Lawrence Vance is, in my opinion, one of the better scholars and writers on civics, government, and political matters today. His understanding of the accurate history of these States and the sleight of hand fobbed off on the States and the people over the last 2+ centuries is excellent in many ways. As Tom Knapp reminded me very recently, what was promised and what was delivered were two very different things. Boston T. Party has also pointed out that Americans were sold a bill of goods.
Even so, modern politicians are not satisfied with the carte blanche given the Federal government by the 1787 document – even with the addition of the Bill of Rights. They continue to violate even the lax provisions of the US Constitution, in order to further their power, prestige, and ill-gotten gains as parasites on our society.
They have indeed made it a dead letter. But does it have to be?
Mr. Vance’s recent article, “Democrats, Republicans, and the Constitution,” published in May in Future of Freedom magazine and online in June, is and will be a classic. It summarizes the claims made during the late, unlamented impeachment process against Trump. And then points out the incredible hypocrisy demonstrated by BOTH old parties – by Congress itself – regarding the Constitution. He presents a list of actions whereby the Congress (aided and abetted by the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch) violates the Constitution. It is well worth reading, studying, and sharing with others. Especially with children who are learning the things they need to live in today’s world.
It is a damning indictment. Indeed, it could be the basis for criminal prosecution of EVERY current and recent past members of Congress. AND a very strong argument for at least reforming the Constitution (by adding, for instance, L. Neil Smith’s “Bill of Rights Enforcement” and other very pointed prohibitions on government).
And since many (if not most) of these unconstitutional actions are enforced by the threat or actual use of force, that prosecution could (in the hands of a gung-ho prosecutor or demagogue) support charges of treason as part of that indictment.
What Lawrence demonstrates is the truth that the United States Constitution is, in 2020, a dead letter. And has been for many years. It is “enforced” when it is convenient to the politicians and their backers, sycophants, and all too often puppet-masters. Its ritual is (usually) followed slavishly. Its actual principles and prohibitions are ignored and constantly violated. Its stated (claimed) intent is ignored. As Tom Knapp pointed out, it was a scam originally, and even more so today.
And so, what could be done? When the inevitable collapse of this ill-begotten and ever-more abused system happens, what could be done to aid the rebuilding of society?
Many readers may be familiar with L. Neil’s Covenant of Unanimous Consent. While that might be as good a model as any, the question is, how do we get enough people to buy in? (I know, all it takes is two or more, but bear with me.) The Free State Projects, 20+ years ago, were an attempt to do that on a State and local basis. There is little evidence of any great success in that to date. (Please, someone tell me if I am wrong.) Of course, it was not intended to be an overnight success. But still…
Since then, from Gold Dollar City to seasteads to subdivisions in Belize or Idaho, many attempts have been made. All, it seems, have to be described, at best, as herding cats. So what is the answer?
I don’t have one, but surely among us all – all who love liberty and want a good future for their children, grandchildren, and beyond – there are a few people that can come up with some good ideas. Workable ideas that can be tested and put into practice in various places. The American West – the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains – offer some possibilities for that, as even Ayn Rand suggested a half-century and more ago.
But we need to act sooner than later – for that dead letter is not just truly dead, but starting very much to smell dead, very dead, as well.
Please, share your ideas, your suggestions, and your goodwill.