As election season rapidly has been approaching (did it every end??) I’ve been contemplating making this post for sometime. My hesitance has been in it being misinterpreted, being screamed at (in all CAPS, of course) as a closet RINO. This is last point, anyone that knows me personally knows this is far far from the case. I consider myself a principled Constitutionalist – call the positions “conservative” or “libertarian” in the current political atmosphere – either way I take pride on my not-so-pragmatic, principled positions based on original intent. Additionally, many of my positions stem from a strong belief in our system of federalism. The federalist system has been covertly and actively attacked for the better part of a century, and many “conservatives” have been complacent if not complicit. You’ll see this manifest itself primarily in points below as opposing the Constitutional Amendment as a way to implement the conservative agenda.
So, with those caveats, I’ve decided to post these “conservative” positions that I believe we should not take (from a Constitutional standpoint . . . I cannot stress that enough). Consider it food for thought:
1. We do not need a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion.
I am strongly, adamantly, vehomently pro-life. I believe abortion, except in the case of saving the life of the mother, or possibly incest/rape, is muder, plain and simple. And it is for this reason I do not believe we need the issue to be federally addressed. The yet-to-be-born have the same rights as we that have been born, and thus are protected under the law as-is. A Constitutional amendment banning abortion would set a highly dangerous precendent for addressing social ills with Constitutional solutions (prohibition, anyone?). The answer to this king-daddy of societal ills is the appoint of good judges at state and federal levels. Simply put, we need judges that understand the meaning “inalienable” in regard to “life.”
2. We do not need a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.
I believe that “marriage” is between one man, and one woman. However, I also believe that marriage is a religious institution and not a function of government. In my reading, the Constitution does not expressly grant the federal government the power to regulate marriage. And, of course, anything not expressly granted to fed is reserved to the states. In this instance, I actually believe that our current system of states defining marriage is probably the correct one. In a perfect world, marriage would be a function of religious affiliation and not any level of government. I would support civil unions as a legal recognition of same-sex couples, or any other type of co-dependent relationship (other than parent/child) for that matter. But as things are now, the answer to this problem is not federal regulation but lies with the voting constituency at state levels. You don’t like your state recognizing same-sex marriage, vote for state-level politicians that will work to overturn it.
3. We do not need a balanced budget amendment.
I know numbers 1 and 2 above will be the most controversial, but in actuality, this position should be. On its merits, this is not a bad idea. President Reagan listed it as a disappoint of his administration that a
balanced budget amendment didn’t get passed. In the early days of the Republic, there was much debate regarding the issue of national debt. The Jeffersonian/ Madisonan position stated that the United States should make all attempts possible to stay out of debt. Alexander Hamilton, ultimately the first and probably best Secretary of the Treasury, believed that some degree of debt for a young nation as a good thing. Manageable levels of debt would give other, at the time much more powerful nations, and interest in the success of the United States. It could serve to open trade relations, new markets, and give us standing in the world. One the most significant accomplishments of the early Republic was the servicing of the Revolutionary War debt.
In my estimation, Hamilton was correct. Two-hundred-plus years later, I can understand the arguement that the U.S. doesn’t have the same needs to take on debt anymore. Our standing in the world has been well established (although our Brave Young President is working hard to take us down a peg or four), and the recent practice of monetizing our debt is leading the road to ruin. However, I come back to my central arguement that we don’t need additional federal laws and regulations to address this issue – we need to hold our elected officials responsible. The Constitutional experessly gives Congress the Power of the Purse. Rather than a big fight over legally requiring Congress to balance the budget, we should elect officials with that agenda.
Additionally, there would likely be times when debt would be necessary. God forbid anything like WWII ever happens again, but it is better to be prepared if that should be the case. If we need to enact deficit spending in the case of national security, it should be within the powers of the Congress to do so unhampered by the law.
I know these positions will be controversial, but I believe my logic based on Constitutional principles is sound. I look forward to a robust RS discussion.