Aside from the Civil War, there has never been a time that the United States has been more divided. We have alienated one another through coarse language and dichotomous choices that place each other on one side or another or a particular issue. It is why, during the elections, I found myself supporting Donald Trump because I was given the choice, primarily by the left, of either supporting Joe Biden or that alleged treacherous fiend, Donald Trump. (sarcasm people… relax)
Even in the days since the events at the Capitol last Wednesday, I have been presented with the choice to either support Trump’s impeachment/removal from office or support alleged crimes in insurrection, (which it blatantly wasn’t). As we speed toward the cliff that inevitably leads to our division and potentially a schism of the American Experiment, it is time for a thought experiment of sorts.
Each side in our current divide claims to be in the fight for our Country. Each claims the love of America and that it is only in the purge of “the other side” that we can get back to being a great nation. The problem is, both cannot be true. Though the Constitution has many ways of being interpreted, a singular act cannot be simultaneously Constitutional and Unconstitutional. Certainly, how the Constitution is interpreted can change how the Constitutionality of an act is determined, however, certain things about the application of Constitutional principles should be universally accepted.
First, is the unfettered freedom of speech. That means that anyone, anywhere, anytime (in public), can say literally anything they want, unless that speech includes a specific threat that would cause imminent harm to others, or as is always referred to as the “crowded movie theater test.” If I want to go out into the middle of a crowded public square and read the Communist Manifesto at the top of my lungs, I should be allowed to do so. If you disagree, you do not believe in the right to free speech, Full Stop. The mark of the true belief of the freedom of speech is hearing something to which you are completely opposed, even violently, and deciding that that person still has the right to say it.
Second is the originalist’s view of the Second Amendment. Anyone who, for any reason, believes that you, or anyone else, should be denied of your right to defend your God-given rights to life and liberty, they too do not believe in the US Constitution. So often the left argues about nuclear weapons and tanks. Lighting off a nuclear weapon would do a bit more than protect my life and liberty and likely cause issues for others for years to come. To that, I do not have a right. However, talk of banning assault rifles and other firearms to which they are opposed is inherently un-American. Absent that right, we cease to be America, full stop.
We are granted a right to a fair trial, which has been questioned by the left for years. Too often, the left demands that Trump is jailed or executed for thought crimes and not very often for anything that amounts to much more than “things with which they disagree.” When it came time to investigate Trump for potential collision with the Russians, the left demanded he be stripped of his Constitutionally-appointed power absent any evidence or conviction. Mike Flynn was convicted on the false pretenses created through the fabrication and forging of documents by the FBI and DOJ leaders. This, too, is un-American.
We could continue through each amendment of the Constitution and find examples of times in which both sides violate the pretenses contained in the Constitution. Do we really believe that Obama wouldn’t have run for the third term had he been legally entitled to do so? Similarly, there are those on the right who wish to pick and chose their Constitutional protections.
Should the US end in some schism, with whom would the Constitution survive? When the Confederacy seceded from the US in the 19th Century, among their first actions was to alter the Constitution to develop their own. Most of what was changed, was changed to beef up State’s rights to protect the practice of slavery. Their treasonous actions changed representation in the House, the ability to remove elected officials, and other alterations to the original US Constitution. If the right and the left were to suddenly go separate ways, who would be the first to alter the Constitution and its principles?
Do we really believe that the Bill of Rights would survive the unfettered control of the Progressive left? Let’s at least be honest about it. They of course would change the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth amendments within months. Their behavior over the last few years confirms this. Meanwhile, on the right, the Bill of Rights would likely survive unchanged. How often are though exercises on the left conducted about whether or not “it is time” to change a portion of the Constitution? Do we believe for a second they wouldn’t gut and amend the vast majority of that sacred document to fit their new, Progressive Socialist agenda?
I believe this should be the ground floor of any discussion about the future of our country. If change is what they want, then advocate for it. Don’t claim to be in the “fight for our country,” while secretly (or not-so-secretly in many cases) advocating for fundamentally changing how our country operates. They are literally incongruent statements. Meanwhile, on the right, we should believe that the rights in the Constitution apply to commies and hippies too. Tyranny, whether of a single ruler, minority, or majority is still tyranny. Demanding another comply with your way of life is antithetical to the themes contained in the US Constitution.
That isn’t to say that the right wouldn’t want changes, but I believe that those changes would be to strengthen and clarify the language to solidify the understanding of the protections contained in the US Constitution. More than likely, expansion of the freedom of speech in a digital age, would be on the table. You could also expect clarification of the Second Amendment, likely with the expansion of rights to carry. On the left, you could see an expansion of limitations on those amendments. On the right, liberty would be the answer. On the left, government and control.
The fight for our nation doesn’t fall on the left regardless of how many times they want to claim that it is. Their fight is for change or as they would like to claim, “progress.” Ours is a fight to maintain our liberties and our rights, absent and outside of any government’s ability to attempt to frustrate those rights. With the fight for our country on the left, they know their ideology doesn’t survive the bounds of the Constitution as presently written. In a liberal future, the Constitution does not survive.