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Embracing Extremism

The signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were acts of extremism because nothing like it in history had ever been attempted

Frankly, I am a little tired of the lazy claim that constitutionalism is extreme. When did this happen? Why is holding to everything this nation once stood for extreme? Perhaps it has always been extreme. After all, the framers of the Constitution could find no satisfactory form of government that adequately protected life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They ended up inventing their own government. I guess that is a little extreme, isn’t it? So be it, then. Let’s call it extreme. But let us not cower from such a name.

It is extreme to say that all men are created equal. It is extreme to say that they are each individual endowed with certain unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is extreme to say that the proper and only role of government is to protect those rights. It is extreme to claim that if any government becomes destructive of those ends, the people not only have the right but also are duty-bound to replace that government with one more willing to perform its sole purpose. And it is extreme to actually follow through on such claims by laying down a supreme law that restrains that government in such a way as to leave as much freedom to the states and the individual as is rationally possible. It is extreme to say individuals have the right to defend themselves, even with deadly force if necessary. It is extreme to create several levels of government that create certain checks upon themselves so as to guarantee that no one level of government becomes to oppressive of the people. It is extreme to create a system which guarantees the sovereignty of the individual, the state, and a federal entity. These and many other things were crazy back when the Founders set them down.  They are no less extreme today. But extreme is what this nation needs.

Since we began our departure from the extremism of a constitutional republic we also began our moral decline as a nation. We have become a nation bent upon the moral acceptance of those around us, which has included the demand to reject that which has set us apart from the rest of history, our beloved Constitution. Why look outward for acceptance? Why do we look to international courts and protocol to decide upon what we know to be right and true? Why centralize power in a single central government? Why should we re-craft ourselves after the image of a failing, immoral world?

In his 1920 poem, "The Second Coming," W.B. Yeats wrote, "The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity." We see the passionate intensity today in many fringe factions. True lovers of the Constitution should not shrink from accusations of extremism but should rather embrace them.

We once knew the truth. We once held inviolate the eternal principles upon which inalienable rights are connected. We once forged a nation that rejected the ignorance of a thousand bloody regimes.

No more freedom-stealing central government, from either side of the aisle. No more oppressing our neighbors through brute government force. No more irrational elections by an unenlightened, non-self-reliant electorate. Only extremism can save us.

Bring back the days when statesmen walked the halls of our beloved capitols. Bring back the days when such works as The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers were published in newspapers, and the common, “ignorant” farmers understood what in the world they were reading, but we today attempt to read such and fail to comprehend a single word (Oh, the irony of the baseless claim!). Bring back the days when men stood up for what they believed and dared declare, “A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” How many unfit princes have we allowed to rule over us—at every administrative level!

Bring back the days when men of principle ran their own lives and strove for their own self-reliance; when men understood that productivity is the standard of prosperous living, when men knew that God was the author of their prosperity. Bring back the days when words meant something, and a man’s worth was determined by those words and the actions that backed them.

These acts define extremism. It is time to own up to them. Extremism is the essence of excellence. Let the world rot in mediocrity. Let us go on in excellence. Let us return to excellence and break the cycle of pride which circles us around to defamation after opulence. This nation was once the greatest nation on earth. We didn’t get that way by rejecting the extremism of our Founding Fathers. Instead, that extremism catapulted us beyond anything this world ever imagined. And they hated us for it. But instead of boldly standing up for what we knew was right, we cowardly slunk down to their levels and sloughed off the extremism of excellence.

Most associate extremism with violence and irrational behavior. Indeed, the world is full of such behavior. Yet, it is quite easy to behave in such depraved ways. Much more "extreme" is to pose a more rational, peaceful demeanor, refusing to initiate force (physically or emotionally) upon anyone else.

There still is time to hold to or reclaim our once great, extreme status. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is as easy as electing a certain individual to the Senate. Nor do I believe it can be solved by a majority of states essentially overhauling the representation in Congress, or even all branches of the federal government. We have the government we deserve. We as a people are morally bankrupt, not just our politicians; the governments we have are merely images of our standing before the mirror of society. We must stand individually and collectively in the extremism that set us apart originally from the rest of the world and defend what the Founding Fathers handed to us.


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