As I watched last night’s ABC debate among the Republican presidential candidates, it finally occurred to me what was missing. There could be numerous other complaints about the debate, but this one bothers me most. It is something that has been missing from just about all the political discourse we’ve seen, the notable exception being Ron Paul, who does get a few things right.
We seem to understand this when we talk about Judges. The biggest question we have for any judge concerns how he or she views the Constitution. Is it a “living document” malleable to whatever form the judge or even the people think it should have, or is it a definite set of laws by which we are constrained until or unless it is changed by the processes it provides? This is not a question applicable only to Judges. Every government official is sworn to uphold the Constitution. Therefore, how he or she views it is critical to know. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and others of like mind have clearly shown their contempt for the law of the land. Why then are we not asking questions of those who would replace them that reveal how faithful they will be to our Constitution?
Conservatives aren’t really doing that much better on this. A couple of months ago, Mike Huckabee ran an interview of each of the candidates in which state attorneys general asked them each a series of questions. Each was done individually and it was probably the best thing I’ve seen for exposing the governmental philosophy of each one. Rick Perry actually pulled out a copy of the Constitution at one point. Based on his performance that night and having read his book, I am favorably disposed toward him. His record in Texas is not unblemished, and I have real concerns about his ability to go up against Obama; but none of the others have shown me that they really mean to honor the Constitution. Bachman might have been a good choice, but she’s now out.
I still don’t know how I will vote when the time comes. I think my nose is sore from holding it every time I vote. It sure would be nice not to have to do that in November, but hope of that is ever diminishing. Every time I hear the current frontrunners talk, I hear variations on big government solutions that aren’t going to do anything to stop us from having an economic meltdown. They may delay the inevitable, but if anyone can stop it, it won’t be any of them.
I should add that no president can do that. He doesn’t have the power, despite the delusions of the current occupant of the Whitehouse. Our Constitution doesn’t give him that much power and that is a good thing. In order to turn this around, we need to be paying just as much attention to congress and we need to be asking them the same kinds of questions. Many who claim to be for limited government only wish to limit the parts they don’t like. That isn’t the standard. The Constitution is the standard.