Thursday, August 13, 2009

Citizens Committed to the Constitution

I've been invited to a meeting of a new group that calls itself Citizens Committed to the Constitution, or C3, for short. C3 members are worried about America. They demand that the U.S. return to "the core principles that made this nation great". They ask citizens to join them if:

1) you are alarmed by the present insane borrowing and spending by an out-of-control government;
2) you reject the present march towards socialism by our elected representatives; or,
3) you find yourself wondering where in the world our nation's ethical and moral values have gone.

C3's Mission Statement states that it was created to: "promote the Constitution, its values and principles, and to inspire and empower others to do the same".

I read an article written about C3 in our local paper and also went to their website seeking more information about what they believe in but there wasn't much to explain their philosophy in any detail.

For instance, I wonder if they remember that Bill Clinton ended his presidency with a surplus that had us on the road to paying down our debt? I wonder where they were during the last eight years when George W Bush "insanely borrowed and spent" until we had a higher deficit than we'd had under all the presidents who preceded him, put together! Odd, that C3 would only just now notice this state of affairs.

And I wonder just what they mean by socialism and what they'd give up to get us back to that idyllic time in America's history before we developed these socialist tendencies. Social security, I suppose. Obviously, because the very term SOCIAL security, gives the game away. Damn, here I am just about ready to start collecting too! I guess we'll all be put in charge of taking care of our parents, just like back in the good old days. Or maybe they'll go to the Poor House like they used to when they didn't have children to take them in. But, hell, even the concept of the Poor House is kind of socialistic, isn't it?

And it goes without saying that Medicare will have to go along with social security. And any form of welfare, of course. Let the deadbeats go out and get jobs and if it means their kids go hungry, well, hell, it isn't our fault they had children they're not able to care for.

What else? Highways? National parks? OSHA? (For sure, what do I care if workers have safe conditions when I work in an office)? EPA? (I say, let the factories go back to spewing their pollutants into the air and water - it's the American way - capitalism at its finest). Child labor laws? Food and Drug Administration? (I'm willing to trust the pharmaceutical companies and agribusiness to give us only well-tested, high quality meds and food without government looking over their shoulder, aren't you)? And, damn, I think unemployment benefits should be the first thing to go. People shouldn't get paid for not working. No matter how high the employment rate is, they could get some kind of job if they tried hard enough! And student loans and grants. If you can't afford to pay your college tuition, you haven't got any business going. We'll go back to the way it used to be in our heyday when only the kids of the affluent were eligible for higher education.

I could go on and on about the various government programs we'd be better off without. I sure wish I had lived back in America's glory days when the rich built their magnificent mansions and the rest of us damn well worked our way up by our bootstraps. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get to see that again before I die. Of course, I wasn't especially smart and my bootstraps haven't taken me very far and it's too late to start over now so I sure hope they don't take MY social security and Medicare but it's all right if they take everyone else's.

And C3's emphasis on the Constitution? Again, I have to wonder where they've been the last eight years or so. Here are some of the items mentioned in the Constitution:

1) The Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended except during an Invasion of Public Safety. I guess George W thought 911 qualified since he suspended it.
2) The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures as well as no warrant to be issued without probable cause. This amendment in the Bill of Rights was added in 1791. Seems like the founding fathers were pretty adamant about this so I expect they'd have considered phone calls and electronic messages part of "effects" if they'd known such things would ever exist. George W Bush obviously didn't agree with this amendment either since he embarked on "warrantless domestic surveillance".
3) Due process - Yep, the Bushies bypassed this one too.
4) The right to have an impartial jury, to be informed of the nature of the charges against you, to confront the witnesses against you, to have the assistance of counsel in your defense. George W blah, blah, blah can fill in the rest.
5) No cruel or unusual punishment. Most people would consider torture cruel, if not unusual in a world of bullies, but evidently not the Bush administration.
6) All persons born in the U.S. or in its jurisdiction shall be United States citizens. (I don't know if the C3 folks disagree with this one but I expect they probably do).

In fact, because they've not enunciated their beliefs, I really don't know exactly what C3 does believe. They have recommended some particular reading materials though which include Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg, among others. And since I'm familiar with the authors they are pushing, it is pretty easy to guess the direction they are going.

They appear to be racing on auto pilot as far and as fast to the right as they can go without a clue as to their eventual destination.