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The Constitution Was Never About Needs

Lately, the left and leftist media in particular, love to lecture Americans on what we need and don't need. "You don't need to protect yourself with that type of weapon" they say, "you don't need to drive an SUV," "you don't need 20 oz of Dr Pepper," "you don't need to make that much money," and the list goes on.  Thankfully, the Constitution is not about needs.

This diabolical notion of needs is infiltrating the national discourse and consequently, eroding our foundation of rights.  Reeking of nanny statism, it's meant to shift the conversation away from rights given to us by our Creator, to an emotional response of what can be given to us by the government. It's the pinnacle of arrogance for media, government, or whomever to presume a better understanding of what I need than what I am able to determine for myself. And it's precisely this argument that must be made in order to counter the corrosive nature of a needs based society.

Nothing in our heritage is a derivative of need.  Nothing in our Constitution addresses individual needs or the government's involvement in the daily lives of private citizens. In fact, our founding principles and founding documents dictate the exact opposite.  Our Bill of Rights was designed to protect the inherent rights of the individual from government dictates of need, and therefore an erosion of liberty.  It is a document of negative powers, not a list of desires. Ultimately, the notion of needs is a bureaurocratic invention meant to micromanage the private citizen and slowly chip away at individual freedoms.

Falling under the umbrella of notion of needs is the exploitation of "general welfare." Perverted by many, "general welfare" is usually part of the argument for vastly anti-libertarian social programs.  Programs that rely on the success of many to accomodate the lack of few.  "General welfare" was never, ever intended to be understood or applied as social welfare or government (and therefore, taxpayer) subsidized charity. The point of the "general welfare" clause, at least according to the guy that wrote the Constitution, is simply this:

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress....

And here's the money shot:

Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.

We are a nation founded on rights. Needs should be left to the subjectivivity of the individual and this cannot be emphasized or publicized enough. Anything less dissolves our unalienable right to liberty.

Ex-Mil-Spec's picture
Maximum Sebastian

Yet another small pebble of obvious common sense is dropped into the ocean that is current public sentiment. An excellent posting Kemberlee. Within 5 paragraphs you have presented better working knowledge of this nation's founding principals than a great many 'constitutional scholars' currently finding favor in our times.

stonestone's picture
stone stone

clap. clap. Yawn. Yes- if all else fails, revert back to the same McCarthy-era diatribe accusing the "left" or liberals as being advocates of a nanny state and so on. I have yet to hear any politician claim that you as an individual can't go out and buy and SUV, can't drink soda, or can't make XXX amount of dollars. Claims like these are unfounded and nonconstructive. In fact I had a couple of soft drinks today and rather enjoyed them- just like I always have.

lastly- could we stop using the term "Leftist" or "Liberal" media? Some of the largest media outlets garnering untold millions of listeners on a daily basis are right leaning enterprises with their own cleverly targeted agendas. Its not like there's a lack of conservative media. I'd prefer to think for myself and not let others tell me how to think.

stonestone's picture
stone stone

Again- if someone wants to show me where at any store I can't go in and buy as much soda as I want, or buy the biggest-baddest, hugest SUV, or make as much money as I want- please show me because the reality proves otherwise. If the argument is that "Oh- no!, I can;t do XXX!" well tough because the truth if the matter is that you can't exactly do anything and everything you want- like freely dump your trash on the freeway, or stick leaded gasoline in your car, or drive 110MPH on a 5 MPG two lane highway. If we're going to complain about things, they might as well be actual real things to complain about.

Ex-Mil-Spec's picture
Maximum Sebastian

A rather excellent point stone...
No one's forbidding you from buying an SUV!
(.....they're just redefining and recatigorizing what an SUV is. To the point that a country gravel road is defined as "rugged terrain").
No one's forbidding you your soda!
(....they're just dictating how much of it you can have at a time, since you're apparently to stupid to decide that on your own).
No one's forbidding you from making XXX amount of dollars!
(....they'll just be taking more and more of it as you make it to "spread the wealth around") But that's cool, I mean after all, 'you didn't build-er, earn that'.

There certanly is no lack of conservative media!!....It does exist!!!
(.....It's just not clutching desperately at a withering 50+ year old monopoly of public trust.)

Perhaps the reason these 'right leaning enterprises' are so enterprising is because so many people are also prefering to think for themselves...?

Chris Bingham

Wow. This piece is phenomenal. PLEASE scream it from the mountaintop as much as possible.

Pat Loudoun

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republic's constitution was all about meeting peoples "needs".

That worked out well.

Jon Moore

Hear, hear !!!