The Real Un-Americans

OK, OK, you’ve heard this before, but it all bears repeating as the onslaughts against the very basic assumptions of our nation continue, and from the highest offices in our government.

Today, all I want to do is give a few examples of the deliberate perverting of our nation that this rightwing clique ruining our country is involved in.

First of all, our very Constitution is being twisted into something it never was nor was meant to be–and I don’t simply mean the Bill of Rights, whose emasculation has been in the news so much recently.

These people (including members of the Supreme Court) deliberately hide behind something they call “original intent,” the idea that the Constitution is strictly what the “founders” meant it to be, only this and nothing more.


And the Constitution says so itself.  Just look at the preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The “founders” weren’t speaking for themselves, but for what they hoped would become one nation–for the people of that nation.  For that reason, they purposefully and explicitly began the Constitution with “We the people.”  They wanted to make it clear that this wasn’t meant to be a document expressing the views of one small group of men, but of a nation.  Add to that the fact that the states had to ratify the Constitution, providing a means for “the people” to examine it and decide if it really did reflect their will, and any argument for the validity of “original intent” falls apart.  The Constitution is meant to represent the will of the people–then and now.  It never was intended that dead hands, so to speak, keep control of the steering wheel.

Again, the Constitution was meant to express the will of the people, not the will of a small group.  Anyone who argues otherwise flies in the face of the document itself–and does so from a desire to undercut the will of the people.

Anyone arguing for “original intent” is trying to pervert the underlying intent of a democratic–not elitist–document.  There is no other possible explanation.        

Anyone arguing for “original intent” is un-American on a very basic level.  They don’t believe in the will of the people and are trying to find rationalizations for ignoring it.

There are plenty of other perversions of America being foisted upon us by this clique, one of which is the turning of loyalty to the country into loyalty to the government–a sick, sick act for an American.  A fundamentally un-American act.  Donald Stewart, in his 1969 book The Opposition Press of the Federalist Period writes:

Men who babbled about “loyalty” while trying to stifle popular liberties were indeed the nation’s worst enemies.  Unreasoning support of governmental measures was no substitute for national freedom and welfare.  Any clique that strove to block the popular will must itself be foiled by all patriotic citizens irrespective of party.[…]  Since government officials were public servants, they were entitled to respect, but should not be treated as nobility. (425)

“Loyalty” to our “servants”?  That’s what the clique in power wants now.  They have taken what should be the case in America and turned it on its head for their own enrichment and power.  They don’t care about “the people” and, indeed, are “our” worst enemies–though they cloak themselves in patriotism.  Even worse, they try to make it so that fewer and fewer people vote–or vote so that it will be counted.

That’s un-American.

So is George Bush’s attitude that he has the right to subvert the Constitution in order to protect the people.  That’s like the old line from Vietnam, “We had to destroy the village to save it.”

There’s a rightwing hack named Dan Flynn who writes books with titles almost as outrageous and un-American as Ann Coulter’s, one being Why the Left Hates America.  As if we do.  As if he understands anything at all about us.

What Flynn and Coulter and O’Reilly and Cheney and all the others know but won’t admit is that they are the ones who hate America.  They are tearing it down.

It’s up to us real Americans to stop them.

We can only do it by refusing to flinch at their criticism.

Not only do we have to start yelling, as Peter Finch’s character Howard Beale tells us in Network (the line by Paddy Chayefsky) “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more,” but we have to starting shouting out why.

Why?  Because this clique is perverting America, making it into an elite-driven state that has forgotten that the state is for the people, not the other way around.