Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman was recently featured in a CBS News segment in which he opined:
I’ve got a simple idea: Let’s give up on the Constitution. I know, it sounds radical, but it’s really not. Constitutional disobedience is as American as apple pie. For example, most of our greatest Presidents — Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and both Roosevelts — had doubts about the Constitution, and many of them disobeyed it when it got in their way.
My initial response was to be angered by this sort of sentiment. But then I realized, Seidman thinks he’s being cutting-edge, or proposing some sort of great change in America; but, he’s really not. He’s really behind the times.
He’s not suggesting something radical so much as he is merely stating the obvious: it has been a very long time since any great portion of America has been serious about obeying the Constitution. He’s right in his assertion that American Presidents have had a long history of ignoring the Constitution when they found it inconvenient. The current chief executive does so blatantly. So, let him congratulate himself all he wants for his edgy-ness.
But the truly radical statement would be something like this instead:
I’ve got a simple idea: Let’s try following the Constitution. How can we seriously claim it’s failed when it’s not been tried?
The only thing really unusual Seidman is suggesting here is that our politicians especially ought to drop the pretense altogether. Why make them take oaths of obedience when we all know they don’t mean it?
Since when do we discard good laws based on the fact that a lot of people ignore them? Let’s try actually, you know, enforcing those laws instead.
He suggests later that it’s ridiculous to follow an “ancient” document, written by a bunch of long-dead white guys. After all, there was no way they could have known what America would turn into when they wrote it. We should make up the rules as we go along. For instance, he says, it shouldn’t matter whether Obama is a natural born citizen or not. We know better. If we’re going to follow the Constitution, that would be no different that being subject to foreign rules imposed on us by some other country. Blah, blah, blah.
Seidman never matured beyond the emotional age of about fifteen apparently, when every boy knows so much more about how the world works than his fuddy-duddy parents. He and his pals are soooo much smarter than neanderthals like Madison and Adams and Jefferson.
That sort of arrogance is considered criminally stupid when applied to the actual world that exists outside the antiseptic, insulated land of Academia. Imagine:
“I think I should do away with the contract I have with my employer, and simply do the job I think I should do, rather than what he hired me to do. I should only work the hours I find convenient for my current life as well. After all, we couldn’t know all those years ago how things would be right now.”
“I know my wife and I vowed to remain faithful through thick and thin, till death do us part. But there was no way I could have known way back then that my secretary would be such a hottie.”
Seidman thinks he’s pushing the envelope by suggesting that we all stop kidding ourselves. But the truly radical idea is to gear down, apply the brakes, and get this big rig headed in the other direction. That’s the idea that has the right to claim the heritage of being truly Revolutionary.
Read more on the radical notion of Constitutional obedience, and why Christian citizens ought to be leading that charge. Get the book, Seven Reasons Why Christian Patriots Should Give Libertarianism a 2nd Look, at Amazon’s Kindle store for only $2.99 this week. See also the controversial bestseller on God and government, Resistance to Tyrants: Romans 13 and the Christian Duty to Oppose Wicked Rulers. (Paperback / Kindle version.)Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.