As you read the U.S. Constitution, one thing becomes quite obvious. It is concise, all-encompassing, and there is ambiguity throughout. This is often surprising when you consider it was written by government. Unlike The Affordable Care Act which spans thousands of pages, the Constitution, which was intended to serve as the entire framework of the role of the federal government, comes in at a svelte six.
Looking at the First Amendment above, it simply says the right to free speech shall not be infringed. What it doesn’t say, is that the right to complain about government shall not be infringed or something of that nature. They could have tried to list all of the speech they wanted to protect, but they understood the beauty of ambiguity.
If they had specified anti-government speech as a protected right, then the right to call your boss names could have been in question. One could argue, “the Constitution specifically mentions ‘anti-government’ speech, but it doesn’t mention ‘one person insulting another’ speech, therefore we must conclude that they didn’t want to unilaterally protect that speech.” They would have a legal leg to stand on by doing so.
But by simply saying “the right to free speech shall not be infringed,” they make it clear that no matter what type of speech you think of bestowing on the ears of another; it’s protected. The content is infinitely irrelevant.
Herman Cain has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a masters in computer science, and a trail of business success a mile long. He was almost certainly in possession of a greater intellect than Jon Stewart, or any of the other disrespectful people who tried to make an ignorant joke against his proposal. These jokes were insulting with no basis in reality, but Stewart’s leftist base ate it up.
Herman understood that laws do not have to be thousands of pages long. The smartest man in any room, Albert Einstein, is quoted as saying, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
So why does it happen? Complex legislation is the result of two things.
Many in Washington who have a background in law and are used to writing contracts where every imaginable scenario is envisioned and accounted for to protect their clients. As such, they write laws the same way.
But also, with legislation a mile long, it allows pork barrel spending, to be stealthily added so as to hopefully go unnoticed by the masses.
While Herman was certainly intelligent enough to understand complex legislation, he knew that if the power resides with the people as our Constitution explicitly states, that the people should be able to read, understand, and then advise their elected leaders on how they desire them to proceed. Yet, I’d wager that 99.99% of our populous didn’t read a single page of The Affordable Care Act for instance.
Such simple legislation makes it nearly impossible to corrupt good legislation with the myriad of special legislative favors that are commonplace in Washington now.
Imagine you picked any random person off of the street, let them read the Constitution, and then ask them to explain it. I would bet that most would be able to easily do so. Ask them to do the same with the Affordable Care Act however, and aside from the fact that you’d have to come back a month later in order to give them time to read it, I’m comfortable most would not retain or grasp half of what’s in it.
It is highly possible on any given day, YOU have committed a federal crime and you wouldn’t have a clue.
YOU have to pay law enforcement to investigate and enforce every law enacted.
If you own a business, YOU have to pay a lawyer to research every law for compliance.
YOU have to pay for judges and prosecutors to carry out enforcement of these laws.
With nearly 79,000 pages of legislation, can you fairly argue America is still a free country? Our federal government seems to have hoarders’ disease, amassing an amazing collection of legislation, 90% of which likely violate the Tenth Amendment alone, which clearly states that if a subject is not specifically outlined in the Constitution, that subject should be pushed to the states or the people. Where is healthcare mentioned in the Constitution, for instance?
So how do we fix this?
There’s an old adage that says, “Vote the bums out!” It really is that simple. There are libertarian politicians in the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party just itching to take over government, then do their damnedest to reduce it down to its Constitutional core and give you your rights back. They’re the polar opposite of tyrants.
It is important we elect a more concise government that doesn’t spend us into oblivion or do special favors for their districts and friends.
We must demand they appoint Supreme Court with justices that respect the Constitution (including the Tenth Amendment) regardless of their own political beliefs.
And we must require they pass laws that are simple and ambiguous, thus allowing judges and juries to be more able to make decisions on the spirit of the law instead of the verbiage of it as a result.
As long as there is government, we are never ultimately free. But much like science pursues all knowledge with the knowledge it can never truly know everything, what’s wrong with wanting government who will strive to work themselves out of a job, knowing they will always exist in some form?
As a bill trundles its way through Congress, it often becomes an over-bloated piece of…er…legislation that bears little resemblance of the original intent with add-ons that are the result of politicians aiming to improve their chances of winning re-election by telling their constituents, “see what I did for you?”
A most fitting example of pork barrel spending; a $1.8 million rider to the 2009 omnibus spending bill to study pig manure odors in Democrat Senator Tom Harkin’s home district. While this amount is a drop in the bucket to our total federal spending, it makes up one of thousands, and those drops add up.
This bill was certainly not of national interest, and as with most federal law, is a clear violation of the 10th amendment, although the Supreme Court seems to have all but forgotten about that one. However, it flooded $1.8 million into Senator Harkin’s district, no doubt garnering him favor. But, Senator Harkin, or even the DNC as a whole, are not alone in this practice—it is common among both parties.
Many people think Congress fight too much among themselves instead of compromising, and therefore nothing gets done, and consider this a bad thing.
While I used to share that sentiment as a child when I was young and ignorant, it wasn’t until I started becoming interested in politics that I realized this was a good thing and exactly what our forefathers intended.
So why would they do this? Because any law is essentially an erosion of one person’s liberty, they wanted to be sure that any bill that made it into law was ultimately something that would transcend a political agenda or partisan politics.
We start from a point of ultimate freedom or anarchy, then add laws as we deem necessary in order to protect people’s rights. If they don’t pass a majority in the House or Senate—gone. If the President vetoes it—gone. If the Supreme Court, strikes it down—gone. The default position should be no law unless a proper case that almost all of us can agree on as to why it should be allowed.
On opposite sides of the spectrum, there are politicians like Senator Rand Paul (Doctor) or Senator Ted Cruz (Attorney) who left private practice in the pursuit of a civic duty to restore our country’s liberty. But then there’s our president or the disgraced Anthony Weiner who never spent time in the private sector and who simply always aspired to be part of the ruling class; achieving said goal.
While these two competing ideologies are generally at odds with each other, they certainly agree that murder should be illegal for instance, so passing such a law should be easy, and obviously, such laws exist.
However, when it comes to taxes for instance, they’re generally not going to see eye-to-eye, and a fight will ensue. If the system works as designed, no law is passed through both houses of Congress and/or is vetoed by the President. Or on occasion, overturned by the SCOTUS.
He indicated that he didn’t feel like the court should try to violate the will of the people who elected the politicians to enact such a law. But, this decision is infuriating and violates the spirit of the Supreme Court who are there to protect the minority from the majority using the Constitution as their basis—not public pressure.
If the Supreme Court ultimately feels they shouldn’t undermine the will of the majority, then there is no reason for them to even consider the Constitution, they would ultimately just become a third house of Congress or a higher court of appeals.
John Roberts ignored his duty to not consider the will of the majority when our rights as enumerated in the Constitution are violated. Since he’s not susceptible to elections, I will never understand his logic here, but it was clearly disappointing to those of us on the side of liberty.
Yet, this is exactly what the people asked for—a compromise. People claim that the left and the right should work together and compromise in order to get more done, but I couldn’t disagree more.
If I want to go to a football game, and my girlfriend wants to go to the ballet, so we compromise and go to a comic convention neither of us wanted to attend because it’s nothing like football or the ballet, is that a good result for both of us?
Instead, Congress and the president should learn to pass laws in smaller chunks, picking only the things that they agree on, and scrapping anything else. Not compromise; common ground.
If a law makes it to the president, that means essentially everything in it is OKed by Congress, so if the president strikes down certain parts, what’s left should still be OK by Congress. All the president is doing is advancing liberty in some small way by keeping additional legislation off the books.
If Congress doesn’t like this, they pass laws without all this extra nonsense, and if pork barrel spending is worthwhile, it should pass as its own bill on its merits.
So the next time you see Congress fighting and they cannot seem to find common ground, don’t lament that they can’t seem to compromise, cheer that the system is working as intended.
log·i·cal: capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion lib·er·tar·i·an: an advocate of the doctrine of free will; a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action