Friday, September 17, 2010

. . . And Try To Keep It All The Year

Happy Constitution Day. It seems strange to set aside a single day to celebrate it. Honoring it properly means exercising the rights it spells out day in and day out, while taking responsibility for safeguarding its blessings on an ongoing basis, and working to change it if necessary.

The Constitution and its 27 amendments have been interpreted in many different ways over the years. It is worth reflecting on the fact that we were 200 years into the American experiment and the Constitution and the First Amendment were nearly two centuries old before the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the First Amendment to mean that money is speech. And we were well into the nation's third century before the highest court in the land radically expanded on that dubious doctrine to manufacture a right for corporations and other powerful groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.

You can read the Constitution from its first word ("We") to the last word in the 27th Amendment and you cannot find the word "corporation." You can read all 45 words in the First Amendment and you cannot find the word "money."

As I said in my remarks at last Saturday's Fighting Bob Fest, there comes a time when the actual words of the founders must be respected and honored. The way to make every day Constitution Day is fighting to reassert and reestablish that the rights enumerated in the Constitution belong to "We the People" and are reserved for living, breathing, flesh-and-blood citizens.

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