Skip to comments.Justice Clarence Thomas: How to Read the Constitution
Posted on 10/20/2008 12:34:57 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
When John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country," we heard his words with ears that had been conditioned to receive this message and hearts that did not resist it. We heard it surrounded by fellow citizens who had known lives of sacrifice and hardships from war, the Great Depression and segregation. All around us seemed to ingest and echo his sentiment and his words. Our country and our principles were more important than our individual wants, and by discharging our responsibilities as citizens, neighbors, and students we would make our country better. It all made sense.
Today, we live in a far different environment. My generation, the self-indulgent "me" generation, has had a profound effect on much around us. Rarely do we hear a message of sacrifice -- unless it is a justification for more taxation and transfers of wealth to others. Nor do we hear from leaders or politicians the message that there is something larger and more important than the government providing for all of our needs and wants -- large and small. The message today seems more like: Ask not what you can do for yourselves or your country, but what your country must do for you.
This brings to mind the question that seems more explicit in informed discussions about political theory and implicit in shallow political speeches. What is the role of government? Or more to the point, what is the role of our government? Interestingly, this is the question that our framers answered more than 200 years ago when they declared our independence and adopted our written Constitution.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Beautifully written by Clarence Thomas. (And to think Senator Biden was a part of the high-tech lynching (or Borking) of Thomas)...
Shame on you Democrats!!
Justice Thomas is a brilliant man. It makes me fighting mad to hear the disparaging comments the yapping lap dogs in the ‘media’ make about his intelligence.
I wish he would speak out more often.
Far and away my favorite justice.
Barack Obama, “Ask not what your country can do for you, just stand back and watch what I’m about to do for you! You poor dears have waited long enough! I have a dream...”
And I have a nightmare...
Let me put it this way; there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution -- try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up. No matter how ingenious, imaginative or artfully put, unless interpretive methodologies are tied to the original intent of the framers, they have no more basis in the Constitution than the latest football scores. To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial.
by the way, I originally read this article from a link at realclearpolitics.com. It was posted as counterweight to Powell's endorsment of B.H.O.
The US Constitution does not legitimize political parties. Could it be that parties as instruments of government are actually unconstitutional? I believe they are; that they have no business conducting elections, voter registration, or many other functions that the parties have corrupted.
Our society went terribly wrong when we allowed young people, unchallenged, to believe that they were as intelligent, as experienced, and their mere opinion was as valuable as that of older, more truly experienced, ADULTS. Perhaps it simply boils down to respect for your elders, but with the reasoning ability to judge who truly has proved experience and judgment. What if William Ayers father had challenged him on his radical socialist beliefs? Would we have seen the same outcome?
There is far to much emphasis by Senator Obama on “service”, a very socialist sounding meme. The emphasis should instead be on “duty”. “Duty” is something patriots should understand. Duty to self, family, community, and country doesn't mean “organizing”. It means sacrifice, not daily necessarily, but certainly an understanding of what the “ultimate sacrifice” means and what a precious thing it is. We lost our focus when we allowed our children to believe their wants and desires were the most important things in the world, with no understanding of how many times a coward can die.
A veiled reference to Obama's "spread the wealth" pronouncement.
What is truly distressing is journalists and newsreaders have virtually unrestrained rights and powers.
What an excellent reflection on the Constitution, the role of judges, etc. One of the terrible things about what they did to Clarence Thomas in the hearings is the fact that, although they were not able to defeat him, they did manage to tar him and his image so badly that he rarely goes into the public forum to speak or write, and when he does, it’s virtually ignored. I heard him speak once, at a Catholic legal organization event, and he’s an excellent speaker. And the few things I have read by him have always been thought provoking - and extremely clear, logical and non-rhetorical. Yet schools will not have him as a speaker, he’s still constantly ridiculed by the press, etc.
His autobiography, My Grandfather’s Son, is worth reading, btw.
Indeed it is!
Don’t you mean, “do to you?”
Yes. And no one who actually reads it will any longer have doubt about Thomas's qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice.
bump for later
“Yes. And no one who actually reads it will any longer have doubt about Thomas’s qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice.”
He’d certainly be a better president than Obama, and quite possibly a better president than McCain.
Concur. And the contrast between the teachings of Thomas's grandfather and Obama's father that were left to their offspring is huge.
They were both raised by their grandparents whose philosophies were so different.
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