Monday, January 21, 2002

The Holy Constitution
Steven den Beste has had the courage to suggest that, just maybe, it was through our own actions (and those who came before us, who built the nation whose blessings we enjoy) that America has come to be the only superpower left standing as the 21st century begins.

Predictably, overseas observers don't like to hear that. They think that we should adopt such policies as they ask of us, without regard to the proven failure of those policies elsewhere. They are not too proud to accept our money, but they would rather we recanted the activities that result in our having the money to spare. (They don't seem to have thought much about where they would be if we had the same "success" with their policies that they have had -- but there is in the world a class of people who think that money Just Happens, that our national wealth is due to luck, no more. Get a clue: It isn't luck.)

And in particular, they don't understand our insistence on national sovereignty, our failure to yield to the United Nations on key issues, in service to our own Constitution.

When den Beste explained to a correspondent that our elected officials swear to uphold the Constitution, he responded:
Then it's time to change. The Constitution can't be holy, can it?
To which den Beste asked:
Do Europeans really understand America so little?
They don't understand us at all. It's easy to forget that, since so much of America spreads throughout so much of the world, courtesy of our mass media. However, that doesn't reflect who we really are. We're aware of this unreality at home, as we watch "Friends" and "Survivor", but we forget that this is what the world sees of us.

America is so diverse that there are plenty of observers here to tell us that we don't understand the rest of the world. I'm not here to dispute them. But who's going to tell the rest of the world who we really are?

We've entered into a contract with ourselves: We call it the Constitution. It defines what we need a central government for; it defines the powers we've granted it, and the conditions under which it can exercise those powers. Other than that, we're on our own. We are 300 million sovereign entities, who choose to hang together for each other's common good. (Well, that's the theory. By and large, it works.)

We are a nation that has reasoned itself into existence. (I wish I could remember who said that first.)

Of course we look chaotic. We are chaotic. We have taken that freedom into our own hands. We choose to be, what was that word, "undisciplined", because it allows each of us to live our lives in our own way.

They think that's a weakness. It is, in fact, our greatest strength. And when the contract is threatened, that strength shows. We come together in our own common defense with a speed incomprehensible to foreign observers, because that contract -- the Constitution, and its various ancillary documents -- defines what happens, who does it, and who's in charge of what part of it.

The contract hasn't been threatened this badly since the American Civil War. And much as I wish that 9/11 hadn't happened, it's been a joy to see just how well that contract is defended.
We will fight World War III before we will let foreigners rewrite the Constitution or take away our rights.
Damn straight, Steven.

No comments: