Source: William Manning
John Adams defined a republic as a “government of laws, and not of men.” The concept of the United States as a republic is quickly becoming an illusion.
Envision the republic as a vehicle that has transported the nation from 1776 to the present. It is the responsibility and duty of the people of the United States to assure that the republic is fit to continue the journey for which it was intended.
If the republic is a vehicle, then its engine is the Constitution and subordinate laws. Many suggest that the Constitution should be viewed as a living document, “that evolves, changes over time, and adapts to new circumstances without being formally amended.” This is the view that liberals have advocated since the New Deal.
Liberals believe that their cause is so righteous that it justifies breaking any rule to achieve outcomes that advance their agenda. An example of this is the contentious issue of abortion. There is no provision in the Constitution regarding abortion. The 10th Amendment states that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, or to the people.”
The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion would be legal. Liberals believe that women should have liberty to abort a fetus in support of their health or pursuit of happiness. A 7-2 majority evoked the 14th Amendment, which declares that a state cannot deny a person “life, liberty, or property … without due process of the law.”
All fifty states had laws governing abortion. People in the states enjoyed “equal protection” and “due process” for all legal matters. There was no reason for the Supreme Court to rule on the case, since the states had used their constitutional authority to make abortion laws. Five members of the Supreme Court read between the lines of what they considered a “living document” to contrive a de facto law. Their ruling rejected a government of laws in favor of a government of men.
States are preparing for a different opinion on abortion law from the Supreme Court. Legislatures have established laws that reflect the will of the people they represent. The current law in Michigan is not held in high regard by Governor Gretchen Whitmer or Attorney General Dana Nessel. The law criminalizes abortion in most cases, which defies the objectives of Michigan’s governor and attorney general. They intend to circumvent the law by refusing to enforce or defend it.
There are dozens of district attorneys in large cities who ignore the laws they’ve been entrusted to defend. They choose to impose their will on local judicial systems by ignoring laws, reducing sentences, and dismissing cases.
A child-molester in Los Angeles was given a sentence so light that the criminal couldn’t believe his good fortune. In a taped phone call, the criminal seemed amazed at the light sentence provided by George Gascon, the Los Angeles district attorney.
Former U.S. attorney general Bill Barr recently told a Fraternal Order of Police audience in New Orleans, “the emergence in some of our large cities of district attorneys that style themselves as ‘social justice’ reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law is demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety.”
The great cities of the United States are mired in a crime wave. Murder rates in 22 U.S. cities were 44% higher in 2021 than 2019. Media reports acknowledge that violent crime rates are rising but are lower than rates for the same crimes in the 1990s. Violent crime subsided in the late nineties because laws were put in place to imprison violent criminals for long periods of time.
When a prosecutor “believes in reduced incarceration and punishment,” criminals are free to commit more crimes. We now have district attorneys who substitute social justice for the bothersome legalities of government.
President John Adams said in Novanglus VII, “an oligarchy is a government by a number of grandees, over whom the people have no control.” George Soros is a grandee who has financed the campaigns of liberal D.A.s to undermine the criminal justice system. He would remake the nation’s laws in the image that he and the D.A.s he underwrites envision.
Wealthy people have always enjoyed outsized political power. Americans admire and envy those who have the drive and wherewithal to obtain immense wealth and the trappings that go with it. One can only hope Americans won’t surrender their liberty to a gaggle of woke grandees who use their wealth to purchase politicians, the media, and elections.
Presidents are also an example of individuals who create law at whim. The Executive Branch is coequal with the Legislative and Judicial Branches, but the Executive has usurped far greater powers than granted by the Constitution.
Executive orders are governance by edict. The president may erect a border wall one day, and a new president may open the gates, welcoming a flood of illegal aliens, the next. The nation has immigration laws, which are ignored. The laws are an irritant to the political factions that defy them.
During the pandemic, people weren’t allowed to work or attend school because of a presidential edict. This was done to accommodate the notions of Dr. Fauci, a bureaucratic grandee. The president must supervise the whims and notions of hundreds of such grandees in a bloated federal bureaucracy that is out of control.
Factional cronies in the government, media, and oligarchy were amazed when the economy and the supply chain that supports it didn’t resurrect itself, but struggled to restart. They are stunned by the resultant inflation. They have forgotten the concepts of supply, demand, cause, and effect.
If the republic is a vehicle and the Constitution its engine, the American people must steer it. The people seem asleep at the wheel. The vehicle has left the road, bouncing wildly in the bar ditch. The people must wake up, regain control, and right the course of the republic. Legislatures have constitutional authority to make laws. Presidents, oligarchs, judges, governors, district attorneys, and other individuals have no such authority. The individuals who govern by edict and whim must be dismissed and replaced with people who work within the limits granted by the Constitution.