by Bruce Thornton
While We the People distract ourselves with porn stars and royal weddings, the cracks in our Constitutional order continue to multiply and widen.
Evidence continues to mount that a sitting president, Barack Obama, colluded in using the nation’s security and surveillance apparatus to subvert the campaign and then presidency of a legitimately elected candidate and president. This effort consisted of numerous illegalities: a mole planted in Donald Trump’s campaign; a FISA warrant granted on the basis of false opposition research paid for by his rival; the outgoing president’s expansion of the number of people allowed to unmask the identity of Americans mentioned in passing during surveillance; a rogue FBI director, James Comey, who illegally usurped prosecutorial powers to exonerate a felonious Hillary Clinton; and other FBI agents colluding in the plot to damage Trump. And don’t forget a Deputy Attorney General appointing the close friend of the fired and disgraced Comey as a special counsel to investigate the non-crime of “collusion,” an investigation that has gone on for a year with nothing to show but a handful of indictments resulting from dubious perjury traps.
To quote Bob Dole, “Where’s the outrage” at these attacks on the Constitution?
Outrage is surely warranted. These assaults on the rule of law and accountability to the people are akin to the catalogue of “repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” published in the Declaration of Independence. Yet our “watch-dog” media in the main have become the publicists for this attack on the foundations of our freedom, as they flack for the political party that long has resented the limitation of power enshrined in the Constitution. Only a few Cassandras, notably FOX News’ Sean Hannity, are trying to alert the citizenry to the coming conflagration that if unchecked could leave the architecture of our freedom in smoking ruins.
In fact, what we are witnessing in the deep-state Democrats’ undermining of divided government, check and balances, and government accountability, is the culmination of a process begun over a century ago. Addled by the false knowledge of scientism and secularism in the 19th century, the progressives took aim at what they scorned as the archaic political structures based on the permanence of a flawed human nature’s susceptibility to corruption by power. Divided and balanced power, the progressives argued, is inefficient and incapable of solving the new conditions and problems created by industrialization and modern technology.
Instead, power must be concentrated, centralized, and expanded. The deliberations and votes of citizens in their towns, counties, and states must give way to the technocrats housed in bureaus and agencies, and trained in the latest discoveries and techniques of the “human sciences.” In 1925, Progressive publicist Herbert Croly expressed this hubristic and question-begging optimism for a “better future” that “would derive from the beneficent activities of expert social engineers who would bring to the service of social ideals all the technical resources which research could discover.” All they needed was the power and authority to create and apply the mechanisms of this new knowledge.
First, though, the Constitution’s antique structures must be altered. This “increased amount of centralized actions and responsibility” required, as progressive historian Charles Beard wrote in 1913, the discarding of the “strong, almost dominant, tendency to regard the existing Constitution with superstitious awe, and to shrink with horror from modifying it even in the smallest detail.” And it required discarding as well the notion of “inalienable” rights that precede government and lie beyond its power, a belief that Beard called “obsolete and indefensible.” Rights can be created by government in order to suit its own ideological and political aims, as FDR promised in his 1944 “Second Bill of Rights,” which expanded rights to include health care, recreation, and a good job, to name just a few of the gifts government would bestow on the people.