Clinton, Trump, Cruz: All betray founding premises

By Alan Keyes

In the column I wrote for the Daily Caller this week, I ponder the implications of Hillary Clinton’s assertion that “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.” Her remark lit fires of opposition on both sides of the abortion issue. But, as I observe in the article, it ought to be of concern to every American who cares about the future of our constitutional self-government as a people.

The controversy over Hillary Clinton’s remark thus goes beyond the fact that she contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court’s finding that our nascent offspring are not “persons.” It raises the issue of humanity itself; and of the doctrine which holds that unalienable rights are intrinsic human qualities that must be respected notwithstanding any human laws to the contrary. This is the doctrine on which the liberty of the people of the United States entirely rests.

Mrs. Clinton’s remark draws attention to an important fact, if one considers it in the context of similar statements by those who appear to be her most likely opponents from the GOP. In an interview on “Face the Nation” Donald Trump appeared to align with Clinton’s position on the lawfulness of abortion when he said that “The laws are set now on abortion. And that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed. … At this moment the laws are set, and I think we have to leave it that way.”

Moreover, though he may not have thought it through, he also appears to align himself with her statement that, under present laws, “unborn persons have no constitutional rights.” He says, “I would have preferred states’ rights. I think it would have been better if it were up to the states.” But according to the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, “No state shall … deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” If nascent human offspring are persons (as Hillary Clinton said, and as all pro-life persons profess to believe) any law that purported to make murdering them “legal” would be unconstitutional on the face of it.

As I point out in my Daily Caller article, Justice Harry Blackmun plainly admitted this when he wrote the majority’s opinion in Roe v. Wade. So, like Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump takes the blatantly anti-constitutional position that unborn persons have no right to life that all governments (including those of the states) are obliged to secure.

So much for Mr. Trump. But what has Sen. Cruz said about securing the unalienable rights of “unborn persons”? Until not long ago, he sounded like a strong supporter of the evidently constitutional position that, like native Americans (called Indians in the relevant clause of the original Constitution) and slaves in the ante-Bellum South, our posterity are persons inasmuch as they are human. Indeed, any other position belies Cruz’s claim to be pro-life, since the political opposition to Roe v. Wade – as an unlawful attack on the very root of the Constitution’s legitimacy – turns on the issue of personhood.

But on his way to victory in the Iowa caucuses, Cruz answered a question about personhood in these words: “I have not supported personhood legislation because I think, and the pro-life community is divided on this, but I think personhood legislation can be counterproductive because it focuses on issues that are unrelated to protecting unborn children.” Though he is a lawyer, reputed to be knowledgeable about the Constitution, Sen. Cruz talks as if he has never read the Roe v. Wade decision. Therein it is plainly stated that, on the substantive issue, the majority’s attack on the unborn relies, in the first place, on the finding that the nascent child is not a person.

But of course the senator has read the decision. Unlike Donald Trump, Sen. Cruz doesn’t have the excuse (however self-disqualifying in a candidate for president of the United States) that he has little or no knowledge of the issues at stake in the Roe v. Wade decision. Either Cruz is simply willing to sacrifice truth for the sake of political expediency; or he is not sincerely committed to the pro-life views he professes. For once the personhood of nascent children is denied, the most obvious constitutional basis for opposing Roe v. Wade falls away. How is this “unrelated to protecting unborn children”?

Moreover, the Constitution’s provisions in respect of rights and due process reflect our nation’s commitment to the principles that justified the war for independence. They are the principles still required to justify, as a matter of lawful right, the American people’s claim to possess, in consequence of God’s endowment, the sovereign authority to ordain and establish for themselves a constitutional government. They are also the principles by which that government derives its just powers exclusively from the consent of the people who receive and respect the terms of God’s endowment.

It appears that Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz all agree in effectually denying and disparaging the primordial unalienable right, which is, like all the rest, intrinsic to humanity. It appears that they agree in rejecting both the founding premises articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the constitutional provisions framed in light of them. They also appear to agree in rejecting the self-evident truth that human laws, at every level of government, must answer to the highest standard of human justice, the one found in the will of our Creator.

However much they blather about restoring America’s greatness, America’s progress and America’s national security, they all appear to reject the first premises of America’s existence as a nation. Therefore, they all reject the true Sovereignty (which is of God) that constitutes both our soul and our most precious common good.

Like Patrick Henry, “I know not what course others may take.” But as for me, I will support no candidate or party that rejects the Declaration’s self-evident truths. We can stand with one or the other of the elitist faction’s false opposition parties, and let our liberty fail. Or we can let those parties go, stand by our Declaration principles and, as a people truly free, use the opportunity the Constitution provides to save our nation.

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