By Jack Pelham
I won’t venture to make any predictions about the medical side of things, because I’m not even remotely educated in epidemiology. But when it comes to the political and financial “remedies” that have been enacted in the name of saving us from COVID-19, I think that some Reality-Based Thinking is in order. It seems to me that a soft coup is in play, using the crisis as cover for quickly and permanently transforming America into something she would never legally vote herself into being.
Now, you should know that I don’t belong to any political party. Rather, I’m with George Washington when it comes to “the baneful effects of the spirit of party.”1 No, I’m talking about something much worse than that; I’m talking about the sinister undermining of our fundamental principles by people who lust after money and power that is not rightfully theirs.
I don’t have room in this present article to give you a detailed list of the lying, cheating, and stealing that’s been going on, but I’ve detailed it in a separate article here. It discusses many sinister developments, including, of course, the unfolding unconstitutional bailouts that’ll likely end up to be nine times bigger than the one that got so many people picketing on the statehouse and courthouse lawns all across the US in 2008/2009. So, if you’re not already familiar with these issues, please take a few minutes to read about them.
If COVID-19 really necessitates all this, then where’s the rush to amend the federal and state constitutions to allow for this kind of governmental power? I think it shows our society’s prevailing unruly and undisciplined attitude toward the Rule of Law and our preference for the more-carefree Rule of Man.
Millions will argue, of course, that the “general welfare” language in the Constitution solidly authorizes these COVID-19 efforts, along with anything else we might deem to be good and useful. But how does, say, funding a bridge in Pittsburgh serve the general welfare of the Union? That’s specific welfare, not general welfare! The very notion that the term “general welfare” entitles Congress to do anything it likes would mean the framers were wasting their time to enumerate all of Congress’s powers in Article I, Section 8! But the liars never seem to tire of the game—excusing most every transgression by this frayed and irrational argument.
In my novel, The Extraordinary Visit of Benjamin True: The State of the Union as no one else would tell it, the protagonist locks horns with a moral-relativist senator who talks big about dealing squarely in general, but who frequently cheats in order to get his way. He stings the senator with this rebuke:
“One big difference between you and me, Senator, is that I think that wrongdoing is wrong even when you do it.”~Benjamin True
Watch closely for yourself and see whether those who cry “Foul!” in government don’t frequently commit the same transgressions themselves. We call this hypocrisy, of course. It is run-of-the-mill cognitive and moral corruption. Yet we allow it to be common practice in our governments—and that’s our fault. And we’re about to pay the price for it in a bigger way than ever before.
Many politicians, of course, would think I’m being ridiculous, and that in light of the danger of COVID-19, the notion of following arcane constitutional rules is just stupid. For them, I have some questions:
- If you think that following the Constitution is sometimes stupid, why did you take the oath to protect and defend it? Does your word count for nothing? Did you lie under oath just to keep the job?
- If you can violate the Constitution anytime you think you have a “good cause”, then is there really any limit whatsoever to the powers of the government?
- If the Constitution is such a hindrance to good government, why don’t you amend it legally, rather than trying to cheat your way around it?
Sadly, few American citizens understand the Constitution well enough to be alarmed. And that’s worse than it was in the beginning, when more of us cared about it. What’s also worse is that so few Americans today know what their legal rights are, or how the political process operates. But this was not always so. In the 1830s, about one generation into the life of our Constitution, a French writer visited to survey American life. He complained that the Americans’ knowledge of European affairs was fuzzy, …
“…But interrogate him about his country, and you will see the cloud that enveloped his mind suddenly dissipate; his language will become clear, plain and precise, like his thought. He will teach you what his rights are and what means he must use to exercise them; he will know by what practices the political world operates. 2 (Emphasis added)Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Why did we ever let this knowledge go? Did you know that it only takes about 45 minutes to read the US Constitution? You could read it once a year and get a great return on the investment of those few minutes.
There were times in the beginning when we needed those “Minutemen” to be ready with their guns in order to fight off the tyranny of the British Crown. And if we needed men and women with guns today, we could probably get them. But the need of the moment is a few million exceptional patriots who are well-versed in the Constitution and who will raise a fuss sufficient to put the government back on its leash.
As my character, Benjamin True, says to the people:
“Life is short; why not be something extraordinary while we are here?”~Benjamin True
- George Washington. Farewell Address. 17 September 1796.
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. English Edition. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Translated from the French by James T. Schleifer. (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2012). Vol. 1. 3/30/2020. <https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2735>