Miss Constitution was watching Joe Biden give an address recently and he inexplicably started whispering into the microphone. Perhaps he was hoping people would listen more carefully to what he was saying, but what he was saying was extremely troubling. He seemed to be saying that in handing out 1.9 trillion in cash to individuals, he was forcing employers to increase wages. “This is the employee’s bargaining chip. Pay more.” First, this is not at all what the federal government is supposed to do, and second, this distorts the notion of “earned.” When anything is not earned, human beings tend to turn it into an entitlement. This is human nature. He also said, unrelated to wages, that America is an “idea.” He said it twice, “America is an idea.” The idea I think he was talking about is the statement in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” The problem is that America is NOT about an idea and all men are not created equal if equal means “sameness.” What Thomas Jefferson meant by the phrase, “all men are created equal” is that no person is of noble birth. Article I, Sections 9 and 10 forbid the federal government or any state government from granting titles of nobility. Equality relative to our United States Constitution involves Due Process under the Rule of Law. Each person is equally “due” a certain established process relative to government power, and if entitled to certain rights and privileges, possess them equally. “Equality” and “equity” in the context of one’s relationship to government is best understood as a type of fairness of procedure. There is no such thing as equal outcome.
What, then, if not an idea is America about? America is about a universal truth. That truth, that self-evident actuality, is that there is a Creator or God from whom our natural rights derive, and to whom human beings owe a duty. This is the starting point for our Rule of Law along with the understanding that human nature, if left to its own devices, tends toward the negative. One of the purposes of the Rule of Law, then, is to dampen the negative and inspire the positive in the nature of human beings. Unless ideas or notions are connected to a universal truth, they can be very dangerous to individuals and to whole societies. The following is the TRUTH that Jefferson speaks of that represents the starting point for American society:
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
What Joe Biden might have whispered, is that America is founded on the existence of a Creator, or God, and God endows all Americans, equally, with the rights to Life and to the Liberty to pursue their own happiness within the Rule of Law. The importance of the starting point being a Truth and not an Idea is that Truth provides a boundary for ideas. Otherwise, anyone can simply create a theory, based on an idea, however unrelated to the reality of human nature, and if implemented as governance, can wreack havoc on the people governed. Our Rule of Law is tethered to the truth that God exists, and this tethering provides the needed “check” on what constitutes the Rule of Law and what constitutes the duty each individual has to his or her Creator. It also helps create a stable social order. The French took American notions of Liberty and Equality but left out God, all hell broke loose in the French Revolution, and Napoleon emerged as dictator and Emperor. The bloodbath was hideous. Marx and Engels drew on the ideas of Johann Fichte that the dialectic (discourse) consists of a thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, in the context of class struggle. The various versions of Marxism, since the mid-19th century, and their translation into governance have led to millions and millions of deaths worldwide. Because these ideas are not tethered to the universal truth in the existence of God, the nature of human beings carries individuals away into the swamp of the debauched and the murderous. Substitute race for class in America today and the behaviors associated with the acceptance, in some circles, of Marxist atheism and you may come to understand the chaos that has resulted. Think of our Rule of Law as a small boat tied to a dock. The boat cannot just float away into the currents unattached. The rope that attaches it to the dock becomes an integral part of the vessel itself, preventing its own destruction and injury to others. The Rule of Law in America (the boat); it is tethered by duty (the rope); to a Creator (the dock). Or, think of it this way – God comes first; the duty to obey comes second (the 10 Commandments of Judaism and the 2 Commandments of Christianity); and our Rule of Law comes third. What does the Rule of Law consist of? There are four elements:
Moral Law – what is right and what is wrong (based on the above Commandments)
Natural Law – unalienable (cannot be separated from the person) rights from God to Life and Liberty
Positive Law – statutes, rules, and Constitutions created by governing bodies and citizens
Unwritten Law – that which guides our relationships with each other – the courteous and kindly
For those whose lives are individually untethered, who float helplessly in the currents of their passions, our social order provides not only a tolerance for this predicament, but a stability over time that one may count on should one want to climb out of the swamp one has created for oneself. This is such a unique society in that regard, and such a precious social order for the development of the individual, that its loss would be devastating to all humanity. America does not need to be transformed, America needs to embrace and protect what she is, and distance herself from those ideas that have shown themselves, over time, to be nothing but invitations to slaughter and horror. In other words, invitations for human beings to be at their worst.
I’m not sure Joe Biden fully understands these distinctions. Miss Constitution hopes he might come to understand, by the Grace of God, the great opportunity he has to dampen the worst and inspire the best that human beings in America can be. Why are we not teaching the basics of our system in school?