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Saturday, June 11, 2005


Duties Of An American

Uphold the principles of the Constitution as it is written.

There are many ways to go about doing one's part to uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution, and certainly no one has the time to do them all. At the very least all Americans should be expected to do nothing that runs contrary to the principles set forth in the Constitution. At most, Americans should be expected to take as active a part as they are able in upholding our founding principles.

I will briefly mention a few of the basic ways in which each of us might go about fulfilling our most fundamental obligations.

There are at least three categories of action (and inaction) by which one can uphold the Constitution.

The first category is intellectual in nature. Simply put, defend the ideals and freedoms recognized by the Founders in the Constitution in the arena of ideas (RushismTM). How? Vote, argue and maybe even run for office in such a way that our fundamental freedoms are upheld. This second part is perhaps more important even than the first. It seems that many people (including those who submitted their thoughts before me in this forum) would tell others that he or she is fulfilling a major obligation as an American by simply voting in an informed manner. That is simply false. Being "informed" does not mean that you're voting for the right people (the "right people" being defined as those who would uphold our freedoms as protected by the Constitution and so on). For example, voting for someone who advocates restricting the Freedom of Speech does not count as doing your duty correctly. Voting is simply a means by which Americans are able to fulfill their fundamental duty as citizens.

The second category of upholding the Constitution is in the physical realm. While the pen may be mightier than the sword, a latter can render the former useless by severing the hand holding it. The most obvious way to physically uphold the Constitution is to join some branch of the Armed Forces...but this is not the only option. Civilians can also be prepared to do their part by acquiring the means to act as the last line of defense against a physical assault on this country and its founding principles. The willingness (and ability) to use physical force in defense of our freedoms is something of which nearly all citizens are capable but relatively few consider, let alone actually exhibit.

The final category I will mention here could be considered a subset of #1 above, but it's important enough that to warrant its own category: Leave others alone, and expect the same in return. Simply put, I have a reasonable expectation that I will be left alone by my neighbors (and my government) to live life as I see fit. So long as I don't set on anyone's toes, my toes will remain likewise un-stepped-upon.

This is not to suggest that we should all live like hermits, never interacting with anyone. Much to the contrary, we most certainly should reach out to each other...but no one should be forced to do so. Along these lines, I think it is our duty, as US citizens, to demand the defeat, and repeal, of any law that imposes on us without absolute and definable necessity. To do otherwise is to allow our rights to be trampled by those who would subvert our government and country to their own ends (which is invariably the quest for power).

Our country that was founded on the principle of personal freedom and it falls to each individual citizen to do his or her part to ensure that our children will enjoy the same (and more) freedom that exists today.

A republic is only as strong as its people...and the abstraction of the "people" is only as strong as you and me as individuals.

Stay strong. Stay true.

I love how conservatives preach this "individual freedom" stuff. Yet, it doesn't apply to gays who want to get married. Or to someone like me who hates seeing conservatives use The Bible to justify "decency" and "morality" in this country.

I suppose "individual freedom" is up for interpretation when it comes to conservatives.
tsk, tsk, there is a difference between con's and neocons.

Not to be rude, but what are you talking about? Gay marriage is one thing, but to say:

"Or to someone like me who hates seeing conservatives use The Bible to justify "decency" and "morality" in this country."

What does that mean? The Bible, as it turns out, has a lot of really great moral lessons that have stood the test of time. Have you ever read it? Either way, that's your choice. However, there is nothing in the Constitution that even hints that it is wrong (or unconstitutional) to use the "Bible to justify" anything at all in this country (and please don't cite the 1st amendment...there is no such thing as "Speration of Church and State" as such).

"Individual freedom" is certainly up for interpretation when it comes to everyone and anyone...not just conservatives. Discussing (and even arguing about) this definition is a healthy exercise. Unfortunately, snide comments sometimes take the place of reasoned discourse.


As for gay marriage, we could always take that one on at some point in this very forum (there's my suggestion, CO =))
Well, since you've now twisted my wrist... I suppose you can consider that on the list.
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