Bill of Rights, Who Cares?

Ryan McMaken writes the very sad but unanswerable truth:

If a future “emergency” requires that some other group of people — say, people who refuse “stay-at-home” orders or federally mandated vaccination be rounded up and incarcerated en masse, do not doubt this will be regarded as perfectly constitutional. If it is decided that federal agents be empowered to confiscate privately-held guns, there is no doubt a “public health crisis” or “emergency” will be cited to ensure this is deemed constitutional, too.

At this point, who would be naïve enough to think the federal government would limit itself from any “necessary” act just because it is unconstitutional?

We’re likely to see something similar with the First Amendment also. It appears to be only a matter of time until an alliance of Washington politicians and Supreme Court justices determine that speech opposing, say, gay marriage is “hate speech” and punishable by fines and incarceration.

And then, of course, there are the countless federal laws that control every aspect of everyday life from what one can buy or sell, whom one can hire, and with whom one may do business.

Are these powers listed under the “enumerated” powers of the constitution? Do they violate the Bill of Rights? Virtually no one cares. Which means it doesn’t matter. It’s constitutional if the politicians (which, of course, includes the lawyers in robes we call “judges”) say so …

… So long as the public tolerates it, it will be done. Words on parchment are useless in opposing this. The beliefs of the people who wrote the Bill of Rights — that is, a group of laissez-faire liberals from the late eighteenth century — mean nothing if the public doesn’t agree with them. And virtually no American today agrees with the anti-federalists of old that the federal government must be kept limited, weakened, and confined to a small number of tasks. If no one agrees with the philosophy behind the Bill of Rights, few will care if its provisions are violated.

Bottom line: If most Americans don’t care, then of what use is the Bill of Rights?

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