Friday, September 28, 2012

Time for Mitt Romney to Support the Constitution

A recent piece on by Kurt Schlichter called "Time for Ron Paul Fans to Support the Constitution" begs and pleads supporters of Ron Paul to supposedly support the Constitution this November by voting for Mitt Romney. Ignoring the article's oxymoron title (as if Ron Paul fans were not already supporting the Constitution), the main crux of Schlichter's article is that libertarians may not like Mitt Romney but he is the better alternative and does not hate the Constitution quite as much as Obama.

President Obama clearly has not shown respect for the Constitution but is Romney's record any better? Has Mr. Schlichter even checked into the constitutionality of Mitt Romney's positions? Since this topic could fill up an entire book, I am going to momentarily ignore the fact that Romney supports the unconstitutional Federal Reserve fiat dollar system, bailouts, stimulus, welfare, corporatism and runaway executive war power that plagues the nation today and deal solely with Romney's positions when compared to the Bill of Rights. Spoiler alert: It is not pretty.

Amendment 1: Freedom of speech, religion and expression (VIOLATED)

Romney has a pretty good record respecting the freedom of religion but a poor one when it comes to speech and expression. While president of the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, he banished protestors off into far away "free-speech zones." Conservatives rightfully cry out when college campuses do this and yet they are silent when their Presidential candidate has done the same thing.

Perhaps the most egregious assault on the freedom of expression guaranteed by the 1st Amendment is Mitt Romney's support for obscenity laws cracking down on pornography. Many people (including yours truly) find pornography immoral and disgusting - but the Constitution does not grant the federal government any power whatsoever to regulate morality. Obscenity laws are indicative of a nanny state, not a free society.

Amendment 2: Right to Bear Arms (VIOLATED)

Romney's position on gun control has seesawed back and forth depending on which office he is running for or holds.

While governor of Massachusetts, Romney banned assault weapons and quadrupled the gun license fee in that state. However, Romney's position on guns changed once he realized that he needed the support of the NRA kingmakers if he ever wanted to win the Republican nomination for President saying, "I don't happen to believe that America needs new gun laws."

So which Romney will take office in 2013? The Romney that will expand gun control or the Romney that will protect current gun rights in America? How can anyone who supports the Constitution stand for anything less than a consistent position that protects the 2nd Amendment?

Amendment 4: Searches and Siezures (VIOLATED)

Amendment 5: Trial and Punishment, Compensation (VIOLATED)
Amendment 6: Right to Trial; Face Witnesses (VIOLATED)
Amendment 7: Civil Trial by Jury (VIOLATED)

Mitt Romney immediately defies half of the Bill of Rights when considering his support of just two laws. Romney has supported the Patriot Act from day one. The Patriot Act allows federal agents to write their own search warrants and search and survey persons or records of interest - clearly a violation of the 4th Amendment. Romney also voiced his support for the nightmarish National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was signed last New Year's Eve by President Obama. Appallingly unconstitutional, the NDAA allows the government to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial by defining them as "enemy combatants." The NDAA violates not just the 4th Amendment but the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th as well through the way it ignores the right to a fair trial.

Both the Patriot Act and the NDAA allow the government to search and seize anyone or anything they want without probable cause or a judge's warrant; they both, the NDAA most obviously, take away due process of the law. Both pieces of legislation are two of the most blatant assaults on the Constitution in the history of the nation and Mitt Romney supports them both.

Amendment 8: Bail; Cruel and Unusual Punishment (VIOLATED)

The NDAA has application here as well since, also considering the government's shameful track record on torture, no amount of bail will release a person detained by the government under provisions set by the NDAA. However, Romney's record on torture is a much more obvious violation of the 8th Amendment.

The 8th Amendment is clear in its prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment." Yet Romney supports "enhanced interrogation techniques" which qualifies as, if not flat-out torture, certainly "cruel and unusual punishment."

Amendment 10: Delegation of Powers (VIOLATED) 

Mitt Romney likes to defend Romneycare in Massachusetts while also condemning Obamacare (Romneycare being the blueprint for Obamacare), claiming that individually mandated health insurance was right for Massachusetts but is wrong for America as a whole.

The argument is not without ground in this case, as the 10th Amendment states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." However, Romney has said that he, in fact, likes parts of Obamacare. Which parts you might ask? The core parts: mandating that insurance companies accept people with preexisting conditions and imposing a nation-wide program upon the states when it has no authority to do so. Romney's own argument, that Romneycare is acceptable but Obamacare is not thanks to the 10th Amendment, gets turned on its head when he supports the very principles that define Obamacare.

Romney embraces the 10th Amendment when it comes to justifying the constitutionality of Romneycare vs Obamacare but he does not take the 10th Amendment into consideration when applied to other issues. For example, Romney believes that the federal government has power over the states in regards to drugs, marriage, military conscription (AKA: the draft), and, again, even healthcare, despite the fact that the Constitution grants no powers to the federal government over those issues. Clearly, Romney does not respect the 10th Amendment.

Libertarians would not have to be convinced to vote for Mitt Romney if he actually had constitutionally-sound positions. However, Mitt Romney has a painful and plainly poor record of supporting just the Bill of Rights of the Constitution - let alone the rest of it. Schlichter thinks "nothing less than the Constitution is at stake here." But clearly, despite what Mr. Schlichter believes, the Constitution is no better off under a Mitt Romney administration than under the Barack Obama administration.

So what is a libertarian to do this November when it comes to voting for US President? Contrary to what Mr. Schlichter thinks, libertarians are not a voting block waiting for marching orders. Some libertarians will vote for Mitt Romney because they simply do not want the Obama alternative. Some libertarians will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson because he best represents their views. Others still will abstain from voting to sever themselves from the system. Apparently, Kurt Schlichter and his brethren feel as if they have no other choice this November but the unconstitutional positions of Mitt Romney. Too bad.

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