I’m very grateful to RepublicMagazine.com for giving me this opportunity to share what I’ve learned about the Constitution over the last twenty-five years. I hope this column will help restore the principles that led to the Constitution, a document which has been ignored, abandoned, and violated for too long.
You may be shocked to discover that I absolutely hate the phrase “Constitutional rights”. That’s because neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights has anything at all to do with your rights. If they burn the First Amendment, are you going to give up your freedom of religion? I don’t think so. If they shred the Second Amendment, are you going to voluntarily turn in your guns, and risk being slaughtered en masse like the victims of the Holocaust? I certainly hope not. Please disabuse yourself of the habit of using that nasty, misleading phrase.
While I’m at it, I want you to stop pretending that the Constitution even protects your rights. It does no such thing! Imagine standing on a railroad track in the path of an oncoming locomotive, holding up a copy of the Constitution for “protection”. That’s how much protection the Constitution gives you. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
You think I’m kidding?! I am not using hyperbole to emphasize a point. How much protection did the Constitution give us against FDR’s socialist New Deal? None. How much protection has it given you against the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, or the Real ID Act? Zero. What will the Second Amendment do to prevent ATF agents from kicking down your door to confiscate your firearms? Zip. Nada. Nothing at all.
Do I have your attention, yet?
The reason we are standing chest deep in the septic tank of today’s political process is because we’ve lost sight of the fact that “We the People” are supposed to be protecting the Constitution, not the other way around. We complain about the problems in Washington D.C. without facing up to the fact that Congress is only the symptom. We the People are the source of the problem. That is going to change. Right here. Right now.
All of our political problems can be traced back to a single, simple, misunderstanding. Americans have forgotten (or never knew) the difference between RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES. (See www.ConstitutionPreservation.org/assets/chapter2.pdf)
A right is something that you can do without asking for permission, such as walking back and forth on your property. A privilege is something you require permission to do, such as walking back and forth across my property. I may grant you the privilege of walking across my property – BUT – I can revoke that privilege any time I wish. Rights and privileges are opposites! Either you need permission – or you don’t. You can’t lose “some” of your virginity, or be “a little bit” pregnant. You either are or you’re not. There’s no middle ground.