You are a Constitutional Patriot, eh? Pt 1, The Challenge.
I’ve known a few people that have claimed to be “Constitutional Patriots” over the years. Most of them, however, were not. I, myself, consider myself a Constitutional Patriot. What sets me apart from the masses is that I actually was educated on the Constitution.
Not only was I educated on the Constitution, I was educated in Public School on the Constitution AND, get this: I was taught by the County President of the ACLU. Before you throw my integrity under your “Bus of Judgement,” the ALCU at the County level is really different than the National Level. Ms Snow, my teacher, was the President of the county ACLU, but also a prominent member of the County Republican Party. The ACLU at the local level are the guys who defended Rush Limbaugh in his court battle in Florida. The ACLU at the National level wage a war on our old fashioned values. Big difference!
Also, my class was, basically, AP Government. It was an Honors class. Full of Honors Society kids. I was not on the Honor Roll by any means….but I did manage to convince my Guidance Counsellor to get me into that class. In addition to being a “Government” class, we partook in a National Debate Contest on the US Constitution. Our team won the local and state level competitions and competed at the Nationals in Washington, DC in 1990. It was an honor, and it was tough.
People who tend to call themselves “Constitutional Patriots” often make mistakes. The mistakes are rooted in myths about the Constitution, or their idea of what, just exactly, is a Constitutional Patriot. Three mistakes in their debates are: Not knowing the Constitution, not knowing there are many Constitutions, and not being able to accept limitations on rights.
This week, I’ll talk about not knowing the Constitution. The Challenge in the title is the challenge I’m going to throw you, the reader. Do you know the Constitution?
I’ve met many in the III% movement, the patriot movement, the militias, etc over the past few decades. Some of these guys that call themselves patriots, or Constitutional Patriots, are very well intentioned and certainly do love America….but they don’t always know the Constitution as well as they think. Some of these guys are not even aware that our States and territories all have Constitutions, also!
The Bundy’s are held up as exampled by the Patriot movement as a family that was persecuted and ran off their own ranch by the Feds. Nothing could be further from the truth, actually. This starts out in 1954 when the Bundy family first applied for Permits to graze on federal grassland. Wait….did you say that the Federal Government is not allowed to own land? OK….where in the US Constitution did it say that the Federal Government cannot own land? Article I, Section 8 establishes the DC area as Federal land and the seat of the Federal Government, and that specific land will not exceed 10 square miles. But where does it say in the US Constitution that the Federal Government can’t own land outside of the DC Area? It doesn’t.
If you read what is referred to as “the Property Clause” in Article IV, Sec 3, Clause 2: Congress can make rules and regulations respecting Territory and other Property belonging to the United States. Read it again if you need to: Territory….belonging to the United States.
As former Justice Scalia, the most famous Originalist among Constitutional Scholars said, “The Constitution says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”
The Federal Government can own, buy and sell land. Get over it.
If that doesn’t suffice, the Treaty of Paris, which concluded the Revolutionary War, gave land to the United States, and the Federal Government owned that land until it was given to the States. The Founding Fathers just acknowledged that they intended for the Federal Government to own more than just the DC Area.
Further, one of our most famous Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, made the Louisiana Purchase. John Adams (the Father of the Constitution) own son negotiated the purchase of Florida while under President James Monroe, another Founding Father. Ratification of that treaty was postponed for 2 years, so it did not go into effect until President Jackson was in office.
So maybe you don’t agree that the Bureau of Land Management is not Constitutional. What part of Congress can regulate the territory did you not understand? The BLM was a merger or the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The GLO was first conceived in a bill written by Jefferson and passed by the Congress while it was full of Founding Fathers. So to say that the BLM is unconstitutional is not a good idea.
Now, the role and job or mentality of the BLM may have changed over the years. It started out as an office to distribute land to States and individuals through various Homestead Acts. These days, instead of giving federal land away, they are buying more land. So, yes, that has changed. But everything else truly is Constitutional. That’s an argument for another time, one that I will tend to agree with the Patriots.
Next up: There isn’t just one Constitution in America.