I’m a Christian. I’m a conservative. I believe in the Constitution because without it we will never be free to enjoy our God-given right to liberty.
These three declarations mean I only support politicians and others who reject party politics and adhere to the Constitution, and believe in the foundation laid out by the Founding Fathers, such as: limited federal power, states rights, respect for the three separate but equal branches of government, and an unwavering commitment to our unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness endowed to us by our Creator.
While I don’t expect our representatives to be able to quote the Constitution verbatim, I do expect them to know the basics and to make laws based on its words instead of looking for ways to work around it or ignore it.
I’ve written a lot over the years about how Trump and the GOP claim to be defenders of the Constitution even as they join Democrats to systematically dismantle it. Not surprisingly, I’ve heard from Trumpists and Republican loyalists who stridently disagree with me and put party politics over liberty.
As a candidate, Trump displayed his ignorance of the Constitution in 2016. When he was asked by one of the people in attendance at a so-called “unity meeting” with Republicans about how he would protect Article I of the Constitution, which outlines the powers of the legislative branch, he said he would “protect Article I, Article II,” and even “Article XII.” Sounds good, until you realize that there are only seven articles.
Unfortunately, as we look back at the years that have passed since then, Trump’s ignorance and/or complete disregard of the Constitution has been on full display to confirm what we’ve always known about the New York liberal — he is a threat to liberty and the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Trump’s bought-and-paid-for Republican Party have replaced conservatism with Nationalism, which is warmed-over Democratic Socialism with an “R” attached to it, to advance a plethora of pro-socialist/anti-Constitution ideals.
Despite these facts, there are those who still believe the lie that party politics will save America, that we can remain free if we simply vote Republican in November. But in a recent op-ed by Bernard Goldberg written for TheHill.com, we learn how America might not be as free as we would like to believe.
Using a new study by the Cato Institute for reference, Goldberg shows us how a majority of Americans across party lines feel they are no longer able to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech when expressing an unpopular or politically incorrect opinion. Nearly two out of every three Americans (62 percent) say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe — because they’re worried that others might find their opinions offensive.
Cato says this fear crosses party lines: 52 percent of Democrats have opinions they’re afraid to share, 59 percent of independents feel that way, and so do a staggering 77 percent of Republicans. And what might happen, they fear, is that if they say the “wrong” thing, they might get fired and lose their livelihoods; Cato found that one in three Americans (32 percent) who work say they’re worried about missing out on career opportunities, or losing their jobs, if their political opinions became known.
This kind of self-censorship is troubling enough on its own, but a deeper look at the Cato study shows us that there are more consequential opinions on free speech that would literally dismantle the First Amendment to the Constitution. For example, 50 percent of those who identify as “strong liberals” say it’s okay to fire executives who personally donate money to Trump’s reelection campaign.
I can hear the Trumpists now: “Of course those evil Democrats would do that.” Well, not so fast.
36 percent of Americans who identify as “strong conservatives” think it’s okay to fire an executive for donating his or her own money to Biden’s presidential campaign. Self-described “strong conservatives” — the very people railing against the cancel culture — think it’s okay to fire an executive simply for exercising his or her First Amendment rights.
This is the America we live in after years of assaults on the Constitution by both parties; made worse in the Age of Trump and Republican Trumpism.
While Trumpists and Republican loyalists try to fool us and themselves into believing America will be free as long as we work to get rid of Democrats, the bottom line is this: Unless we dedicate ourselves to putting the Constitution above party politics, liberty will not survive in America.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.