The Complete American Disassembly Manual – Bill Reader
Today’s article is dedicated to the Democratic party. In an act of generosity, and in very simple terms, I’m going to explain to you how you can have everything you want. Every last thing I disagree with fundamentally. Every single dark socialist desire that you wish to see supplant the fundamental freedoms on which this country is founded. I am, believe me, not particularly happy about doing so, and there are no tricks. You may question my motives, but humor me and I’ll reveal them in time.
Among other things, it may be clearer once you understand the small, regrettable detail of the price.
Now, first, of course, we’ll have to define what it is I think you want. Depending on whether Sarah is able to publish this article in time, this list should cover at least the things I think are most important. It is by no means comprehensive, but allow me to do my poor best at catching, say, the top 10 key ideas.
At present, to a greater or lesser extent—this is from following your primaries and your leading politicians— you would like:
1) Mandatory gun confiscation/ “buybacks”
2) Universal centralized healthcare— including things not universally agreed to be “health care”, such as free sex-changes, free and utterly secret abortions for any female old enough to physically become pregnant, and mandatory contraceptive coverage without exception
3) A centrally planned economy with regards to energy production, the better to expedite “green” technology being implemented
4) Mandatory car confiscation concurrent with massively expanded public transportation initiatives
5) The banning or heavy taxation of “inefficient” foodstuffs, especially beef, in favor of theoretically energy-efficient vegetarian diets and even—I can hardly believe I’m having to write this— insect-based foods
6) Unrestrained censorship of conservatives in media generally
7) The right for government agencies to remove through extrajudicial means a sitting president whom you personally dislike
8) Universal basic guaranteed income
9) Slavery reparations
10) Essential dissolution of the nation’s borders in the form of absolutely uncontrolled immigration.
Now, you may only want some of the things on this list, I admit, and hence consider yourself a moderate. It will not surprise you to know that in my opinion—and I say the following merely so you understand I’m not trying to lull you with false flattery— believing in absolutely anything on this list means you are not only not a moderate, you’ve forgotten, or never learned, key things about the fundamental philosophy of America. We’ll beg to differ from one another for the duration of the article, though, because it’s not really important. We have plenty of time to clash about philosophy later.
It may interest you to know that you can, in fact, have these things. Really. Oh, there is a problem, of course. The problem is that the current laws of the United States, including, yes, the constitution, make it completely illegal for you to simply proceed with several of them.
Mandatory confiscation or a mandatory buyback—which is expensive confiscation, but by right of the fact that it is mandatory is definitionally still confiscation— contravenes the 2nd amendment. If you are guaranteed a right to bear arms, and the government is confiscating your arms, you can try to spin it any way you like, the government has officially infringed what it is explicitly forbidden from infringing.
If a person’s employment in a certain field means they work exclusively for the government, for whatever wages, on whatever terms, with no alternative except not working in that field—then you are advocating a form of slavery, in contravention of the 13th amendment. That applies not only to doctors being forced to work under nationalized healthcare but any people whose work is forcibly reassigned in the midst of setting up a centrally planned green economy.
If you plan on taking coal plants from their owners, remodeling houses whether owners like it or not (as the Green New Deal advocates), confiscating cars, confiscating foodstuff or animals either from consumers or the producers of same—all these things are in contravention of the 4th amendment. You cannot just take people’s things at your own whim with no rationale other than you want them because your cause of the moment demands it.
You can’t use governmental powers to censor conservatives because of the 1st amendment. Obviously. Though I have to say that so far Silicon Valley is doing a good job of sparing you the necessity and the useful idiots over at, say, “The Bulwark” are assisting you.
Also, Republicans do get to be elected. Read the 12th amendment if you don’t believe me. Just because you don’t like the system by which they are elected, just because you don’t like the Republican who gets elected, does not give you carte blanch to remove them by means other than a legitimate election. There’s a process laid out for electing a president and in no part does it read that the president can be removed by extrajudicial tampering by unelected agencies at the behest of his predecessor and his opponent in the presidential campaign. Nor, I imagine, would this process have been a welcome addition.
I grant you that not every single thing you want is explicitly forbidden by the constitution, but, on the other hand, as we can see above, much of it is.
Now, at present, your strategy is to just ignore that this is the case. Strangely, however, no provision was made in the constitution for it to simply expire when it became too old or inconvenient. Generally we conservatives feel that this was extremely intentional, given that the principles were designed to govern humans and the general nature of humans was considered fairly predictable within certain bounds. As I understand it, your side feels this was merely an oversight, and—I have to assume—that the rules were either derived for some other purpose than the stated one of preventing what have historically been the predictable over-reaches of would-be tyrants, or else, more incredibly, that human nature itself has changed.
Whichever you believe, proceeding in accordance with these beliefs would be relatively unwise. I don’t endorse violent changes to government for much the same reason I don’t endorse the FBI’s shenanigans regarding the Trump administration. I will, however, note that armed services personnel swear oaths to the constitution, not to any particular elected official. While I do not doubt that some portion of the armed forces would be in compliance if, as Swalwell suggested, they were directed against their fellow citizens for unconstitutional reasons, I harbor some doubts that all of them would be. “Befehle sind befehle” is not a phrase one wishes to find oneself resorting to, given its legacy, and I suspect some of our service men and women are aware of that fact.
Let’s make no bones about the fact that even if you had 100% military support, however, first, you’d be making orders in direct and unambiguous contravention of US law in a way that really doesn’t require a court to explain. Remember that at its core, the reason we on the Right are generally adamant that violence not be resorted to while there is any reasonable alternative is essentially because of what happens if the principle is universalized. If violence is an acceptable route to power, then we’re not even really pretending to be a Republic, or a Democracy, or a country any longer. We’re an argument with borders. There’s a reciprocal agreement that the government will not do anything requiring violence, (and no other reasonable course of action), to redress. What things actually fall into what category—I would argue because our education in civics is completely remiss— are increasingly arbitrated by the judicial system.
Insofar as the judicial system is mainly used as the arbiter of late, you might find yourself—in fact from listening to you I know you find yourself—wondering if there is anything at all that is such an obvious abuse of power that the courts wouldn’t need to be called in to arbitrate. And following closely on that thought, you’re wondering where that line is mostly so you can walk right up to it. Put another way, what you’re attempting to do is call the bluff of the American people, and argue that there is, in fact, no practical, ultimate check on government authority at all, apart from you being “polite” enough not to just blithely ignore the laws that restrict what laws you can make.
Yet I hope we can at least agree that even if you think that should be an allowable way to run a country, it’s still a dangerous way to run a country. If nothing else, in the abstract, when A) the country in question has a civilian populace better armed than many nation’s militaries, and B) the culture of the country includes a substantial percentage of people who draw the line of when violent resistance is acceptable a little more, pardon the pun, conservatively than you and perhaps even I do, I hope you can at least see why you are, at best, courting civil war by engaging in constitutional brinksmanship.
Why not do it differently?
It may shock and amaze you to know that there are laws even for the changing of laws. Yes! There’s an actual legal framework available to you. Amazingly, the drafters of the constitution imagined that perhaps we would someday want to amend it. They even put in place a method of doing so. In fact, it has actually been done! Several times, in fact.
“All” you have to do is get a 2/3rds majority in the House of representatives and the senate to support your change, or get 2/3rds of state legislatures to call a constitutional convention and agree to it. Then, three quarters of the states need to ratify it. Interestingly, the president isn’t strictly necessary, though sometimes he signs something for the look of the thing anyway.
I hasten to add that the fact that a process was added for changing the constitution further shames those of you who just want to ignore it. See, I suspect that many of you know damn well that we have legitimate rules that you are willfully ignoring. I suspect that many of you are willfully ignoring the rules precisely because you know that you don’t have nearly the support or the mandate necessary to play within them. And instead of doing the self-reflection that ought to be stimulated by the fact that the system seems designed to prevent precisely what you are attempting, instead of wondering why that might be, your response so far has been to simply refuse to play by the legitimate rules. All this in an exceedingly misguided attempt to force your beliefs on the entire American public, as if the rules for changing the constitution were just one more limitation whose reason and origin was a mystery to you. Whether you admit it or not, if that characterization defines you, you are already exactly the tyrant the constitution was designed to restrain. You already think of yourself more as living on the brutal and direct terms of power and force than any civilized articulation of raw nature that’s come after, and you kid yourself if you think there’s any kind of compassion motivating that. To you, I say: the limits you are hitting are not at all arbitrary—au contraire, you personally are the reason they exist. I hope I am not being too cagey on this point.
But let’s say, entirely for the sake of argument, that you hadn’t heard. It’s entirely possible, in this world of state-run education designed more for propaganda than didactic value. I said I was not glad to provide this information, and I meant it. There was a time this wouldn’t have warranted an article. The modern Democratic party shows that those times are behind us.
Of course, you may complain that the bar for constitutional change is a very, very high bar. That is because, as I previously mentioned, the constitution—especially the original amendments— were drafted explicitly to prevent formation of a tyrannical government, by people who were highly motivated insofar as they were rebels against a tyrannical government. You’d be surprised how hard such men can make life. Ask England.
But what if you’re unwilling to play by those rules? Surely the bar is too high?
Ah, well, here we part ways, my friend. But I can tell you now, you’re a fool if you think the height of that bar is adjustable merely by writing down an easier-to-reach number.
Look— Let’s say you really, genuinely, had 51% absolute majority in the country. I don’t think you do, in fact, though nobody can really say one way or another since last I checked non-voters who could legally vote were either at or close to the largest majority in the country. But let’s say you did, purely for the sake of argument. I think that in your minds, 51% of the country abrogating the basic rights of the other 49% is some kind of stable, tenable configuration for a country. You seem to think, intrinsically, that there really wouldn’t be anything you couldn’t do with a solid 51%, and certainly so if you could bump it to maybe 52 or 53%. Majority rules, right? Because laws—in this as in all other things—are some kind of magic in your heads, and you can just ignore the ones you find inconvenient but also, all the ones you pass are going to be immediately followed.
But that’s not how things are written, is it. Why not? Why such a high bar?
Because where your goal is just to win whatever things your cause wants today no matter the long-term consequences, the goal of the drafters of the constitution was a stable society. That meant some kind of nod to how humans work and think. You may have noticed that a stable society does not look like, for example, what I predict the general response would be if you tried to confiscate guns. On some level, precisely because nobody really knows exactly what would happen, except the smart money is that it would be messy and you wouldn’t like the outcome. That’s not exactly what a popular mandate looks like.
No, you want to know ultimately why 2/3rds of both houses need to approve a law? Because 66 people against 33 have a much, much better chance of winning in a straight-up fight than 51 or 52 or 53 against 49, 48, or 47. Such a good chance, in fact, that the fight is unlikely to happen. And the constitution is drafted in such a way that people aren’t supposed to feel tempted to have a violent argument about things that are passed into it and then people have to live by. Because—assuming, again, your goal is stability— laws on what laws may be passed shouldn’t themselves be passed unless they are really, really popular. Barely tolerated is not enough.
This is why, when you’re talking about fundamental basis of a country’s laws, what you would probably think of as a nearly unreachable clear majority doesn’t come anywhere close to what you really need. And yet, dislike it though you may, that threshold is yet another fact imposed by nature itself and arrayed against you. It exists precisely because of the instability inherent in defining things otherwise—such as in the way you would prefer.
Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you’d still rather pretend the law is other than it is rather than follow it.
Just remember, it can be mighty hard to tell a populace to do as you say, not as you do.