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A day to remember
Posted By Harry Browne On 12/12/2002 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
This Sunday, Dec. 15, should be a national holiday.
No, it’s not Earth Day, or Martin Luther King Day, or Flag Day, or Beat-Up-Some-Third-World-Country Day.
It’s Bill of Rights Day.
If there were to be only one holiday in America, that should be it. Contrary to all the blather we here about the unique goodness of the American people or our religious heritage or anything else, the one thing that set this country apart from all others was the Bill of Rights.
This was the first country in history to have a national government that was truly limited. No, the limits weren’t always observed, but for a century they held the federal government more in check than any government in history. At the end of the 19th century, federal, state and local taxes still took only 8 percent of the national income (it’s 48 percent today).
Children know nothing of their heritage
Unfortunately, our children grow up with no concept of limited government. All they learn in school is that the government is the wondrous savior that brought us out of the Great Depression, made the world safe for democracy, holds human greed in check, and stops rapacious corporations from polluting the environment.
They don’t understand that the one unique factor government possesses is force, and that only a strict Constitution can keep that force from getting out of hand. When they study the Constitution, they pore over tedious sections explaining the makeup of the Senate and the House, how judges are selected, and how federal laws are enacted. Needless to say, they aren’t taught the concept and virtue of limited government.
The meaning of the Constitution
And so they don’t understand that the Bill of Rights is the heart of the Constitution – the section that gives meaning to it by holding the government in check. Those 10 amendments say:
The Constitution isn’t written in Chinese, Swahili or Sanskrit. It’s in plain English. And the first question a president should ask any potential Supreme Court judge is, “Can you read?”
If the judges could read and pay attention to what they read:
Bring back America
The Bill of Rights isn’t some legalistic fine print. It was written to make our lives freer, more prosperous, and happier. By forsaking it, America has become no better than any other country in the world.
Today every conceivable subject is fair game for legislation to enforce the personal whims of people like Bill Clinton, George Bush and those 535 drunken sailors in Washington.
No, we won’t have a national celebration this Sunday. But we can privately contemplate what we’ve lost – and vow to restore the America that was meant to be.
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