In an essay called ‘We the people’ loses appeal with people around the world, nytimes.com reporter Adam Liptak said that the US Constitution is falling out of favor around the globe.
‘Sure, it is (our) nation’s founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning. In 1987, on the Constitution’s bicentennial, Time magazine calculated that “of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version.” A quarter-century later, the picture looks very different. “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to a new study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.’
This all comes on the heels of far-left US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg telling an Egyptian audience that:
“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution (for Egypt) in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution.”
What this really represents is an attack on freedom around the world. It is the global shift away from clearly defined liberties with an accompanying government structure to insure them, to vague prescriptions of “rights” based on temporary and volatile whims.
Look at Egypt. It was a relatively peaceful, open and somewhat prosperous nation under American ally Hosni Mubarak but with authoritarian legal measures designed to restrain radical elements.
But now that Mubarak is gone and Islamists – many of them very radical – have won large majorities of seats in recent elections, you can rest assured that Egypt is going to move toward a totalitarian religious regime like Iran is today. And that will close Egypt off, as it has Iran.
Yet what if the First Amendment to the US Constitution were to apply to Egypt today, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’
This would immediately derail extremist Islam in its planned takeover of Egypt with its outline for strict Muslim-based sharia laws instead of universal laws. That alone is why Ginsburg told them to avoid the US Constitution. Because Ginsburg sides with radical Islam as do leftists worldwide.
Look at what nytimes.com reports:
‘Other nations routinely trade in their constitutions wholesale, replacing them on average every 19 years. By odd coincidence, Thomas Jefferson, in a 1789 letter to James Madison, once said that every constitution “naturally expires at the end of 19 years” because “the earth belongs always to the living generation.”’
Look at that sentence if you want to know why the American Constitution indeed is the best one: ‘Other nations routinely trade in their constitutions wholesale, replacing them on average every 19 years.’
This means that these ‘other’ nations are not establishing historic foundations for freedom but rather are shooting at a moving target of vaguely-defined “rights” that shift with the winds.
Then Liptak writes:
‘These days, the overlap between the rights guaranteed by the (US) Constitution and those most popular around the world is spotty.’
So who says that the ‘rights’ that are ‘popular’ around the world are valid? This is terrifying. If we Americans did what was ‘popular’ we would establish a new right to do whatever is in vogue at any given time. The Constitution then would be more like a newspaper with something new every day.
Nytimes.com also reported:
‘But the (US) Constitution is out of step with the rest of the world in failing to protect, at least in so many words, a right to travel, the presumption of innocence and entitlement to food, education and health care. ‘
This is utter rubbish. Liptak is saying what all leftists say… that you should in your national constitution enumerate word-by-word every ‘right’ that could ever possibly arise.
But this is not what a real constitution is supposed to do. It is supposed to enshrine basic and essential rights so that the people can freely define their society through its laws. Because if a constitution locks in every conceivable ‘right’, then the society becomes inflexible and dictatorial. That is why the brevity of the US Constitution is such genius; it gives us a durable framework to build on, not a finished structure to live inside of that will imprison us.
What is a ‘right to travel’? This is simply another concocted freedom, one of the infinite “rights” that the left-wing intellectual classes conceive so that they can author long, drawn-out constitutions that cover everything that they find convenient, that can be used to control the society according to their own plans.
In fact America’s Founders warned about making too many laws in the first place, never mind enumerating endless constitutional ‘rights’.
James Madison, ‘father’ of the US Constitution and 4th US president said:
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known and less fixed?”
Said Founder John Adams, the second US president:
“Society can be governed only by general rules. Government cannot accommodate itself to every particular case, as it happens, nor to the circumstances of particular persons. It must establish general, comprehensive regulations for cases and persons. The only question is, which general rule, will accommodate most cases and most persons.”
Liptak also says that the presumption of innocence is not protected? This is utterly false. Here are three of the first ten Amendments in the US Bill of Rights, all addressing criminal justice:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
These are the rights that entitle you to the most possible fairness in criminal proceedings. These are all keys to presuming innocence without specifically saying it.
‘Entitlement to food, education and health care’?
The American Founding Fathers were explicit in NOT granting ‘rights’ to anything like food or health care which are not “rights” anyway but are “needs”. Because the Founders knew that the power to grant “needs” ultimately gives to the government dictatorial control.
Look at this provision of the South Africa constitution:
27. Health care, food, water and social security
- Everyone has the right to have access to
- health care services, including reproductive health care;
- sufficient food and water; and
- social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.
- The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.
- No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.
This provision alone is an unobstructed route to tyranny because it gives the government the power to grant ‘needs’ like medical care and food. Nothing else need be discussed. Period. End of story. The South African constitution is a dictatorial document. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a fraud for recommending it.
But then again South Africa is controlled by the communist African National Congress and so you can expect this type of dictatorial constitution where the government is free to arbitrarily distribute wealth as it sees fit, i.e., communism.
‘The new study also suggests that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adopted in 1982, may now be more influential than its American counterpart. The Canadian Charter is both more expansive and less absolute. It guarantees equal rights for women and disabled people, allows affirmative action and requires that those arrested be informed of their rights.’
Equal rights for women and disabled people? This selects out certain groups for special mention. Does it specifically guarantee “equal rights for men” or “equal rights for Christians” or “equal right for teenagers” or “equal rights for healthy people”? Because if it does not mention every group, then it is a tyrannical document.
Allows affirmative action? First, affirmative action in itself is legal discrimination. Second this provision allows the Canadian government to decide through its basic ruling document who gets what jobs, hiring preferences, colleges scholarships etc., rather than allowing the people, in a framework of liberty, to decide on their own how such needs will be distributed. This makes this Canadian charter another document of tyranny. Which is why we must defend our Constitution. Because it does not change every 19 years.
Here is another part of the South Africa Constitution:
Everyone has the right
- to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and
- to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that
- prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
- promote conservation; and
- secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
And on and on.
These ‘rights’ should really be passed as ‘laws’. Yet these are prescriptions written into the South Africa constitution and are the types of ‘rights’ that a dictatorship can use to control the people and the economy. What does ‘prevent pollution and ecological degradation’ mean? What is ‘sustainable development’?
Who knows… But there they are, written in stone.
Look at what else nytimes.com reports about the US Constitution:
‘It has its idiosyncrasies. Only 2 percent of the world’s constitutions protect, as the Second Amendment does, a right to bear arms. (Its brothers in arms are Guatemala and Mexico.)’
Yet the absolute first step of any dictatorship is to disarm the people. Thus under our US Constitution, we have a bulwark against a tyranny built in.
So yes, I absolutely prefer our US Constitution to any other without question. All freedom-loving people would.
Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.