Too Many Laws
“…when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be
drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the
checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and
oppressive as the government from which we separated.”
If you are an American, there is a 72 percent chance that you haven’t read the US
Constitution in its entirety. The Montpelier Center for the Constitution’s latest study
found that most Americans haven’t read every word of the very document that lays
the foundation for their government and their way of life. We can only speculate as to
how many of the 28 percent who did read the Constitution fully understood not only
the language but also the intent of the men who wrote it. It’s a sad state of
affairs, but I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the American government has eliminated the vast majority of the most important part of that document—the Bill of Rights.
Think of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a brick building. The greatest
collection of architects and masons in the nation gathered to build a structure
that would be free from the flaws that plagued past buildings. They meticulously
laid each brick and each wall according to a specific plan. Each wall of the
Constitution—namely, the amendments in the Bill of Rights—has limited
politicians’ control by keeping them out of certain areas of the building, such
as the personal lives of citizens. Those walls have also kept out terrorists and
other enemies, both foreign and domestic.
Just as with any other well-built structure, if one brick is removed, the entire
building does not collapse. If the brick is removed from an obscure part of the
structure, no one will even notice. When five bricks are removed, the building
still stands. People start to notice that bricks are missing, but the managers
of the building—in the case of the Constitution, our politicians—tell them that
it’s not a big deal and won’t really affect them or the building. They say these
things, of course, because they want to keep getting re-elected. The politicians
even tell people that it is safer to have a few bricks removed, as occurred with
the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act.
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