Independence Day, 2018

ndependence Day 2018

by Andy Joppa


“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

Abraham Lincoln


I hope you all celebrate a joyful Independence Day.


July 4th, 1776 is, arguably, the most important date in human history.  It was on this date that the modern world was born, and humanity started to move toward the freedom of the individual and the realization that no person was destined to be little more than their status at birth.  It was on that date that human beings were no longer seen as “fodder” for their government…or their neighbors.


We must recognize, however, that like every birth, what follows that moment determines its ultimate value.  Many tyrannical nations were independent.  Many nations that have become scourges of the earth have earned their independence through revolution. Our Independence was an opportunity to build a free, great, and benevolent nation, but not a guarantee that it would occur.


While independence insures the absence of outside control it does not offer any surety of the freedom of its citizens.  That reality can only be secured by the designed relationship between those citizens and their own government.  If what had emerged in America had not guaranteed an environment of personal freedom, then independence would have been useless.


Our Founders were wise enough to understand that the birth of America was a beginning and not a conclusion of a process. Toward that end they gave us our extraordinary Constitution.  With that document, and its protection of the individual from the illegal actions of their own government, the real “die was cast” for the American future. Without that subsequent action, the date of July 4th, 1776, might have receded into historical insignificance.


In July 2018 America will once again face a critical moment in its history.  Once again, we will determine whether the intent of our Constitution will be respected, or will it be corrupted, as it has been so frequently in the past, by the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice who believes the Constitution is little more than what they “say it is.” Will they echo the absurdity of former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes who stated, “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is…”? Hughes’ view has lead the modern chorus of jurists and judicial activists that want to remake society in their own image, generally Leftist;  trying to use the Constitution to do it.


Many justices have violated their oath of office; an oath that says, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will beartrue faith and allegiance to the same….”  True faith and allegiance being the major operative phrase and the primary requirement of any Justice.   “True faith” can hardly suggest the warping of The Constitution to accommodate the political “tyranny of today.”  “Allegiance” can hardly suggest the seeking out of any prior precedent, among thousands, that clearly ignore the original intent of that document.


The court is currently divided between those apolitical justices who strive to render decisions based on the original intent of the Constitution, offering “true faith and allegiance,” and those politicized justices who believe it is a “living document,” so warping its meaning as to make it little more than a meaningless piece of paper. In reality, making it indistinguishable from a “dead document.”


I have confidence that President Trump will make the right nomination as he did with Justice Gorsuch. I trust he will nominate a justice who understands that the Constitution is the “law that governs the government.” I do not have a comparable confidence in the Senate to confirm that nominee.  While I regret that our Supreme Court has been given the over-riding jurisdiction of the determination of law…what is…is.  I also regret that the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice would be so ripe with legal and cultural implications…but it has taken on that magnitude; not, however, because of those adhering to the Founders’ intent, but by those willfully rejecting that impelling purpose.


The Constitution also serves as a barrier between the individual and their neighbors. We must recognize that a truly free individual must be allowed to act, independently from the control of their neighbors. They must be able to chart their own course through the rough waters of life by their own actions and desired choices.  As long as these choices do not, “steal their neighbors purse nor break their bones,” whatever they do, regardless of its acceptability to their neighbors, must be tolerated.


The mere fact that it is offensive to some, or serves as a psychological irritant, is not enough to suppress the destinations chosen by the individual.  We Americans adopted a broad-based acceptance of a “live and let live” philosophy that enabled the “anomalies” of the individual to emerge in the form of entrepreneurship, brilliant acts of creativity in all fields, and fulfilled personal lives.


It was in the protected freedom from our own government, and the ability to be left alone, free from the interference of others, that the greatness of America was molded. Independence was a necessary, but not sufficient means, to insure those ends. On this Independence Day, I ask you to consider whether we have sustained those defining characteristics of America’s greatness?


Consider whether we are still free from the illegal actions of our government. Consider whether we are still free from the irrational control of our neighbors.  While not totally lost, it is obvious that both essential ingredients of a free society, are rapidly being eroded.


Let the “fireworks” not only celebrate independence but let them illuminate the necessity of reestablishing a truly free nation…and people. If the greatness of America is not contained within The Constitution it can be found nowhere else.


“As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.”

Anthony Kennedy

The Council for Constitutional Principles

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