Published On: April 17th, 2024

“Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”  Henry David Thoreau

There is no other life but this; there is no other moment than now.  Although meant as golfing advice to tournament players, “be where your feet are” is the exact right mentality for how Americans might see the state of their nation at this moment in time.  Miss Constitution would like to think citizens are interested in what constitutes our Rule of Law and how long it takes to know and understand all its implications.  We are required to obey this Rule of Law voluntarily, as part of the boundaries of our personal Liberty.

We are required to understand and obey Moral Law, or what is morally right and what is morally wrong, based on the tenets of Judaism and Christianity.  We are required to tolerate religious convictions of persons of other religions (even hateful convictions), but we are not required to replace our nation’s Moral Law with those of another religion or to negate our Moral Law altogether in favor of secular atheism.  The concept of separation of Church and State relates to governance structures not obligations of moral obedience.

We are required to understand and obey Positive Law, including statutes, passed by Congress or state legislatures and common law, or judicial decisions made over the centuries that represent the customs, traditions, and wisdom over time about how human beings behave and the proper incentives and disincentives relevant to that behavior.  Also part of positive law are the Constitutions of fifty states and the United States Constitution.  Public servants and those wishing to become American citizens vow to honor these Constitutions and renounce allegiance to any other forms of government or to any other foreign potentates.  It takes years to learn what constitutes our Rule of Law and is part of the reason it takes so long to legally become an American citizen. This knowledge helps individuals and families assimilate into American culture.

In addition to Moral and Positive Law, Natural Law secures our unalienable (cannot be taken away) rights from God (the unalienable right to life includes both mother and child) and Unwritten Law requires that we conduct our interpersonal relations with courtesy and comity.  Miss Constitution would like to think citizens are interested in these four bundles of our law and would want to know how we came to these and the philosophies behind them.  She realizes, however, that it is too late to learn them now.

Our Rule of Law has been abandoned by some of our highest elected and appointed officials as well as any number of parents, teachers, and members of the cloth.  Supreme Court rulings are being ignored or “worked around” in defiance of the Constitution; people’s homes are being invaded and destroyed without consequence in defiance of ancient common law; children are being sexualized or genitally mutilated in defiance of moral law; and on and on it goes.  The American people are being told by some that global law or United Nations resolutions supersede America’s Rule of Law.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

And so, with the Rule of Law misunderstood or ignored, what good would it do to be “where our feet are?”

Being where our feet are is the only thing we can do.  It means being in the present moment.  We can’t change the past.  We cannot hope things will somehow work out.  All we can do is try and see clearly what is the now and react appropriately.  Seeing clearly means avoiding commentary on what is happening as that may be propaganda.  It means trusting your own eyes, ears, and common sense to give you an accurate picture of reality.  No wonder golf coaches use the phrase to help their players win tournaments.

This week is Masters week.  Miss Constitution thinks it the greatest lesson in Civics any sport can provide.  The whole setting is perfect order and has been perfect order since the tournament was founded in the 1930’s.  There are strict rules for behavior that no one dares break.  The rules are enforced without apology.  Players are invited relative to merit.  At practice sessions only players and their caddies are allowed on the range.  Paid entourages and hangers-on are not allowed on the grounds.  The dress code is strict.  Invitations to play are coveted but not guaranteed.  Interviews are respectful.

But how is golf at The Masters related to our Rule of Law?

Because that is what our Rule of Law is meant to do.  It is meant to provide order, decency, and respect to our cultural environment so that the cream of merit rises to the top.  Invitations to play at the Masters are not based on diversity, equity, or inclusion they are based solely on merit or past merit.  All former winners may play if they choose.  In honoring golf’s rule of law what has emerged is the pleasure of seeing the world’s greatest male golfers from all backgrounds with their variety of talent on full display.  This is ordered Liberty – the development of the person within proper boundaries with winners and losers not artificially selected.

But what about the fairness to the under-represented at the Masters?  What about women at the Masters?

Fairness is represented by opportunity.  Kids in appropriate age and sex classifications compete in the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition.  They come from all backgrounds and numerous countries.  Those from cold climates find a way to hone their skills anyway.  No one complains.  These are coveted invitations based on merit.  The women’s amateur championship was played last week.  The final round was played on the same course the men will play on this week.  It was beyond exciting.  A mistake here and a mistake there caused a very young (19) leader to lose confidence.  Another competitor finished in what appeared to be a sure win.  She was congratulated as the winner after her round.  But similar to We the People of our distressed nation, the former leader decided to “be where her feet are.”  She ignored the inevitability of her loss and concentrated only on the next shot, pitch, or putt.  Her victory stroke was center-cut.

The final holes of the women’s amateur at Augusta National golf course are exactly where the American people are today.  We have lost confidence; we have lost belief in our moral core; we have lost faith in those we chose to lead us.  We didn’t learn or don’t remember our bundles of Law.  We didn’t learn or don’t remember our five Founding documents.  We can’t name the third President of the United States.  What we do know in the deepest parts of our DNA, no matter how many commentators tell us otherwise, is that our experiment in Constitutional Republicanism is the greatest in history and we refuse to lose it.

If you want to see what the Rule of Law is – watch the Masters this week.  Only a fool would look to another land, says Henry David Thoreau.  Only a fool forgets “where his feet are.”

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Miss C is taking questions you have about the US Constitution. Simply submit your questions and she’ll reply to you with answers. Great questions may be featured in her blog as well as added to an FAQ page. 

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    About the Author: Miss C

    M.E. Boyd, "Miss Constitution" is an attorney, author, and instructor in Business, Educational, and Constitutional Law. She has appeared on television and radio and speaks publicly on American history, the founding documents, and current political issues. Her mission is to help citizens understand the Founding philosophies behind the system so that we can-together-help preserve the blessings of liberty and prosperity. Read more about Miss C