Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What is so wonderful about the 14th Amendment?

Alex Knapp criticizes Ron Paul for opposing the 14th. Actually, Ron Paul is completely correct. It's one of the most dangerous amendments just because of how it changed government, and more so because so many people think it's wonderful.
SECTION 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Did Knapp ever read that the 5th Amendment already specified "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"? So then why did the 14th do something so superfluous? Well, under the guise of giving citizenship to freed slaves, this made federal citizens out of everyone. Everyone was now under the now-legitimized jurisdiction of the federal government, whose ramifications should be clear to any believer in liberty.

Knapp defends the so-called "Incorporation Doctrine": "It's the Incorporation Doctrine that prevents states from imposing religious doctrines in schools. It's the Incorporation Doctrine that prohibits states from abridging free speech. The Incorporation Doctrine that provides that states have to provide fair trials and compensation for eminent domain. It's the Incorporation Doctrine that says that state governments infringe on the right to bear arms."

The actual truth: it's the ID that allowed the future Department of Education to indoctrinate our children with the government's own idols. It's the ID that forbids states from abridging free speech so that the federal government can do it. It's the ID that allows the federal government to make a mockery of judicial proceedings, freeing the guilty while keeping the innocent imprisoned, and forcing people like Suzette Kelo out of her home. It's the ID that empowered the federal government to rob peaceful people of weapons to defend themselves.

What conservatives like Knapp don't understand is that Ron Paul isn't about federal rights versus states' rights. Ron Paul knows that government has no rights of its own, only powers it takes from the people. Ron Paul knows that the essence of history is, as Murray Rothbard titled his book, man versus state.
SECTION 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.
This was a grand loophole to punish a state. Voting districts today are punished by the pork barrel system. Before, a state could be punished with reduced representation under the made-up pretense of denying certain men the right to vote.
SECTION 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Put simply, members of the Confederacy's government could not be part of the federal government -- unless they were friendly with a super-majority of Congress. Let's not kid ourselves: crony politics was as much a part of government then as today.
SECTION 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
"shall not be questioned" was one of the biggest screwings ever of the American people. The non-rebel states incurred their war debt, and that was that: now all federal citizens were responsible for it.
SECTION 5.The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
This clause was never used until the 13th Amendment. Supposedly it's a supplement to Article I's "Necessary and Proper" clause, but then at best it's superfluous. In fact "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation" has always been a blank check for Congress to do whatever it wants, legitimized by "law." Conservatives should love this! They cling so much to "We must follow the law," except when they don't like it.

So there you have it: I've just played by conservatives' game, falling back on the Constitution, and it only goes to show how that document is contradictory and anti-freedom at best. It does nothing to protect my freedom, instead subjecting me to to the whims of a government I never agreed to. Me? Since a few years ago, I side with Lysander Spooner.

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