LP Monday Message: Congress burns Constitution

September 13, 2010

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Hi, I hope you had a nice weekend. The weather was absolutely beautiful here in D.C.!

We had a light mist on Sunday morning, but that kept us nice and cool as we handed out Libertarian literature at some of the 9/12 rallies in town. I was pleased that many of the people at the rallies were eager to look at our materials.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the National Archives where they have on display the earliest copies of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. These documents are well protected. You have to pass through security similar to airport screening just to get inside the building. Once inside, photographs are prohibited to prevent degradation of the documents from the light. Thick protective cases and human security guards are also there to protect the documents.

It would pretty much be impossible to burn those handwritten copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And I hope no one ever tries to.

I mention this because recently we’ve seen a lot of outrage over who may, or may not, or already has burned, this or that religious text or national flag.

I’m not a fan of burning religious texts, or flags, or historical documents. But even worse than burning the physical objects is throwing away, degrading, and disrespecting what they stand for.

Right down the road from the National Archives, American members of Congress and the President trash and burn the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence almost daily, with the blessing of the United States Supreme Court.

From the Patriot Act, to undeclared foreign wars, to the War on Drugs, to trillions of dollars of unconstitutional spending, to thousands (maybe millions) of unconstitutional regulations, our elected officials might as well just burn the documents themselves.

When issues of moral and religious indignation become prominent in the news, I think politicians take advantage of it to distract from their own records. That’s what they’re taught by their campaigning experts: use emotional issues to guide voters into worrying about what you want, so they won’t focus on other serious issues that might be bad for your re-election.

Given the choice, I’d trade the physical copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence over to our worst foreign enemies, if in return I could know that our own elected politicians would protect the concepts and principles in them.

Of course, that’s just a fantasy, not a deal that could really happen.

If you want the real deal, politicians who will respect and honor our founding documents, help elect Libertarians!


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

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