Posted at 3:18 PM on Tuesday, December 02, 2008 by David Horowitz
Among the many attacks on my previous blog both abusive and not, one common theme seems to stand out. This is the claim that I have slighted the Rule of Law in favor of some misguided principle of democracy, which is not a conservative idea -- or so my critics would argue. My error is to have elevated the principle of majority rule over the rule of law.
I believe the answer to these critics is already in my original blog. The Founders lodged authority for the institution of government not in abstract principle but in the will of the people. True they put certain restraints on that will to slow it down. But ultimately, the will of the people is sovereign. That is the Constitutional principle of our system of government.
The people voted for Obama. Assuming for the sake of the argument that Obama is not a natural citizen of the United States, the question is: what are the consequences of having 9 appointed justices -- or more likely 5 of 9 justices -- tell 64 million voters that their votes don't count? Would our constitutional democracy survive such a conflict, and then would our Constitution? Ultimately, the answer to these questions lies with the people. They are the ultimate authority not some abstract Rule of Law because the Rule of Law is in any case ajudicated and enforced by (highly political) men and women, while the people in its majority have it in their power to destroy the Rule of Law if they so will. The Constitution itself recognizes this fact by giving the people the right to amend it by a two-thirds vote. This is itself a recognition that the Rule of Law is an institution of men and women.
Granted the presidential election wasn't won by a two-thirds vote. But would a decision by 9 Supreme Court justices as to whether a birth certificate was authentic be more trustworthy than the decision by 64 million voters that Obama should be president? The presidential election was a very extensive test of the people's will. So much so that I wouldn't be surprised that if Obama was found not to be a citizen and the question of amending that provision in the Constitution was then put to a vote, the amendment would have a good chance of passing.
But all of this is quite legalistic and beside the point My real question is why would anyone who cares about this country want to risk a civil conflict of this magnitude in the midst of two shooting wars with terrorist adversaries and a very hostile intenational environment. Particularly when the president-elect has appointed a national security team that a McCain Administration could live with?
"Here is an example of the general confusion of my critics:
Comment submitted by RussP in regards to blog entry: Rule of Law vs. Rule of the Demos
If Obama was born in Kenya and ran anyway, *he* is the one who perpetrated a fraud on the American people, and *he* needs to be held accountable."
Exactly who is going to hold him accountable? Not the 64 million people who voted for him. So who? 9 or 5 appointed justices? How is what they rule going to carry weight with the 64 million?
Here's another example:
"I'm wondering why people are upset with those who are questioning Obama's natural born citizen status. The responsibility for this potential constitutional crisis lies squarely on Obama."
Yes, but the consequences for making this a national issue will fall squarely on us.
At bottom, the problem with all these comments is that the people who make them haven't accepted the fact that we lost the election. We lost the election. Get used to it. That's the necessary condition for thinking clearly about the next step.
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