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The World Prefers a Constitution that Promises Utopia

edbell | 07 February, 2012 16:20

A recent study published in the NYT's claims that new countries around the world no longer look primarily to the U.S. Constitution as a model to emulate in creating their own founding documents.  This reverses a trend that gained steam after WW II.  and began to diminish in the 1980's and 1990's.  It's possible that people around the world are seeking guarantees of more than simply the pursuit of happiness and an opportunity to excel and prosper – they want a government that guarantees life's basic needs.  Our Constitution never incorporated the right to food, clothing, and shelter, yet our freedom to pursue these essentials provided the most powerful incentive to work, save and invest.  More importantly, our founding documents protected the fruits of our labor from onerous tribute to government and redistribution to covetous neighbors.  In the new century, countries incorporate very few aspects of our Constitution in their charter.  Academics find little to recommend in a document that only restricts the actions of government against the individual while providing no guarantees of life's essentials.   Activist government is a religion to the mainstream media and most of academia.  Our U.S. Constitution fails to fulfill their two main tenets of "providing" for the general welfare (we "promote", a critical distinction).  And government cannot coerce action nor commerce by the people, pending that fateful decision on Obamacare.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, finds it necessary to send fledgling countries elsewhere for a viable charter, suggesting the Egyptians consider South Africa's Constitution as a guide.  Justice Ginsburg would do well to note that people no longer look favorably to decisions issued by our highest court for interpretation of (primarily) human rights issues.  Sadly, the preference has shifted to European Human Rights Courts.

Why has our Constitution, the courts and country lost their international appeal?  Our President, media, and decades of academics have found only fault with our country and it's leaders, teaching our youth that the United States is no more exceptional than any other nation.  The NYT's predictably claims that "experts" cite the unpopularity of George Bush and American foreign policy as a primary reason the world no longer cares for our system of government.  The truth is actually the steady erosion of freedoms the world once admired and envied.  The Federal Courts, tasked with interpreting the laws and determining Constitutionality have allowed ever greater intrusion on rights and commerce, weakening the foundation.  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once remarked that the theory of an evolving, "living" Constitution effectively "rendered the Constitution useless."

Each generation believes their ideas are superior and that their wisdom exceeds all who came previous.  The current bureaucratic elite are obsessed with creating utopia on earth, forging an enlightened activist government and let the Constitution be damned.    Radio host and author Mark Levin, in a recent interview with National Review summarized our current, to use his terminology, "Post-Constitutional America",  "There is so much that the federal government does today, and is poised to do tomorrow, that America can no longer be accurately described as a constitutional republic, or a federal republic, or a representative republic — although we still vote for our representatives.  The government retains certain characteristics of all three, but the fact is that the federal government is so large, intrusive, ambitious — ubiquitous, in fact — that it is devouring more and more of our civil society and threatening our individual sovereignty."

Our Constitution remains the best blueprint for governing a nation of responsible sovereign individuals.  Are Americans up to the challenge of defending this document and by extension protecting the last best hope for liberty, or will this turning point become a point of no return?

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