Constitution Provides Our Protections
When the Founding Fathers framed the Constitution, they got two vital parts just right.
Recognizing that there would come a need for change, they did not set everything in concrete but made provisions for staying up-to-date. Thus, Article V provides for amendments. They're not easy; it takes two-thirds of both houses and three-quarters of all states to put them in place. But, if they are important enough, amendments do get passed. So far, we've passed 27 of them.
Having just won a war for freedom, the founders were also determined that the United States should never be ruled by czars, dictators, kings, emperors or any other unilateral powers. The solution for that is checks and balances. Three equal branches control our government, thanks to our Constitution: executive, judicial and legislative. That works, even in periods where all three are under the umbrella of the same party.
Why bring up all of this, now? Because every once in a while someone decides the Constitution has outlived its usefulness and should be dumped. Those same somebodies also decide they know better than we do and therefore they should make all the decisions. So they huddle behind closed doors and try to work their evil spells before we catch on.
When we do wise up and speak out, they -pretend to have been on our side all along and offer to work in a bipartisan way. If we balk, they point tainted fingers at us and say we are the party of no.
So far, these tactics have not worked, and our Constitution remains the bulwark of this nation. Fortunately, it is not the three branches of the government that have been our only checks and balances. Today, we are faced with a strong power determined to gain total control. An ultra-left-wing administration heads this power and is willing to use any means to win.
But there are checks against this power, and the pendulum is beginning to swing back. Despite efforts to muzzle them, talk show hosts act as excellent checks, pointing out lies and broken promises and holding the feet of power-mad politicians to the fire. There are a number of them but, when he isn't trying to imitate the Pillsbury Doughboy and acting like a buffoon, Glenn Beck may be the best.
People who belong to Tea Parties are -exercising strong checks. These ordinary -citizens have been mocked and reviled, but they are not jokes. They are very wise citizens who see right through the phonies and, with no -personal axes to grind, are getting out votes for true Constitution-oriented Americans.
The biggest plus of most Tea Party members is that they have no desire to become a third party. They recognize that third parties have a tendency to split votes and turn over elections to the opposition (witness Ross Perot voters, who opened the door to Bill Clinton). Notwithstanding Sarah Palin's popularity, she would do well to continue to encourage the Tea Parties to act as checks and balances. That is where their power truly lies, as has been proved in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
The rebuttals offered by the pushy liberals are smug, supercilious smirks and sarcasm - personal attacks that ignore the crux of the -messages, chronic blaming of predecessors and skewed numbers that pretend things are getting better.
What they overlook is that, despite the fact that more of us want to watch the Super Bowl than glue ourselves in front of Obama, we will ultimately understand what is being attempted in Washington and say, "No more!"
Our Constitution gives us the right to say that. That is the original and true meaning of the First Amendment. We may use surrogates to spell it out for the takeover artists, but the real bottom line is it comes from us, the people who vote. It is our form of those most needed checks and balances.
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at email@example.com.
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