Belmont Club » The Third of July
America was founded by a practical nation of people who choose "the simplest solution." Whether in designing furniture or laying out the case for dissolving a political contract a clear spare and focused approach was preferred. How different, how Un-American it is to tie down every act with regulations that take into account every extraneous private interest and impose them on individuals through the coercive power of government. The government by becoming a representative and advocate for some imposes their interests upon others. The personal becomes political. Those who have the interests of some imposed on them become not individuals solving problems as simply and effectively as possible in free association with others but at best contractors seeking to have their services approved by a central mediating contracting or hiring hall authority.
The government must be constrained lest it eat everything. To that end we attempted to chain it down by prohibiting the government from imposing a religious test on office holders or taxing to support a State Church. We prohibited the government from restricting freedom of speech or of the press or restricting the right to keep and bear arms. We restricted the right of a State to regulate interstate commerce and gave no power to the federal government to regulate commerce within a state. Only when the XIVth Amendment was discovered by ambitious jurists did those restrictions on the government become transformed into tools that can be used by government or individuals appealing to the favor of government to impose on private citizens.
In the Kagan hearings the nominee for the Supreme Court evaded a question as to whether the government has the power to make people eat their vegetables and not any desired trans-fats. We now have people who would appeal to these mythical rights to impose on every transaction that should be between consenting adults by private mutual consent. That includes efforts to tell a blog owner what subjects he should provide a forum for discussing and who he may communicate with and under what circumstances.
The men of the Revolution, there were ladies involved also but I shall use the inclusive grammar of a different age, did not always agree. In fact many of them cordially disliked each other. They always however respected each others privacy and it would never have crossed their minds to appeal to the power of the State to enforce their private interests. The unending tangle that slavery brought to America was not only the moral stain involved but also that it compelled the constant intrusion of appeals to government to sustain what otherwise was an unnatural imposition on a political and social system of otherwise free and open choices between individuals meeting each others needs.