Conservative and Libertarian favorite, Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, is often one of the first to come to mind when people think of a true freedom loving politician. He’s not afraid to butt heads with his own party if Republicans set themselves to defy the principles they claim to stand for, and will defy party leadership to make sure they remain on that course.
That’s because Paul is more often than not loyal to his principles, and a good deal of his principles fall directly in line with much of the Founding Father’s. So he was the perfect candidate to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights with an article in its defense.
Posted at Breitbart, Paul explained just how the Bill of Rights sought to defy government’s willingness to assume more power than it should have. It’s a document that is sadly far too brushed off today.
In contrast to almost all of the legislation Congress passes today, the Bill of Rights is full of language such as “Congress shall make no law” and “The right of the people… shall not be violated,” along with a guarantee that non-delegated powers or those not specifically denied the states “are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
With this document, the Founders drew a line in the sand a few inches from the government’s feet.
He detailed that while the Bill of Rights was created long ago to protect us from an overbearing government, it’s up to us as citizens to make sure that the Bill of Rights is upheld and followed. That when government starts to think too highly of itself, it’s our job to correct that assumption.
We have the Bill of Rights precisely because the Founding Fathers knew government can’t resist stretching its limits. Much like Benjamin Franklin’s reported statement that we had a Republic if we could “keep it,” the Bill of Rights relies on the people holding government accountable.
When some in government say “of course we can,” you and I are supposed to use the Bill of Rights to say, “No, you can’t.”
What’s more, we can’t pick and choose which rights we deem worth following, and which ones are not whenever it’s convenient for us. It’s a document that should be defended at all times, even if we don’t want to.
That’s one reason we must defend the entire Bill of Rights. If you expect to be able to speak freely, then surveillance that shreds the Fourth Amendment stops just being the other guy’s problem.
If you let the government decide the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says, then why should it hold to a strict definition of due process or freedom of the press?
We don’t have the luxury of playing favorites. We have the responsibility of getting it right.
With a Republican majority on the horizon, Paul looks forward to carrying out the values enshrined in the Bill of Rights after too long of it being walked over.
I am excited for the upcoming opportunities we will have to institute long-overdue reforms, roll back an overzealous and misguided bureaucracy, and return to a government that works for the people instead of the special interests.
On this 225th anniversary, let us rededicate ourselves to the principles and boundaries found in the Bill of Rights, and let us recommit to passing them on honored and intact.
I think a good deal of us are looking forward to it as much as he is.