If you’re anything like me, you are extremely troubled by the fact that the federal government almost completely disregards our Constitution. But when you talk with your friends and family about it, a lot of them aren’t terribly concerned. They just can’t see why the government violating our Constitution matters to them personally.
Most of the people I talk to have never lived outside the United States, so living in a relatively safe and peaceful country is all they’ve ever known. It’s hard for them to imagine anything else. Because of that, when I try to explain to them the dangers that an out of control government poses to regular people their immediate reaction is to shug their shoulders and say, “Yeah… but that could never happen here.”
But as I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, we have to change that mindset:
There are governments all over the world that do horrific things to the people in their countries. And remember, all men are created equal. So if the people in those other countries are fundamentally the same as you and me, why can’t it happen here?
Whenever we are trying to interpret the Constitution – or even trying to create new policies – we have to keep in mind the basic nature of government. When we do that, it is very easy to see why a law like Obamacare is doomed to failure. This weekend on The Chris Salcedo Show, I explained exactly how that works.
I’m happy to see that you’ve finally come to the decision that we need to actively confront the evil of Islamic terrorism. However, the approach you have decided to take is very dangerous. You see, it’s about that Commander in Chief thing. For the second time during your presidency, you’ve chosen to use the American military without getting Congressional approval. That’s a big problem.
I know that you’ve read our Constitution before because you taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. So you should already know that the Constitution doesn’t say that you are the Commander in Chief of our military. In Article 2, Section 2 it clearly states that:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual Service of the United States… (emphasis added)
The last part of that sentence is extremely important. It means that you don’t get to decide when to use our military. Only Congress gets to make that decision. Your role is simply to direct our armed forces after they have been called into service. Until then, you do not have the legitimate authority to order our military to confront an enemy that Congress hasn’t authorized.
Our Constitution creates a federal government that can be very effective for governing this country if we want it to be.
Before it can work properly though, we need to understand what it does well and what it doesn’t do well. After all, a fork is a great eating utensil but you need to understand what it was designed to do. If you keep trying to use your fork to eat soup you’re never going to get much out of it.
Our federal government is no different. We need to understand what it was designed to do or we’re never going to get much out of it.
As I explained last weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, there is a good reason why the federal government and the state governments were intended to play very different roles in this country:
A lot of understanding how the Constitution works and how to protect our liberty from the government comes down to common sense and a basic knowledge of human nature. In most situations in life, we naturally apply what we know about human nature to protect ourselves from someone taking advantage of us or harming us in some way.
Think about it. When you walk into a car dealership, do you take everything the salesman says at face value and blindly accept that he only wants to do what’s best for you? Of course not. You are skeptical of everything he says because you know that he is primarily working for his own best interests, not yours. That’s just human nature. Regardless of how nice the salesman might be, the ultimate goal is to sell you a car for the highest price possible.
But for some reason, a lot of us completely abandon this basic knowledge of human nature when it comes to government and our politicians. Whenever there is a politician or a party that we like, we desperately cling to this “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”-style belief that our representatives sincerely want to do what’s best for us.
For example, last week the Senate narrowly defeated a proposal to change the First Amendment in a way that would give Congress the power to regulate political speech. As I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, this move has absolutely nothing to do with what’s best for the American people:
The amount of power that Congress has been able to exercise through it’s ability to tax is stunning.
Think about it. It has used the power to tax to force you to contribute to your own retirement through Social Security and it uses federal tax dollars to dictate what our schools will teach. Now, the taxing power is even being used to force you to buy health insurance.
All of this is possible because the conventional wisdom in this country is that Congress has a very broad taxing power.
But as I explained this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, Congress’s power to tax is actually very limited:
A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with Chris Salcedo (host of The Chris Salcedo Show on TheBlaze radio) and he reminded me of this comment that President Barack Obama made back in 2001:
Obviously that clip isn’t new and you’ve probably heard it several times before. But when Obama was running for president back in 2007, I don’t think most Americans knew quite what to make of these comments.
Now that we can compare them to what Obama has done during his time in office, we can see that he was giving us a very clear indication of his approach to government. It’s an approach that should be terrifying to everyone who values their freedom.
As I explained during a very spirited segment on The Chris Salcedo Show, Obama’s perspective on government is the complete opposite of our Founders:
By now I’m sure you are well aware of what has happened in Ferguson, Missouri over the last week.
Countless articles have been written examining the situation from just about every angle you could imagine. But we shouldn’t forget that there’s a Constitutional lesson to be learned here as well.
Here is the Constitution Revolution segment that I did for The Chris Salcedo Show last weekend:
For even more information about what Ferguson can teach us about the Second Amendment, check out the article that I wrote about this topic for TheBlaze.com.