My request is simple, but I’ll repeat it since it bears repeating every day.
I want politicians to obey written laws, as written, just like you and I have to. No “interpretation” from the bench; no “legal precedents;” no ifs, ands or buts. If a law is unclear, politicians can clarify it in print. If a law is bad, then change it, or delete it, in print. They are lawmakers, right?
No more fudging or cheating. I want politicians to obey what’s written, as written.
That’s it. That’s what I want.
OK, well, I’d like slightly more than only that, I suppose. I’d love it if our laws were few enough to actually know, simple enough for everybody to understand, and important enough that everybody must obey them without exception, proviso or caveat.
What I really want, in other words, are the written, signed constitutions for which so many generations of Americans fought and died, to be enforced. I want officeholders and officers of law to keep their oaths of office.
I want the Rule of Law under constitutions here that we say we’re fighting for in Iraq.
I want everybody to know that laws are laws and that nobody gets special deals even if they’re special people.
Yes, I know. Constitutions are called “living documents;” and even “agrarian,” as if that somehow means, “outdated.”
It’s no surprise that politicians say such things. You’d never expect an unruly child to obey rules without adult supervision. You’d never expect a rabid dog to willingly take a leash. So it is of course the job of citizens to snap the constitutional leash on our politicians. They’ll never do it themselves.
…Ah, but here’s the rub.
We haven’t even asked that politicians obey written laws as written. And the reason why we have not is highly embarrassing.
You see, we have had our own reasons to twist and stretch and cheat the law.
For example, a lot of citizens who say they’ll fight for free speech, fight against the freedom to own guns. And a lot of citizens who want to bear arms won’t allow the freedom to smoke pot. Many who say it’s OK to smoke pot, would snatch trans-fats and cigarettes from your mouth. Those who support abortion oppose the death penalty, while those who want to nuke the Middle East say they’re pro-life…
Democrats wield parts of the constitution against Republicans, and Republicans invoke parts against Democrats …nobody, it seems, will allow that the whole thing is not only a good idea – it’s the law!
Surely I cannot be the only one willing to drop this insane personal fascism if we could live in justice and peace instead…
So enough already! Politicians won’t be any more sensible than we are, and we’ve been quarreling and posturing like playground bullies.
I say let’s do this: Let’s demand compliance with written laws, as written, from ourselves and our politicians by, say, 2012. That’s plenty of time, and we don’t want to waste too much more of that.
Then if we want war, politicians would have to take pains to declare it legally. It’d be for the first time since WWII!
If we want to subsidize pro sports or foreign corporations, politicians will have to go through the deliberation to amend the constitutions. And if we really want that books are not a part of tax-paid school, but stadiums and cafeterias are …well, change what the constitutions say now, and write the nonsense down in black and white so that we all know that the rules, wise or stupid, are the rules.
Call, write, picket and otherwise inform our politicians that we’ve learned our lesson.
It’s time for all of us, especially politicians, to read plain words of law and obey them, as written, or face the consequences as lawbreakers.
It’s a simple thing. Let’s make it so.