(By John Andrews, Centennial Institute Fellow)
The media, the schools, and the culture are massively misleading Millennials about how America’s free government is supposed to work. And as Reagan warned, such political fairy tales put our liberties at risk in this new century.
Take the fake constitutional crisis that President Donald Trump’s enemies have ginned up over his perfectly legal firing of FBI Director James Comey. The Constitution is clear. Nothing bars any president from dismissing any executive branch official. They all serve at his pleasure, partisan hysteria and media innuendoes to the contrary notwithstanding.
But anyone in the Millennial generation is at risk of not knowing this. To have been born since the 1980s is to have lived your whole life in a miasma of civic illiteracy, fostered by leftist dominance of the national conversation — even during interludes when the center-right briefly prevailed. These wicked times have ill equipped you to see through the lies.
If you’re under 35, in other words, the knowledge elites have spent decades marinating in your mind is the fallacy that our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, don’t really mean what the words on paper say. Rather they mean what “your betters,” the secular utopian priesthood, want them to. As I said: political fairy tales.
It takes a tough-minded, resilient, resourceful individual to buck the system and fight through to an empirically true understanding of what our representative republic actually offers you and asks of you, the free citizen. So if you — you looking at this screen — are even reading this, congratulations. You’re a brave outlier, and our country needs a million like you if it is to survive.
For as Ronald Reagan recognized, way back in 1964 when the presidency hadn’t yet lured him and I was barely of age, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. The young don’t passively inherit it from the elders.
Each rising generation of Americans has to learn it and live it for themselves. Otherwise freedom will die, no less fatally from citizens’ passivity (the frog sleepily getting boiled) than from active attack, an invasion or insurrection or coup.
Indeed a polite and bloodless coup in slow motion by the “living Constitution” leftists is exactly what’s scamming Millennials right now, May 2017, as determined forces move to nullify and ultimately reverse the election of November 2016. Do we sit still for it? God forbid.
Walk with me through the founding documents and observe how one key passage after another is distorted beyond recognition by the left with its political fairy tales.
In the Declaration of Independence, never mind self-evident truths; multiculturalism entitles everyone to their own subjective truths, except that white male heterosexual Christians are by definition people of the lie.
Nor are all human beings created equal. Women, people of color, illegal immigrants, sexual exotics, and Muslims are more equal than others, much as in Orwell’s Animal Farm. Least equal of all (see above) are white male heterosexual Christians.
Nor do our rights come from God. Government bestows or withholds them. Nor do you have a right to life if your mother no longer wants you in her womb. Government deems you a mere mass of tissue.
Nor does the consent of the people legitimize government — not if a lot of them are deplorable and irredeemable and insubordinate to political correctness.
Nor may public officials appeal to the Supreme Judge of the World or invoke divine Providence. That would be theocratic, you see.
Then in our actual framework of government, the Constitution of the United States, it’s more of the same. Words mean whatever the elites want them to, like Humpty Dumpty reeducating Alice in Wonderland.
Article I vests “all legislative powers” in the Congress, except when those 535 incumbency-maximizers cede vast areas of power to the executive or the judiciary or the administrative state. “All” (that word again) revenue bills must originate in the House, except when everyone winks at each other and some originate in the Senate.
Article II has the Electoral College choose the President, but that’s not to keep people in small states from being trampled by bossy big states. It’s simply to empower the deplorables (see above under “consent of the governed”) and to enable mischief by the Russians.
Executive power is vested in the President, except when he too cedes vast chunks of it to the administrative state, or when he actually tries to exercise it in ways that adversary journalists and activist judges disapprove of (see the Comey firing, the Lavrov meeting, the suspension of visas to high-risk countries, and additional provocations sure to arise by the time this is published).
Article III creates the federal courts with power over “cases in law and equity,” which according to the leftist fairy tale makes the Supreme Court a super-legislature, moral arbiter, and empathy clinic with magic discernment of fashionable new rights concealed in emanations and penumbras.
We’re instructed by the same fairy tale that all judges, and especially Supreme Court justices, are illegitimate unless confirmed by a super-majority of the Senate (except when Democrats are in control), despite no mention of any such requirement by a Constitution that does mention it for treaties and impeachments.
As Humpty Dumpty did not say to Alice, but could have: “Heads I win, tails you lose.”
Bill of Wrongs
We’re far from finished with my little primer for civically miseducated Millennials, and this essay has already gone on longer than I intended. But so have the tenure of Chuck Shumer and the career of Stephen Colbert, so think of it in that sense as payback.
Just a quick trip through Humpty and Alice’s rewritten Bill of Rights, and we’ll call it a wrap.
Amendment I, updated, says no religion but atheism may be established, and any religion of theism may only be practiced inside a house of worship. Except King’s X for Islam; sharia is okay anywhere.
Free speech is out if anyone’s feelings are hurt or any politician fears your checkbook. A free press is out if you’re a broadcaster or a dissenter on the Web. Freedom of assembly is out if Antifa mobs your event and local police do nothing. Welcome to Wonderland.
Amendment II says people don’t kill people, guns do. Firearms are for deer hunting. Carry pepper spray and hope for the best. Government’s monopoly of force is absolute.
Amendment V says private property isn’t really that any more. Government can take it outright if you’re a nobody like the Widow Kelo, or render it valueless if the climate gods or the wetland gods or the species gods so desire.
The fairy-tale version of Amendment VI says impartial justice is impossible when race is involved. White on black is always a hate crime, black on white is always excusable, and black on black is ho hum.
Amendment VIII is alleged to mean that “take a life, pay with your life” is now unconstitutional, even though capital punishment is explicitly noticed in that very Constitution.
Amendment X, as the left reads it, condemns the states as a cesspool of backwardness and bigotry, inconvenient to the progressive agenda, destined for obsolescence — and it disdains we the people as unfit for freedom, needing perpetual supervision by the state.
So Matt and Megan Millennial, now you know. It’s important stay up with the times and be well indoctrinated on the contemporary meaning of our nation’s sacred texts. Liberty and limited government are so, how shall I say, 20th century. You wouldn’t want to be behind the times. It’s like having last year’s phone.
Seriously, though, please forgive my sarcasm. These fairy tales of the left are poison in the body politic; no laughing matter.
My generation, the Boomers, only has a short time remaining to us in the public arena. It will be up to your generation, the Millennials, to steward America’s future as the most free, prosperous, generous, creative, compassionate society the world has ever known. In thrall to political fantasies, you won’t succeed.
For after all, who are fairy tales for? Children, not grownups. The left wants you in the nursery forever. Allow them to keep on infantilizing you with entitlement thinking, victim thinking, snowflake thinking, utopian daydreams, and they will own you for life.
You deserve better, Matt and Megan. You’re capable of better. We, your parents and grandparents, expect better of you. As do your children.
You and your kids don’t want to live in the kind of country the left is trying to transform us into, a joyless and diminished place. You really don’t. But it will happen unless you push back.
“When I became a man,” St. Paul wrote, “I put away childish things.” It’s time, my young Millennial friends. Away with the leftist fairy tales. Onward with the adventure of freedom in the 21st century. Americans of the past, present, and future are counting on you.