Are Liberals Using the Supreme Court to Destroy the Constitution?
Beginning with the Johnson landslide of 1964 and the repudiation of conservatism, as preached by Barry Goldwater, there has been a concerted effort to muddy the political waters. Gone is any rationale discussion of issues, only to be replaced by the politics of personal destruction and the politics of fear. Driving this modern day conservative moment is the absolute belief in an enemy behind every tree.
Conservatives rightly understood that the force of their ideas alone would not lead them to power. They must first demonize and destroy the opposition. The lifeblood of modern conservatism is hate.
It began with the term liberal. Forget history, they cried. The United States was not founded on liberal democratic ideals. Our founding fathers were actually fire breathing Christian conservatives.
Let us review the true history of our founding, free of the right wing propaganda so often spewed in columns, talk radio and newspapers of today. To begin, let us dispel this ridiculous notion that our founding fathers were Christan and that they established the United States as a Christan nation. The facts are entirely contrary to their claim. The facts are that virtually none of the founders were Christians. They were, almost exclusively, deist. Meaning they believed in a creator but not the Christan god. In addition, almost to a man, they were highly suspicious and fearful of Christianity.
How do we know this? Fortunately we have their own words to guide us. Let us just call these – some little inconvenient truths.
Thomas Jefferson, the man the right loves to hate, was highly critical of the church and is largely responsible for the quote, “separation of church and state.” In 18oo he wrote to long time friend Benjamine Rush and made the following observations:
“The clergy believe that any portion of power confided to me, (as President) will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, external hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me and enough too…in their opinion.”
President Madison was equally harsh. in his “Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785, Madison wrote:
“What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments have on society? In some instances, they have seen to erect spiritual tyranny on the ruins of civil society; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instances have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.”
George Washington, war hero, father of the country and first President also had an uneasy relationship with the Christan church. As President he regularly attended church in Washington D.C. Curiously, however, he never stayed for communion. When confronted one day about the practice of leaving church early and told that it was sending a bad message, Washington agreed and henceforth never stepped foot in a church again.
These are hardly the writings and actions of men hell bent upon creating a Christan nation.
Of course these men were kind and gentle about Christianity when compared to Revolutionary firebrand Thomas Paine. The author of Common Sense and the conscience of the revolution adopted a much darker view. Not only was Paine the first to openly question the truth of the Bible, he wrote the following about Christianity:
“It is a doctrine not only dangerous to morals in this world, but to our happiness in the next world. It holds out such a cheap, easy and lazy way at getting to heaven, and has a tendency to induce men to hug the delusion of it to their own injury.” (Of the Religion of Deism Compared with the Christan Religion)
So, let me repeat, the United States was not created as a Christan nation. Quite the contrary, the founding fathers went to great lenghts to curtail the influence of the church in state matters.
Now let us turn our attention to the next fall guy adopted by the conservatives in their march towards tearing down everything as their only way to raise themselves up. I am referring, of course, to the dreaded media and their vaunted left wing bias. This is a lie told so often that it has almost become part of the American lexicon.
A recent poll suggested that approximately 70 percent of journalists polled were self described democrats and contributed to the democratic party. Aha, proclaimed the right. See, they screamed from roof tops. We were right (excuse the pun) all along!
It seemed that conservatives may have an argument. Unfortunately for them their major nemesis (the facts) arrived to spoil the party. It seems that the pollsters contacted a couple of thousand of the approximately 100,000 journalists in the country and found 107 that described them selves by party label and contributed to a political party. Of those, 77 were democrats. So let me see if I have this straight, their great evidence was that less then one-tenth of one percent of journalists are democrats. I don’t want to accuse the right of exaggeration, but I don’t think I would be exaggerating myself if I did just that.
Another little inconvenient truth they face with this argument is the fact that virtually all of American media is in the hands of a very few wealthy, largely conservative businessmen. So the guys actually signing the paychecks, the editors actually directing the reporters and making their assignments are, by and large, wealthy and conservative. I don’t think I’m out of line to wonder who’s bias, if any, would be at work.
Which leads us to the latest victims of the conservative disinformation campaign: the courts. You would be hard pressed to find a more asinine accusation then the one most often leveled against the court: “liberal activist judges.” I sometimes wonder if conservatives are even aware of how stupid they sound. Particularly when they offer their own counter balance to activist judges – the strict constructivist judge.
In a nut shell, they argue that the constitution is to be interpreted literally. (incidentally, isn’t this the same questionable notion that most of them have with respect to the Bible?) They further argue that any right that does not explicitly appear in the Constitution is not a right granted. (This is the bases of their anti abortion stance. Briefly, since the Constitution doesn’t explicitly grant privacy rights – in those exact words- the right does not exist).
Of course this begs the question, why would men of such great vision, able to create a new democracy, counter balance it with three branches, enshrine a Constitution, create a Bill of Rights, and change world history, believe that, through their efforts alone, had solved all of the problems men would face for all time? The simple answer is they didn’t. Unlike modern conservatives, the founders realized they were creating a new, revolutionary form of government that needed a new, dynamic Constitution as a foundation upon which to build. To them the Constitution is a living breathing document meant to guide us as we prefect and expand this experiment they called the Republic.
Judges were meant to be activists. They were and are meant to be a counter balance and protection for the people against the excesses of the executive and legislative branches. Without these so called activist judges America would still be a land where women couldn’t vote, you couldn’t marry anyone not of your race, certain members of our society would still be riding in the back of buses and slavery and Jim Crow laws, not to mention poll taxes would prevail. Raise your hand if that’s the type of America you would like.
So let us sum up. Are liberal judges destroying the Constitution? Of course not. In fact, in this day and age when we have a President who believes he’s above the law, we need more Judges with the courage to defend the Constitution with all the vigor the founders intended. These activists are not destroying the Constitution. They are our only hope of defending it.
Who do we need defending from? I respectfully suggest it is the conservatives themselves. After all, if they didn’t hate Judges, reporters, gays, immigrants, trial lawyers, unions, the non born agains, Mormons, and liberals they might begin to hate you.
So, the next time one of your conservative friends begins his or her latest diatribe gently remind them that while they are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.
In conclusion, the next time one of your conservative friens begins his next diatribe, gently remind him that while he is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts.