The III Percent Mission Statement: Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will
within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ~ Thomas Jefferson
In the absence of orders, go find something Evil and kill it!
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The Constitution Failed!
In a discussion with Jim in a below thread the dialogue inevitably returned to a commonly heard complaint issued by many people to the political Right of the real Tea Party: The Constitution failed. Why would we repeat that mistake?
Now, to be fair, not everyone who dislikes the Constitution takes this position, that it failed.
This brief post is for all of you who do claim the Constitution failed.
This is the last time I can bother to deal with the topic, or the people who spew such silliness.
By your logic:
The handgun in the bedside table failed the man who is forced to listen to his wife in another room being raped by Bad People. The gun failed. Forget the fact that the man never put the handgun in his hand and used it. The pistol failed.
For you religious folks who bash the Constitution as a failure: By your logic the Bible is a failure because the man cheats on his wife or endorses abortion. That awful book! And look, that same man gambles and pokes barnyard animals, too! That horrid, silly compilation of pages that is displayed in our family room is an abject FAILURE!
By your logic, you stand with the Atheists and the Brady folks. Let's throw away all bibles and handguns! They failed us! They are useless constructs that FAILED US!!
If you do not understand how silly, foolish, and outside common sense reality your argument is, I simply can't be bothered to engage with you further.
I do not care if you don't like the Constitution. This site is not merely for Constitutionalists. But it is a place reserved for a minimum level of competency.
If you take the position that a piece of paper has failed, if you are one of those people in the I don't like the Constitution crowd, keep walking by this blog. I can't be bothered.
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I disagree with you Sam. But I'm not going to say you're foolish, silly or infer in any other way that your character or cognitive powers are less than mine. I've had guns fail me before. When that happened I fixed them, or replaced them. This constitution has failed. That doesn't mean another constitution would be doomed to failure. But this one has failed. I know damn well I could write a better more comprehensive 2A than the one that's bedeviled friend and foe alike for the last 200 years!ReplyDelete
Oh and in keeping with your post's closing sentiment, I'll be deleting the links I have to your blog and as you say "keep walking"ReplyDelete
The constitution did not fail, complete agreement. The framers, although very aware of the fallen nature of man, did not effectively capture their animating spirit in words within this document sufficient to protect it from future usurpers.ReplyDelete
GunRights, if every patriot, holding an interpersonal grievance, had walked from the constitutional convention we would have had gov't health care a long time ago - the NHS of England. III needs patriots. Keep the eye on the real enemy and know that this country was formed by strong willed individuals who had the wisdom to put aside petty grievances for the greater good of all.
SOrry GunRights4US, it is the PEOPLE who have failed. Tell me what part of the Constitution is still upheld by the PEOPLE and those idiot elected elitist we keep getting? And you, it would seem, are right there amongst the ones who failed the Constitution. We can all find a time when we allowed ourselfs to fail the Constitution, but that piece of paper has, and never can do, anything without the consent or apathy of the people.ReplyDelete
AGREED! We Failed! Looks like another sastified customer.
Of course it's people who have failed. After all, there's nothing else there. That's why I find it remarkable that you think a paper might fix it.ReplyDelete
Just so you know, one of the things I had to delete due to length was, "Who said I don't like the Constitution?" I lived most of my life believing I lived in a society governed by it, and that was alright by me. IOW there WAS "consent by the governed" in my case.
My mistake. Our society ISN'T governed by it, and my consent is withdrawn in any event. So now what--do you claim some "right" or something to force me to go along with your vision? I'm sure you don't, so where does that leave us? I'm not in your way and you're not in mine, so what exactly is the problem?
Jim, are you an asshat? Kerodin has repeatedly said his focus is the PRINCIPLES that are outlined in the Constitution, the BoR, the DoI, etc...... NOT the paper it's written on-although that is also important.ReplyDelete
What are you going to expound on next? that Americans have a better standard of living on public assistance than being independent adults?
If you don't understand that the PRNCIPLES being discussed here are based on thousands of years of society, of respect for others as intelligent people no matter their skin color, of discretion and self reliance, then you will probably never understand this.
"It's just a GD piece of paper!"ReplyDelete
The likely-apocryphal rumor is that W screamed these words in the Oval Office. If he actually did say it, he was right.
The Constitution is the physical manifestation of a set of ideals: that government exists at the sufferance of the people, not the other way around. That there are laws that govern a civilized society and NO ONE is above those laws. That men are granted the gift of Liberty by Almighty God, not thrown crumbs of it by their "betters."
But without a populace educated in the full realization of these ideals and willing to defend them unto death...
...then, yes, the Constitution is, indeed, "just a GD piece of paper." And an inanimate object won't do anything on its own to save us, just like a gun doesn't shoot people by itself.
God be with us..please.
Hey Grog, would it be too much to ask that you address what I actually write rather than what you fantasize that I might write? I notice nobody, including Sam, addressed this...ReplyDelete
Here's what you really mean IMO and you tell me if I'm wrong---"I suggest that those who don't believe I should live my life (and form my community) in the fashion I (and all those who wish to join me) choose, get the hell out of my way."
Well, I mean the same thing, and so does every true American. Sure, that's what was intended to be codified in the Constitution, which is why it's the best document for liberty yet created.
But as you noted, we're talking about the PRINCIPLES here. So talk about the principles and more importantly, ACT them. The ACTION isn't about the piece of paper; the piece of paper is about the action.
All I'm saying is don't invert the hierarchy nor lose sight of what it's all about. You believe a Constitution is the best way to instantiate those principles? That's cool...go for it yet again. All I'm requesting is that you not switch the map for the territory. Not only is that irrational, I think you'll discover that the principle above is the REAL "common ground" that Americans share, AND that's it's more likely that individuals will choose to live that principle, than that a piece of paper--already proven to have failed--will somehow cause it to come to be.
Ugh, that wasn't very well written. All I'm saying is that the Constitution as you imagine it to be, was written to codify the protection of YOUR life, and the lives of all your countrymen. We both agree that it didn't, but you believe that it could. Alright, that's a speculation and neither of us know the future. But irrespective of whether it would work or not, it's still the case that it's OUR LIVES that it's intended to protect, not itself nor even "a country governed by the Constitution."
That's what made it such a great document in principle. It explicitly stated that it was individual lives that it was designed to protect. This was unique in history. So how about we not lose sight of that point?
You got any comment on that? Do you need any help understanding it? Just ask. If I'm right, then the focus should be on "our lives" and not the Constitution itself. There's some "common ground" for you.
If I'm wrong, then tell me why. But save the bullshit, okay? Trust me---if rationality is determined by who can do the best ad hominem, I'll win that one too.
I never thought about it this way, but I know you are right. When Franklin said, "If you can keep it," he was giving notice where the likelihood of failure existed - not with the document, but with those who gave strength to the document.
We, as a people, failed ourselves, by not stringing up the first people who exceeded the limitations placed upon them by the document. Maybe it should have started with Washington, who fielded troops against the citizens of the Whiskey Rebellion who fought government taxation of their product.
The individuals who blame this generation or that are clueless - we have been bending over and letting them put it to us since shortly after the document was signed, at the very least since Madison vs Marbury. Every generation has been complicit, because those who saw the dangers - like Garet Garrett - weren't paid any heed. Those who tried to awaken the citizenry to what was going on were overruled or ignored by those who simply couldn't see what they were letting slip away in terms of freedom, liberty.
We, the people failed. It doesn't matter if the document wasn't perfect. Even if it had been, scum like FDR and Obama would "interpret" it or ignore it as it suited their desires. And when they did, we let them get away with it.
In answer to Jim Klein, since _people_ (generations of us) fucked it up, I'm curious as to why _he_ believes people alone can fix it. Without some guiding principles that everyone can refer to and understand, the generations who have been misled by socialist schooling and propaganda will never have a chance to regain what has been lost. Hell, far too many of them don't even realize _what_ has been lost.
Simple logic Sam. It amazes me that people have to complicate it... well, maybe not so much. It gives them an excuse to op-out with much babel.ReplyDelete
"Maybe it should have started with Washington, who fielded troops against the citizens of the Whiskey Rebellion who fought government taxation of their product."ReplyDelete
...and there it is. I remember when I first read about the Whiskey Rebellion and how upset and indignant I was, can you imagine what the people, who had just fought a war against tyranny felt?
"In answer to Jim Klein, since _people_ (generations of us) fucked it up, I'm curious as to why _he_ believes people alone can fix it."ReplyDelete
Too easy, Reg. There's nothing else there.
Now it's your turn. What /else/ do you believe can fix it?
You got it, traditionandskills (and Reg). It's ALWAYS about the money. Those men were squished like ants, and we're being squished like ants now. This ain't rocket science; only the "experts" want you to think it is.ReplyDelete
Curtis had a nice try. Apparently he's banned me from his blog. It's flattering that he thinks my writing is so powerful, but it reminds me of the politicians who think their constituents are too stupid to figure out things for themselves. Anyway, here's what I wrote in its entirety; maybe someone here can answer it...ReplyDelete
No, it wouldn't be the instruction manual's fault. So if it's not the manual's fault, why do you believe the manual will fix it?
Please read a little more closely. The claim is not that the manual caused this. Some people do indeed make that claim, but I've never offered it. Now please avoid the ad hominem and just answer the question---why do you believe the manual will fix it?
I guess you could ban me too, Sam, but I think you'll serve yourself better by trying to answer the question. Unlike most in the "Patriot" movement, you're a do-er. I'm working on the assumption that you want to do the right things.
I banned you for circle jerking Jim. Your circular logic. Your propensity for taking things out of context, remolding them in your own words, attributing it to the author, just to fit your argument and then actually DEMANDING that you be agreed with. Besides, your first amendment "right" to circle jerk does not extend to my property.ReplyDelete
Anyhow, the manual can not fix it. But, if the people demanded that the government actually use the manual, we'd be a lot better off liberty wise than we are now.
But then again, I NEVER once mentioned your name in my manual analogy at my blog. In fact, I wasn't even talking to you. See? There you go again.
Please read a little more closely. The claim is not that the manual caused this. Some people do indeed make that claim, but I've never offered it. Now please avoid the ad hominem and just answer the question---why do you believe the manual will fix it? - Kleinstein
You are a fucking idiot.
People have to fix it, but people alone cannot. If there is no guiding principle, no idea or concept to base your actions upon, you might as well run in a circle squawking.
I can behave properly without a Bible, but not without the principles _in_ the Bible. If I hadn't been taught the Judeo-Christian values that originated in the Torah/Bible/religion of our forefathers, _maybe_ I would have behaved properly - but based on how people behave today who do _not_ share those Judeo-Christian values, I truly doubt it.
People alone cannot return us to a moral society with liberty for all. There has to be principles we can agree on and teach our children. The Constitution was the best document, the best statement of principles that humans have yet come up with to achieve that goal.
"People alone cannot return us to a moral society with liberty for all. There has to be principles we can agree on and teach our children."ReplyDelete
I'm pretty big on principles myself, Reg, so we have no disagreement about that. I'll even grant that the Constitution--or maybe the DofI--is the best codification of solid political principles in history. Or at least I'll grant that for this discussion.
What you're missing IMO is exactly what principles are, and where they occur. They happen ONLY in individual minds, so that's where the focus must be. There's nothing wrong with pointing out how great the DofI or Bill of Rights are, but there is something wrong with believing that THEY themselves can accomplish something.
Philosophically, this is known as "Intrinsicism," the belief that the words, or the paper, are doing the work...that they intrinsically are some principle. That's wrong; the principles are to be found ONLY in individual minds, which is why those individual minds MUST be free to arrive at the principles themselves.
The papers and the words are the DENOTATIONS of the principles, and you can't switch one for the other. The map is not the territory. The territory consists of individual minds and they either DECIDE on decent principles to guide themselves, else you force them to do the actions you believe are correct.
Marxism and socialism believe the latter is the proper course, and I think it's a huge mistake for "Patriots" or "freedom fighters" to think they can follow the same course. Curtis is yapping about "demand the government" do something. Sure that sounds pretty, but "the government" is just a bunch of people and "demand" translates to "force them to..."
Of course the Constitution was intended to do just that, but it didn't. It didn't BECAUSE IT CAN'T. Words don't stop bullets and all the wishing in the world will never control a bunch of yahoos with overwhelming force from using it against everyone else.
The answer IMO is to try to get people to stop being yahoos and understand what's going on. So that's what I do, and I've been doing it for an awfully long time. There'll always be guys like Curtis out there, basically reasonable but so tied up in groupthink that they just can't escape it. That's no big deal and I'll never understand why people who don't agree with each other can't just go their own way and live their own lives.
See, that's the problem with "The Constitution is everything" approach. Forget about me; too many others don't agree. Either you believe they have the right to live their lives as they choose, else you believe they ought to be slaves to your conclusions.
Spit it out...which is it?
Jim, I'll suggest that here's where you're getting off course.ReplyDelete
"What you're missing IMO is exactly what principles are, and where they occur. They happen ONLY in individual minds, so that's where the focus must be."
Principles are not ambiguous thoughts generated from some synapse activity in the brain. Principles are guidelines or standards based on respect for others, respect for self, discretion, treat others as you would prefer to be treated, and many additional qualities.
You're trying to get us to agree that there are a lot of grey areas in the foundation of society, and it's not going to work. Yes, there are grey areas in society, but there a lot more black and white areas, for lack of a better description, and all you're really doing is showing us that you're willing to vacillate, when what you should be doing is standing firm on the bedrock of thousands of years of practical living in society.
No, Grog...you're misunderstanding or I'm not being clear. I'm neither moral relativist nor subjectivist.ReplyDelete
I'm not trying to prove the ambiguity of principles. For that matter, I'm not even trying to prove the failure of any principles that are brought forth here. [Though as an aside, I probably could! But that's not the point.]
For this, you may assume that I agree 100% with all of these principles, even if I don't. The point is, IT DOESN'T MATTER. Even if I agree, so what? Zillions don't agree, and want to live their lives the way THEY wish. In 1780, there may have been nobody who didn't want a ruling document or group of people. In 2012, there are lots who don't. Big difference.
In 2012, nearly everyone recognizes that individuals are driven by volition and that governments are driven by forceful abridgement of that volition. Even if the principles are holy and righteous, the only way to get others to go along is to force them. Period. There is no other way to get someone to do something that he doesn't want to do. You do agree with that, don't you?
Hence the so-called Constitutionalists are faced with a choice. Do they want the righteousness of their principles to be a justification for forcing others to go along, or not? THAT is the relevant question and THAT is the question nobody will directly answer.
The only rational answer is, "No, I don't want to force others to go along," but there's no point in pursuing that until someone has the nerve to actually stand up and answer the question directly. Sam comes the closest with, "Get out of my way," but even that's quite different from forcing others to go along.
And BTW, that to which you answered "Wrong" is right. It's a plain outright fact and I'll be happy to go over it with you if you wish. None of this happens anywhere BUT in individual minds, period.
Lastly, it should be obvious that I don't vacillate on principles.