is a "living document" in that it has an amendment process. The premise that the founders began with when drafting the Constitution is clearly enunciated in the 10th amendment, that:
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
    prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to
    the people.

    This means that the people are each, themselves, fully sovereign. They have merely delegated a limited set of their sovereign rights to the state governments, and the federal government through the state and federal constitutions. Should they wish to delegate more of their sovereignty, or reclaim it, they are fully entitled to do so by amending the Constitution to reflect their new desires. In this way, government is no different from a corporation or association with a set of bylaws, delegating to the corporate officers the authority to act on behalf of those who have joined into a free and voluntary association with the corporation, or, in the case of the Constitution, the state or federal governments.

    The idea that the Constitution is a "living document" which is subject to the interpretations and whims of whoever chooses to read it is preposterous at its face and renders the entire document meaningless. If the Constitution can be interpreted in any manner the reader chooses, then it does not reflect the sovereign rights of the people delegated to a government created by that Constitution. The Constitution does not enumerate certain rights which are granted by the beneficence of government to the people, but instead enumerates the highly constrained set of duties and rights the people themselves have delegated to the government they've created.

    The meaning of the 9th and 10th amendments could not be clearer and cannot be misinterpreted by anyone but a politician. The people are fully sovereign and are each free to do as they will without infringing upon the sovereignty of others, and the Constitution enumerates the rights which they have delegated to their governments to assist in protecting those rights which they have not.

    Incidentally, this is exactly what Jonah Goldberg meant when he equated modern "liberalism" with fascism. Neither form of government recognizes any constraints on the state and has no respect whatsoever for the sovereignty of the people they each claim to serve. The only liberalism which is consistent with its Latin roots and conducive to freedom is the "classical liberalism" which recognizes the sovereignty of the individual and only allows government to assume the authority expressly provided to it by the voluntary association and delegated rights the sovereign individuals creating it have enumerated. The people create the government, not the other way around.

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