Democrats, Republicans, and the Bill of Rights
By Laurence M. Vance
Conservatives are once again having a field day over a video produced by conservative media analyst Mark Dice.
Back in 2013, Dice released a video of him asking Obama supporters to sign a petition to repeal the Bill of Rights. Almost everyone he asked signed the petition.
Now Dice has released a new video of him asking supporters of Hillary Clinton if they agree with her plan to repeal the Bill of Rights. There is no such plan, of course, but the video shows person after person agreeing that it would be a good idea to repeal the Bill of Rights.
The videos demonstrate the blind support that many Democrats have for Obama and Clinton and the ignorance that the typical American has regarding his own government and its Constitution. Reminds me of the blind support that many Republicans had for Bush and his wars.
Republicans have also claimed that Democrats wanted to repeal the First Amendment because of their attempt to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision regarding campaign financing.
The Bill of Rights, as every American is supposed to learn in school, contains the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The final version of these amendments, originally twelve, was approved by Congress on September 25, 1789, and sent to the states for ratification three days later. The first amendment was rejected, the second was not ratified until May 7, 1992, but amendments three through twelve became the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights when they were ratified on December 15, 1791.
But what if the Bill of Rights was repealed? Would Americans lose all of their rights? Not necessarily. Would Americans lose their rights to free speech, to freely exercise their religion, and to own a gun? Not at all. To think so is to completely misconstrue the nature of the Bill of Rights.
Take the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Without the First Amendment, Congress could still make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Why? Because the Constitution doesn’t authorize Congress to legislate concerning an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right of assembly, and the right to petition.
Take the Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
If gun control advocates had their way, and this amendment was limited to state militias or repealed in its entirety, Americans would still have the right to keep and bear arms. Why? Because the Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to make laws that restrict or regulate the type of guns or ammunition that Americans are allowed to buy, sell, use, or possess.
Similar things could be said about the content of some of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights.
The eighteen paragraphs in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution enumerate the limited powers the Constitution grants to Congress. One concerns commerce. One concerns naturalization and bankruptcies. One concerns post offices and post roads. One concerns copyrights and patents. One concerns federal courts. One concerns maritime crimes. One concerns the governance of the District of Columbia. Four of them concern money or taxes. Six concern the military and the militia. And the last one gives Congress the power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.”
And as the Ninth and Tenth Amendments make clear:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Now, I’m certainly not in favor of repealing the Bill of Rights. But I want to point out that it is not just Democrats who don’t understand the nature of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Republicans say they believe in the Constitution, federalism, states’ rights, and limited government, but their actions say otherwise.
Here are three examples.
Republicans say they believe in the Constitution and the Second Amendment, yet they support the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the existence of the ATF, and most federal gun laws.
Republicans say they believe in the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment, yet they support the NSA, TSA, and the Patriot Act that eviscerate the Fourth Amendment.
Republicans say they believe in the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment, yet they support federal aid to education, federal farm subsidies, federal welfare programs, a federal war on drugs, federal refundable tax credits, federal student loans, federal Pell grants, federal foreign aid payments, federal unemployment benefits, federal health care, federal health insurance, federal gambling laws, federal discrimination laws, federal funding of school lunches, and a federal food stamp program. If any of these things are to exist—and I don’t believe any of them should—they should exist only on the state level. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that authorizes their existence on the federal level.
This means that Republicans are more evil, more crooked, and more dangerous than Democrats because, although they are not stupid enough to agree with an interviewer that the Bill of Rights should be repealed—even though they are members of what the late Sam Francis called the stupid party—they don’t follow the very Constitution they profess to believe.