Happy Bill of Rights Day!
Today is a high and solemn day — Bill of Rights Day. This, the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution, we celebrate in today’s reckoning.
In 1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated Dec. 15 Bill of Rights Day. Thereupon he called upon…
the officials of the government, and upon the people of the United States, to observe the day by displaying the flag of the United States on public buildings and by meeting together for such prayers and such ceremonies as may seem to them appropriate.
Alas, we inhabit an apartment residence lacking the infrastructure to display exteriorly the flag of the United States.
Yet much of the day we have consecrated to prayer…
We thank the Almighty for the American liberties enshrined so gloriously in the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution… and that they stand as granite bulwarks against government despotism… be it yesterday… today… tomorrow… world without end.
And so, through a mist of tears, tears of gratitude, we continue.
Nearly Blind Devotion to the Bill of Rights
We further thank the Almighty that the United States has always been and remains blessed with officials — elected and unelected — who share the identical reverence for the Bill of Rights as us.
Let us extend especial gratitude towards Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt I, Wilson and the above-referenced Roosevelt II.
Their devotion to the Bill of Rights was constrained only by the practical demands of their office.
If Amendments One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine or Ten were in their way, if they needed a little roughhousing, well then… Amendments One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine or Ten got a little rough housing.
How else can a man get things done in a crisis? It is a sheer impossibility with a Bill of Rights hanging from his neck like a millstone.
Coming home, we are pleased to note that the sitting president, Biden, shares a nearly fanatical devotion to the Bill of Rights very nearly unrivaled…
“A Proclamation on Bill of Rights Day, 2022”
In honor of this exalted day, he has just dispatched a communique: “A Proclamation on Bill of Rights Day, 2022.” From which:
The Bill of Rights consecrates twin American ideals of equality and democracy. They are the rock on which our nation is built and the reasons why America has long been a beacon to the world.
Can you see it? The fellow clings so tightly and devotedly to the Bill of Rights that he confuses it with democracy itself. What naivety. What exuberant innocence!
Little can be further from the truth of course. The Bill of Rights is the very negation of democracy. They are not subject to popular vote.
As the writer Kevin Williamson has observed:
All of the best things about our Constitution are the anti-democratic stuff like the Bill of Rights, which is America’s great big list of stuff you idiots don’t get to vote on. If we had put slavery up to a vote in 1860, it’d have won… 70 to 30. If we put free speech up to a vote today it’d probably lose.
The Expanded Bill of Rights
Yet we can overlook an error by a fellow so enthusiastically committed to the Bill of Rights.
The president holds the thing in such esteem he seeks to expand the thing beyond its natural limits. He writes for example that:
A wave of anti-LGBTQI+ bills is attacking Americans’ freedom to be themselves. In recent years, at least 20 states have passed laws that make it harder to vote. And we have seen new threats to the rule of law that disregard the will of the people.
Not even the original Bill of Rights guaranteed Americans’ freedom to be themselves. Yet this president has the vision to see it. He continues:
My administration has taken immediate action to protect reproductive health care, access to contraception, the privacy of sensitive health information and more; and we will keep fighting to pass a federal law restoring every woman’s right to choose. I was also proud to sign the Respect for Marriage Act this month and will keep working to advance equality for LGBTQI+ communities, fighting to pass the Equality Act and building on executive orders tackling discrimination in health care, foster care, housing, schools and more.
Anti-Democracy in the Name of Democracy
Will you find a woman’s right to choose within the Bill of Rights? Respect or disrespect for marriage? They are nowhere to be found.
Yet this modern Jefferson can detect them, penumbras and emanations from the actual text invisible to others.
Moreover, he has issued executive orders — decrees anti-democratic in every detail — to tackle discrimination in every conceivable form.
When you can enlist anti-democracy in the cause of democracy… which you use to justify the anti-democratic Bill of Rights… which in turn you twin with democracy… you are well and truly a colossus among men… and a grateful nation bows before you.
We can conceive of no higher devotion to the Bill of Rights.
The Ultimate Defender of the Bill of Rights
Yet in this hero of the Bill of Rights we detect one oversight, problematic in its way.
In his words we detect hints of hostility toward the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution — the right to bear arms.
Yet we would remind the president of its centrality to the Bill of Rights itself.
The greatest threat to the Bill of Rights is unquestionably the vast federal bureaucracy that squats heavily upon the American people and their liberties — as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
Since the president is so worshipful of the Bill of Rights, and so hot for democracy… we thus encourage him to stand with the people in their right to bear arms… and against the bureaucracy that menaces their liberties.
That is because “the only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head,” as the irreplaceable Mencken argued, adding:
“Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights.”
And we know beyond all knowing that you do not wish to say good-bye to the Bill of Rights, Mr. President.
Here now, for your reading pleasure on this Bill of Rights Day, the Bill of Rights. We hope you are as confident as we are in its limitless power to guarantee American freedom against government encroachments.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.