Many are wringing their hands over the fact that President Barack Obama will destroy the Constitution with his anticipated amnesty of illegal aliens. I think in fact his actions may strengthen the Constitution. Don’t get me wrong. Obama’s consistent actions defying the limits of the Constitution and exercising tyrannical executive authority are despicable. Many of his actions are impeachable offenses. And if we had a legislative branch in our federal government that was committed to principle rather than their own self-interest, impeachment might happen. Still and all, will the actions of one president break the Constitution? I think not.
We conservatives often fool ourselves that we are a nation of law and not of men. However, when you get right down to it, that claim is an illusion. Our laws are just words on paper. In the real world, the laws on paper must be enforced by men. If our courts do not follow the rule of law and our executive does not follow the rule of law, we have become a nation of men.
So what is the Constitution other than a written law? It is certainly the highest written law we have after the Bible. Remember that in the English common law system, no human law can contradict the Bible. The Constitution is an organic law of this nation, one of its highest laws. It was intended to work with the Bible to bring us liberty. But now it is being ignored.
The problem we have is that the rule of law is not held in high regard. The rule of law is taken for granted. Our nation has become fat and sassy. We have become complacent in our principles because of our success. We readily bend our principles because we think we can get more stuff by bending our principles. People are willing to ignore what the Constitution says for the sake of expediency and their own self-interest.
Our government has become old. It doesn’t work very well because we are constantly modifying it and because we are modifying it in ways it was never intended to be. Government exists to execute justice. Today it does everything but execute justice. Its primary purpose is to facilitate injustice. Our government takes from some and plunders others in order to give to some favored group of people. All of our social programs are built on this legal plunder. Our system is severely damaged, but we are willing to ignore it because we cannot see the truly devastating state we are in, a state in which law and justice are ignored for the sake of self-interest.
Yes, Obama’s actions are despicable. But they are the logical conclusion of a culture more enamored with self-interest and politics than with principle and law. I am afraid that people will only discover the Constitution anew and elevate it to its honored position when they see the complete and ultimate failure of a society built on self-interest and not on law. Then we will have a society that will once again embrace the Constitution and return it to its place of authority.
Our common law tradition has taught us to live consistent with legal precedent. Perhaps those who fear a future in which Obama takes a step beyond the Constitution fear him establishing a precedent for a monarchy rather than a chief executive. But even here, Blackstone provides an answer. The common law is built on precedent, but that precedent is built on underlying truth. For Blackstone, that truth was the Bible and the English constitution. Precedent serves the Bible and the Constitution not the other way around. An esteemed Constitution can be recovered and false precedent can be overturned to conform law to the first, true original intent of the Constitution.
Obviously, this may take several years. We still have elected officials that demean and ignore our constitution. However, as the people see the devastation that posture brings to our country, those leaders will be replaced or converted. And it certainly can’t be done without a change in our culture. And our culture will only change with prayer and principled education. This may require the people to assess even deeper principles than what it is to live under law.
So Mr. President, you want to ignore our Constitution? Bring it on. Your ignorance instructs us what it is like to not have higher principles. It may be painful for a time, but we can learn. We are not stupid.