There’s a fundamental difference between two divergent interpretations of the Constitution’s intent and purpose:
- The original idea that the Constitution informs the State of citizens’ natural rights and restricts it [the State] thusly; and
- The modern and pervasive idea that the Constitution informs the citizens as to what rights they have and what they are allowed to do within the laws.
At first glance these two statements may seem just as similar as the Golden Rule and its inverse: don’t do unto others as you would not have them do unto you. We must look beyond the elementary meaning invoked by merely skimming over both and nodding our heads as to say that they mean one in the same.
The polar syntax machinations in both sets of statements become only clearer when we appoint examples to all four sentences. Though it might be argued that in both instances both sentences can be applied together, I think to do so would only confuse people even more. It would be to say that the State and the citizens are a symbiotic relationship rather than the State ruling the people or the people ruling the State. We have been led to believe that we are a democratic society and that the State is for and by the people, but this holds no water when you take two seconds to imagine disposing of the current elected elite and consider your chance of success.
The rule of law and respect for the State has been a slow and steady propaganda campaign wrought by countless committees, congresses, and presidents. Those charged with maintaining law and order at the point of a gun do so by first considering the law and second, the rule. The citizen does not fit into the equation. The mass are too well disciplined to obey at the bark of an order by an authority figure.
Armed service members continue to be members while fighting overseas burying their moral confusions about the entire bloody situation. Policemen too often act first and question later. This has been defended by staunch statists who put the policeman’s safety first over the citizen’s. And we have been told that this is morally just, that the policeman puts his/her life on the line to protect us. They must act in accordance with their own self-preservation first and foremost. But to what extent? More and more, thanks to the liberating power of the internet, we read stories and reports of policemen going above and beyond just handcuffing someone. They are killing people without restraint in the act of “self-defense”; guilty before the idea “innocent” is a thought that can pass through a policeman’s mind.
Through this method of discipline and demonizing those who break a law but create no victim, the government has been able to secure a passive people. Any civil disobedience has just become another phrase for domestic terrorism. In Europe they are rioting over what we might consider to be quite silly and some times over things that we can solve in court or through referendum. We have become a country that is a combination of the prophecies of Orwell and Huxley; something I’m sure both of them would have dreaded more than their own single fictitious creations.
The Constitution is not a restriction on the people. The Constitution is a restriction on the State. It’s a restriction the State has ignored and trumped and abused with law after law.
You SHOULD not respect every service member or every police officer or every legislature you come across. You DON’T know each and every one of their morals and reasons for taking on the job that they did. You don’t have to physically fight back but being verbally strong towards “authority” figures is a step in the right direction. If they’re being ugly you need to voice it out and tell them to back the fuck up. Carry a copy of the Constitution and shove it in their face to remind them that that little book is the supreme law of the land and their guns are not.