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Letter: Beem wrong about Constitution

Opinion

Letter: Beem wrong about Constitution

Edger Allen Beem asserts “the Constitution is a living document, not an inviolable set of laws frozen in time.”

Wrong. The Constitution is not a "set of laws." It is a defining formulation that creates America’s governance, that “constitutes” federal government, grants it specific powers, and limits its reach. It is the frame of reference, the structure. Constitutions constrain governments, laws constrain men. Beem’s view confirms his liberal conviction that humanity finds its highest expression in government.

The “living document” view of the Constitution advocates for an unconstrained and therefore chaotic view of governance that responds to public whim and the social fashions of the day.

Imagine teaching arithmetic or accounting if the fundamental construct 1 + 1 = 2 was declared too limiting, and must yield to personal preference and social goals. Or envision a nation powered by electricity, with all our technology, where the concept of "earth ground" was invalidated and replaced by a floating (or "living") value.

Chaos and even great danger beyond imagining would result. And that is what Beem advocates with a "living" Constitution. Should we accept that premise, then a President and a Congress with authority over us is equally subject to a "living" understanding.

Conservatives believe humanity finds its highest expression in liberty. The Declaration of Independence states the founders’ conviction, and the Constitution implements their conviction and makes it enduring.

Trendy views or not.

Pem Schaeffer
Brunswick