Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Political Disharmony and our Ancient Faith

George Will writes a good, if somewhat clunky, column (using Sam Huntington) to remind us that we have had four "periods of creedal passion" (returning to first principles) and that we are now in the middle of our fifth, and that this has to do with liberalism (in its original sense rather than post-progressive sense); freedom demands from us a distrust of government and authority.  Indeed he says that this is constitutionalism, setting limits to that authority, and it is also why we are a "disharmonic society."  I think this is pretty good, but I also think that an emphasis on other things are needed: first, we need to be reminded of the substance of our ancient faith and what that has to do with constitutionalism, as we need to emphasize consent more than ever, and we need to remember that we might be less attached to the institutions we have inherited, and therefore need to be reminded of both their purposes as well as their ordinary functions (after all, given one hundred years of the progressive assault on constitutionalism, we shouldn't have been that shocked when then Speaker Pelosi, in responding to a question last October regarding the health care bill's constitutionality, said "Are you serious?").  We therefore need arguments that, once again, revive our ancient faith--that we are a people because we are dedicated to them--which then will remind us of our obligations in a constitutional order that demands our consent. Now, that is serious. This sense is what motivated the people to rise up politically last November.  In a way their constitutional political dignity was offended, and so it should have been. It is because of this that the Tea Party folks, as far as I can tell, are dedicated to educating themselves in the most serious way, trying once again to understand what it means to live under our form of government, best described as government of, by, and for the people.
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