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Conservatives and the Constitution

Updated on September 25, 2012

I hear "The Constitution" being talked about a lot lately in politics. A huge part of the conservatives' platform is that they are for upholding the Constitution and everyone else is ignoring it. If you vote for a Republican, they will save America by getting it back to the way our founders envisioned it and upholding the Constitution.

Hearing someone say they want to defend the Constitution sounds great. The fact is though, in most cases it's just not true. What many conservatives are doing is using the Constitution to make arguments when it upholds their viewpoint and ignoring it when it's contrary. Others simply just don't know the Constitution, but invoke it anyway. A third group actually knows AND promises to uphold the Constitution. This group includes Ron Paul. If all the conservatives screaming "the Constitution" from the rooftops put their vote where their mouth is, Ron Paul would be the next conservative candidate for president. The fact that he's made to look like a buffoon, shows that the Constitution is only being invoked when it supports a specific argument.


Recently, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, and Herman Cain have all quoted the Declaration of Independence saying the words were from the Constitution. Not a big deal, unless you're wrapping yourself in the Contitution and using it as a basis for all your arguments. I could list a lot more misquotes and mistakes about the Constitution by conservatives, but to keep my argument from becoming Ad Hominem, I'll just say if it's going to be the starting point of your argument, you should make sure you know it.

Some politicians, and people in general, quote the Constitution to the letter when making arguments. They know the Constitution in detail when it suits them and ignore it when it doesn't. If you're going to be a defender of the document, that means all of it, not just the parts you like. Conservatives use the Constitution to explain why President Obama is not eligible to be president, why we can't have a health care mandate, and even why we don't have to pay taxes. Those same people ignore Habeas Corpus and the separation of church and state. Conservative politicians constantly remind us that any powers not expressly granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states. While this is true, they fervently fight for the federal government to pass laws concerning marriage, abortion, drugs, and a slew of other topics.

The purpose of this article is not to argue individual topics, but to point out the hypocrisy of using the Constitution only when it suits you. This is done by politicians and citizens on both sides of the debate. I'm just using conservatives as an example because they seemed to have adopted it as a theme in the presidential debates and to show who is more conservative. All the issues of the day can be debated without invoking the Constitution. If you don't actually defend the WHOLE Constitution, leave it out of your argument. If you havn't read the Constitution, leave it out of your argument.



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    • mio cid profile image

      mio cid 5 years ago from Uruguay

      Great hub ! Keep shedding light on the simpleton mind, and educating the dittoheads.

    • Chad Claeyssen profile image

      Chad Claeyssen 6 years ago from Loveland, Colorado

      davenmidtown, nicely said. Ken, I think those are good examples and why the founders placed the laws governing religion and government atop the Bill of Rights.

    • profile image

      Ken Schubert 6 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      If you acquaint yourself with the history of the Church of England, it's clear why the founders opposed the merging of religious and political institutions. If you want a more contemporary example of why it's a bad idea, look to Iran or Saudi Arabia.

      Simply put, our government must never suppress religious expression (or lack thereof), but also must never subsidize it by legislation or expenditure.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Chad, I could not agree more! It is handy to quote the constitution or the declaration of independence because Americans know the words but perhaps not the document. One can build a convincing argument utilizing the ignorance of American's knowledge of either document.

    • Chad Claeyssen profile image

      Chad Claeyssen 6 years ago from Loveland, Colorado

      American Romance - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". I interpret it pretty much the same way you do. I'm personally not talking about things like a Christmas tree in the White House, but making laws based on religious belief.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 6 years ago from America

      You opened up a whole other can of worms, does the constitution really say there should be a seperation of church and state? Does it mean it that way? I have heard the arguments on both sides and I don't believe it means that! One could ask why prayer was so predominate in those early meetings when writing the constitution and the declaration? I believe our forefathers meant that the state cannot DICTATE what type of religion or faith a person can have, I do not believe they meant faith could not intermingle with government.