It’s the old Libertarian argument-all that talk related to economic issues, state rights and person freedoms had me back peddling. Lawson then made a pitch for his man for President, Ron Paul. The Texas congressman and former Libertarian U.S. Presidential candidate is considered to be a philosophical libertarian, even though he is technically affiliated with the Republican Party.
We went back and forth on the consequences of being tagged as a supporter of one political part. I told him it would be painful for me to align myself with anyone with ties to the Republican Party. Call me blinkered for refusing to see the merits of Lincoln’s Party, but I carry too much old baggage around actions taken by those Elephant folks. I’m still in need of therapy for the damage done during the Reagan years.
My issues with Ron Paul go deeper than his political affiliation. At the heart of my disgruntlement is his presupposition that all of America’s problems can be solved by revisiting the merits of “The Constitution of the United States”. By going back to the conceptions outlined by Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, and the other so called Father’s of the country, we will undo the mess created by those who have misused their power to lead us down this miserable road of confusion.
To begin, I hate it when anyone approaches me with an easy solution to all of our woes. Granted, America is in a mess. It is true we are enduring castigation caused by centuries of congressional misconduct. America has functioned while refusing to honor the very document created to rule the way we operate as a nation. That is a given.
My problem is with the assumptions of the Constitution. Getting back to the original intent is as confusing as finding the kernel of truth in the Bible that will put an end to this muddle called denominationalism. The variety of viewpoints regarding authentic faith makes it virtually impossible to shift the tide when it comes to the way we embrace Biblical truth.
The interpretation of the constitution clouds our ability to step back into the minds of those who wrote those words we hold so dear. That’s not to mention the matter of culture, and how they were operating within a specific historical ethos; which makes it difficult for us to evaluate their truth as relevant to our own. An example is gun control. I doubt if they had the prudence to write those words mindful of how guns have changed the way we function in this country. I’ll buy dinner for a year to the first person who can prove to me they had the foresight to envision a world embedded in gang activity.
Then there’s the matter of contradiction that stands as a reminder of our historical truths. I told Lawson that I, as an African American male, find it difficult to celebrate “The Constitution” when it was fashioned by people who failed to live according to the creeds mentioned in “The Constitution”. That Libertarian notion that states “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..,” is difficult for me to read knowing the slaves they owned weren’t included in their definition of manhood. The document also assumes that women aren’t provided with the same rights as men. So, based on what is written, those given the Rights of life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are white men.
The point is in the way one enters into a conversation of the intentionality of those who craft an old documents. Void of interpretation, we would be forced to make many of the assumptions made by those who decided to construct laws designed to rule the way we govern our nation. They were locked within their historical vantage point, and, as a result of that, were unable to foresee many of the variables that now block progress.
For some, the Constitution stands as the recipe to the nation’s ills. For others, it is a reminder of our historical hypocrisy, and is regarded as an instrument manufactured to keep certain people in the rightful place. For those with the power, it is a great thing. For those broken by the continuation of manipulation and misuse of power, it is a very bad thing.
I wish it was an easy as going back to the intent of those dead white dudes. I didn’t trust them then and I certainly wouldn’t trust them now. Sorry, come back with another solution.