How/Why Do Conservatives Defend the Constitution?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Drei, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Drei
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    Drei Registered Anarchist

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    In theory, the Constitution was written and ratified in order to establish a limited government that respected the rights of individuals. It proposed the construction of a complex, republican government that could accommodate the random passions and momentary irrationality of the masses, and severely limit their ability arrogate to themselves, through redistributionary taxation, the wealth of the rich. The constitution was expressly designed in such a way that it would not only create a small government, but keep it small, through all the ages. As James Madison wrote, "The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages." If you don't believe any of this, you're wrong. Sorry. Read the Federalist Papers.

    Anyway, my point is this: I really do not understand how conservatives reconcile their love of the Constitution with the fact that its ratification has led to the creation of the largest government in the history of human civilization. By every measurable standard, it has been a complete failure in its original goal of keeping the government small. If you don't believe any of this, then I advise you to do two things:

    1) Stop complaining about the national debt. Either it is a problem or it isn't. If it is, the Constitution has a failed. If it isn't, then don't complain about it.

    2) Got to www.usdebtclock.org.

    Any serious examination of our national debt should lead you to conclude that the government has grown to an unsustainable level. Most conservatives acknowledge this fact. But their answer to the problem is as curious as it is constant: We need to return to government that is "limited by the Constitution."

    Why would we want to do that? It seems to me that the Constitution could not prevent us from getting to this point. What makes you think that it will be successful a second time around?

    Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing what you all think (especially conservatives).
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  2. Midnight Marauder
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    Midnight Marauder BANNED

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    I imagine most conservatives might argue the constitution was violated by FDR in the 30s with the creation of the entitlement state. Some might even argue Lincoln violated it.

    It's not perfect - far from it, and it is violated every day IMO. That alone doesn't invalidate it.
     
  3. Drei
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    Drei Registered Anarchist

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    Right, of course the constitution has been violated and twisted beyond recognition by men and women with political agendas of all kinds. I don't think you can find anyone who would deny that.

    But the fact that the founders put checks and balances in the constitution shows that they were anticipating that people would try to get around its limitations. The framers knew that people would try to violate and twist the Constitution, and they designed it in such a way that it was supposed to be very difficult, if not impossible, to do. That people do it all the time, every day, is just further evidence that the Constitution has failed.

    SO, knowing that people have figured out ways to get around the limitations of the Constitution, why would we want to "return to Constitutionally limited government"?
     
  4. Midnight Marauder
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    I think you're arguing semantics. Ones who preach that mean it in the literal sense, returning to the limited government we had before FDR and keeping it that way.

    Another school of thought holds that the constitution isn't a limiting document to start with, obviously.
     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The principles of the Constitution haven't failed. They've been found difficult and left untried.

    That is precisely why we need to restore our nation to the Constitution that founded it. We need to start living the principles of limited government, individual responsibility, and self government.

    We do that by eliminating the corruption in our own lives and then helping others do the same. As our society becomes a more honest, honorable, and righteous society, the standard of the Constitution will provide justice for the poor and the weak among us. And we will see things we never imagined.
     
  6. Drei
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    Drei Registered Anarchist

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    I mean, you can say that the principles of the Constitution were never tried, but that seems like a difficult argument to make, considering that the Constitution was unanimously ratified by all 13 states.

    Once again, the Constitution was ratified by all 13 states, and it has been the law of the land ever since. But it has not been successful in preventing the unsustainable growth of state power. Why would it be successful the second time around?

    If the success of a given society is dependent on everyone agreeing with each other about what kind of government we need to have, and living accordingly, you are a Utopian, because that will never, ever happen.
     

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