Order a Tombstone for the Republic

Commentary by Frank Gillispie

This nation was founded on the principle of the Rule of Law. No one, not even the president, can place himself above the law.

In order to have a Rule of Law, the law has to be based on a set of principles accepted by the people. Originally, The Continental Congress adopted “Natural Law” as the controlling factor. They appealed to this Natural Law, “the laws of nature and nature’s God” in their first legal document, the Declaration of Independence.

Soon it became obvious that the basis of law had to be codified. So they created first the Articles of Confederation, and later the U.S. Constitution to serve as the foundation upon which a body of law was to be constructed.

Almost immediately, the people in power started trying to circumvent the Constitution in order to make the law whatever they wanted it to be. Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, wanted to abolish all state governments and build an all powerful central government. Even though he wrote many of the “Federalist Papers” supporting the Constitution, he immediately set out to undermine it. Hamilton’s idea was to use the federal government to support and foster the economic development of the manufacturing class as a way to build national wealth.

Hamilton’s ideas were picked up by Sen. Henry Clay who devised a program called "The American System" that lead to the national tariff system that so heavily penalized the agricultural South in favor of the industrialized North. The problem is that they had to circumvent or ignore the Constitution to put the plan in effect. Then using their example, Abraham Lincoln totally abandoned the Constitution when he launched his illegal war against the South.

That leaves us with the fiasco we have today. The Constitution has been virtually abandoned. The law today is whatever the current rulers say it is. Lawmakers assume the power to pass any new laws they wish without even consulting the Constitution. Federal Judges rule laws to be constitutional or unconstitutional based on previous rulings, on their opinions about what the founding fathers “intended” or even in one case what the laws in other nations say. Senators approve or disapprove candidates for the Supreme Court based on their judicial and political philosophy, not their intent to interpret the Constitution as it is written.

So I am not surprised that so many of our legislators choose to ignore millions of violations of U.S. Law and plan to allow those who have entered this nation illegally to escape punishment (amnesty) and even give them a fast track to citizenship.

Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid referred to the mass of illegals as "Undocumented Americans." Apparently to Reid and many others, all you have to do is sneak across the border and move into a mobile home park and you automatically become an American with all the privileges that come with that title.

At the close of the Constitutional convention, someone asked Benjamin Franklin “What have you given us?” He answered, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

We have failed. This is no longer America where we live under a rule of law, and not of people. The only thing left to do is erect a tombstone, appropriately engraved in Spanish.

Copyright © 2007 by Frank Gillispie

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