Whatever else they disagree on, Republicans and Democrats are of one mind when it comes to paying lip service to the Constitution and its Framers. Unfortunately, however, far more frequently than not, this is just lip service — especially in the case of self-styled “progressives.” In reality, there is an unbridgeable chasm between, on the one hand, the progressive’s rhetoric concerning the Constitution and its progenitors and, on the other, his attitude toward them.
At best, the progressive views the Constitution as an instrument to be exploited for the sake of impeding the allegedly “unconstitutional” designs of his opponents. At worst — and for the most part — he regards it as an impediment to his own designs. Never does the progressive view the Constitution as the authority that its Framers intended for it to be.
Indeed, according to the very logic of the progressive’s vision, matters could not be otherwise. In other words, the progressive’s disdain for the Constitution and its authors will give way to genuine reverence if and only if he ceases to be a progressive.
What makes a progressive a progressive is that he has his eye forever on the future. The present has significance only inasmuch it supplies opportunities for paving the way for a brighter tomorrow. But for the past — the real past — there can be nothing but contempt on the progressive’s part. It isn’t that he is any more disinclined than anyone else to invoke past events and names when it suits his present purposes to do so. Yet the idea that the past has or can have any sort of authority over the present or future can only be anathema to the progressive.
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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)