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A Constitution More or Less for the Trampling
Frank Miele
March 17, 2014
Too bad we spend so much time yelling at each other about which political party is right and which party is wrong. Too bad we get so easily distracted by the slogans and the backslapping. Too bad that myopia is the national disease, because what we aren't seeing down the road is much scarier than who wins this election or who votes for that bill.

It's all about control -- not who's in control, because it really doesn't matter whether Republicans or Democrats win elections these days -- but rather just plain simple control. Of you. Of me. Of the economy. Of the military. Of our liberty. Of the world.

The last few weeks have been chock full of horror stories, any one of which would have dropped the jaws of our parents and grandparents, let alone the Founding Fathers who gave us "a Republic -- if you can keep it," as Benjamin Franklin is reported to have said when emerging from the Constitutional Convention.

In no particular order, let's take a look at three of them and see if we can detect the common unraveling thread:

▪ A professor from Indiana University is suing the federal government for spying on her and then detaining her at the Indianapolis International Airport after reading emails she had exchanged with a friend from Greece. The customs agents questioned her and the gentleman about the nature of their relationship and apparently cited information they could only have gotten from the emails. No matter what you think of college professors, no matter what you think of national security, no matter what you think of the ACLU (which is bringing the suit on behalf of the professor, Christine Von Der Haar), this case ought to worry every American citizen since we are supposed to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures by the Fourth Amendment.

▪ If that one doesn't make you worried, this one should. John Gerald Quinn of Texas was the victim of a SWAT team raid on his house in which he was shot by officers who used a "no knock" entrance on the basis of believing that Quinn might own a legal gun. The fact that the gun was an AK-47 does not make a whit of difference because Quinn is supposed to be protected by the Second Amendment, which ensures his right to keep and bear arms and, yep, the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches. I guess the operative phrase in that last sentence is "supposed to be." These days the Constitution is whatever some judge says it is, and more and more of them seem to be saying that it is a vehicle for implementing Progressive social change.

▪ What about this one? Have you heard the story of Justina Pelletier, the sick 15-year-old who has been kept away from her parents for most of the last year because Boston Children's Hospital disagreed with the medical treatment the girl was receiving from a physician at Tufts University. Yeah, you read that right. The hospital has accused the parents of some weird crime known as medical child abuse for following the advice of a doctor! And they basically locked the daughter up against her will in a psychiatric ward for the last year where she has reportedly been denied education, religious services or the medical treatment her family wants for her.

"How could that happen?" you ask. Because when the Republic slips away, so too do our freedoms. It's no accident that Justina recently said during a rare unsupervised visit, "I feel like a prisoner. Why can't I go home with my parents?" Why? Because for the past 50 years or so the government has worked to abrogate parents' rights and to essentially make children wards of the state. Parents have been cut out of decision-making involving sexual activity, abortion, discipline, education and a host of other areas. The idea of the family unit as the crucial inviolable center of life and of civilization has been all but erased.

A man's house is no longer his castle; it is his last refuge, and as John Gerald Quinn knows, it is not very secure. Justina Pelletier, too, cannot feel secure. She may not have studied constitutional law yet, but if she did, she would not recognize the Fifth Amendment, which contains this clause: "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Well, turns out that is not true for the last 14 months. On Monday, we shall see if this tragedy is allowed to continue, since Justina will have yet another day in court, represented by Liberty Counsel.

So there you have it -- the sad state of American jurisprudence and the ever shrinking constitutional protections which our Forefathers took for granted as their God-given rights. Does it have anything to do with Democrats? Sure, but have the Republicans done anything to stop it? Heck no, and when the Republicans are in power, the downhill slide continues apace.

Don't talk to me about politics. This isn't about politics, any more than the Nazification of Germany was about politics or the Cultural Revolution in China was about politics. It's about power, and you and I are losing it everyday.

One day, some of us are going to wake up in prison, and realize we didn't do everything we could have done, to the best of our abilities, to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." In fact, some people -- some citizens -- are already in prison, real prisons, not metaphorical ones, wondering when the rest of us are going to do something to get them out.

It's a question worth asking yourself, too. Or is it already too late?

Frank Miele is an American journalist and regular contributor to The Daily Inter Lake. He attended the University of Georgia, where he studied psychology under R. Travis Osborne.

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