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    Ethics, Morals, Truth and the Constitution (Part I)



    By Sigrid Weidenweber

    It piques my interest, when on the same day two essays show up on my desk with almost identical topics but different reasons for the demise of a society that lost the majority of moral, responsible thinkers and is cleaved into two, diametrically opposed, factions.

    One way of reasoning deals with ideologues fervently intent on dismantling the constitution by turning it into “a living document” that can be stretched and amended in to any law desired. Thereby, by fiat, has already been destroyed religious protection under the constitution. And, by fiat, amoral and un-ethical dictates were forced on citizens, believing otherwise. The Supreme Court, once instituted by the Founders to uphold the written document in its intent has become a battleground, so much so that the character and the lives of decent judges are impugned and destroyed in the fight to saddle the court with liberal minds.

    Myron Magnet, a distinguished scholar, and among other achievements, editor of the City Journal, writes about his book Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution,

    when the Framers wrote the Constitution, they aimed to design “good government from reflection and choice.” The Framers envisioned a self-governing republic. In that, the citizen would no longer be ruled but instead would choose freely through elected representatives how to arrange their lives and communities. It was assumed that the elected representative would go home after one or two terms and look after their own businesses and families. Yes, that was the intent. However, we all know how things have turned out with power-hungry, grasping, and corrupt members of the House and the Senate. Once the “freely elected” representatives found they were able to enrich and vote themselves privileges, they stayed on for as long as their constituents voted them back into their seats.

    Thus, it became more important to gain re-election than to govern and do their best for the country. (Many never read or understand the content of the laws they vote on.)

    Therein lies the beginning of corruption. Today America is at crossroads. Will we be pulled back into the Republic the founders envisioned, or will we be ruled by a tyrannical left, telling us how many sheets of toilet paper to use? (Don’t laugh! I have been there, when we had to decide which news-paper was softer in the loo, for toilet paper was not always available under socialism.) Which way will we bestride—your guess is as good as mine. Right now, the republic exists in appearance only.

    History has shown us that the first republic in ancient Rome only lasted until the Senate invested itself with special powers, then the decline was rapid.

    At the beginning of the Rome’s republic, the word centurion (one for a hundred), stood for the elected man standing in front of a hundred citizens from villages and towns outside Rome, to vote their will. You probably knew the centurion as the martial leader of a hundred soldiers. That was how the republic ended.

    As of today, Myron Magnet sees that a crisis of legitimacy is fueling the anger with which Americans glare at one another. Half of us believe we live under the old constitution, with guarantees liberty and its expectation of self-reliance. (Self-reliance—a word I have not heard in a long, long time!)

    The other half believe in a “living constitution”—a regime that empowers the Supreme Court to sit as a permanent constitutional convention, issuing decrees that keep our government evolving with modernity’s changing conditions. He writes that this “living document” gives us the administrative agencies, like the SEC and the EPA, making rules like legislature, administering them like executives and adjudicate and punish infractions thereof like a judiciary.

    This, no more is self-government—but something like tyranny.

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

     Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on

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    William Hicks
    William Hicks
    2 years ago

    Thank you Sigrid for such a complete, yet succinct, explanation of the divergencies we face.

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