I was dating a young woman, and, not for the first time in my life among people, I expressed an opinion she didn’t like. She replied, “You know, until now I thought a lot of you.”
My reply was, quite sincerely, “If your good opinion is that easily lost, I’d rather not be burdened with it.” She changed her tune abruptly, but I was not using this as a debate point. As usual, my best debate point is expressing the exact truth in a way that shows how silly the other person is being.
That is one of the reasons I watch out for Wordism. A person whose morality is in a book may read another book, suddenly decide he has misinterpreted the one he already worships, as Bob Jones IV declared when he abandoned the Confederate flag at just the right time financially.
Remember, this person has no loyalty to you or yours whatsoever. To anything but his words, be they a set of books or Mommy Professor or a single book, he is a psychopath. Like a sociopath, his word means nothing.
The Word is everything, HIS word is nothing.
The Constitution was once a contract. With a contract, you either go by the original intent of the wording or you change the wording. But in our terms we have gone from a constitution to a Constitution, from something which means what it says to something that means what someone is assigned to interpret.
So what is the Constitution? Does it guarantee us anything, the way we use the term? No, it is now Wordist.
Hitler and Stalin both simply interpreted their respective Constitutions. Hitler invoked the Emergency Clause in the Weimar Constitution. He simply said the emergency was permanent. That is what Franklin Roosevelt did when he ran for a third term. Like Hitler, he said that it was up to him to decide when the emergency ends, and it didn’t end until he was buried.
As for Stalin, I keep repeating that the Soviet Constitution of 1936 made that written at Philadelphia look like totalitarianism. Very few people really knew what was in it. Among other things, the Soviet Constitution of 1936 gave every Republic the right to secede peacefully.
If you can imagine Stalin’s reaction if the Ukraine tried to seceded in 1937, you realize that he put a somewhat different INTERPRETATION on that clause.
But when republics began to secede, practically nobody realized that that right was included in the Soviet Constitution that was still in effect. Cartoons made fun of independence movements in the Republics, showing Estonians singing “Dixie” and wearing Confederate uniforms, making fun of the whole thing.
Then they ALL seceded.
This shows the essential difference between a constitution as a contract and Constitution as a matter of “interpretation.” Under Wordism, all that matters is who has power. When Stalin ruled, we all know what his perfect Constitution meant. When the Republics got the upper hand they “interpreted” it for themselves.
That is how Wordism works. That is how good the word of a Wordist is.
A constitution is a contract between honest people. A Constitution is five of nine people in dresses and a president willing to follow orders.
We have a Constitution. The constitution has long since been repealed.
It occurs to me that the Founding Fathers should have required that the Constitution be ratified every generation or so. In fact they may well have understood it that way.
The Articles of Confederation required nine states to agree to any act, but it also clearly required that any change in the Articles themselves be unanimous. The new Constitution was therefore not a continuation of the Articles, since North Carolina and Rhode Island had not ratified it when Washington was sworn in, and Rhode Island refused to join during the entire First Congress, only going in under a threat of Congress putting tariffs on imports from them.
Also, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 were very familiar with the Articles, under which they had lived for a number of years. They were ALL aware that the Preamble to the Articles declared it “a perpetual Union.”
But they left THAT out of the Constitution!
You do not leave out the entire Preamble when you are AMENDING a founding document.
It was made absolutely clear to Rhode Island that they had a choice: if RI insisted on the perpetual union every state had agreed to, it would be treated as a foreign country. It was the Union OR the Constitution.
When someone asked Benjamin Franklin what the Convention had given America, he replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” If he had put that in the Constitution by requiring regular reratification instead of making a cute remark, a few little problems like the Civil War could have been avoided.
In fact the Supreme Court has ruled that the United States is NOT a republic. In the 1960s most states had one house apportioned by population and a Senate apportioned by geography.The Warren Court struck down every state constitution except that of unicameral Nebraska in one fell swoop.
The Warren Court pointed out that it was the job of the Federal Government to ensure that each state had “a republican form of government.” The Supreme Court declared that if one house was apportioned by geographical districts instead of by population, the government was not a republican one.
In other words, to be a republic you had to be a democracy.
This means that the United States Government is NOT a republic, if you believe in the Federal Court’s interpretation as the true Constitution.
Actually, it’s a little worse than that. Under the Constitution, the United States CANNOT be a republic. It turns out that there is only one part of the United States Constitution which cannot be amended. That is the equal representation of states in the United States Senate.
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