Respect, Lawlessness and Legitimacy

There is a lot of current discussion about the lawlessness of the current regime and that raises the question of whom or what is responsible for keeping them in check. The answer to the “what” is easy, it is the restrictions written in the Constitution – the “whom” is a bit more complex.

Imagine that it is 10 p.m. and you are on Interstate 80 in the middle of Wyoming – from experience, I can tell you that late at night, the traffic on the stretch from Rawlings in the east to Rock Springs in the west is a pretty lonely stretch. Now assume that the speed limit has been set at 75 mph. You are driving along, your fuel injected, turbocharged, 577 horsepower Mercedes S63 AMG is running smooth, weather conditions are good and you can’t see another set of headlights or taillights for as far as your eye can see. You just topped off the tank in Rawlings and you really want to get across the state as fast as possible. It’s not Cannonball Run, it just feels like it…

What stops you from cranking the good old cruise control up to 85, 95 – or even 105 – and pointing the land rocket toward the last point where you saw the sun?

No law can stop you. A law enforcement officer can temporarily reduce your speed with an autograph session but once he is out of sight, you are free to go right back to speeding.

Whether you fear punishment or not, the only thing that really can stop you is your respect for the law, a belief that adhering to the speed limit is the right thing to do.

But what about limits?

Once you pass the legal limit of 75, what is the limit?

Once you break the 75 mph barrier, the functional limit is only what you feel safe in getting away with. If you believe that your AMG can outrun anything on the road, why not 125 mph? You have already broken the law, right?

The example is to propose that laws do little to restrain people or constrain government without the people in charge respecting those limits. I know that I have quoted it before but John Adams said:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

If the Constitution is the “what”, the “whom” are the people with whom we have entrusted control of government – they have a responsibility not to stretch the Constitution in an attempt to make it fit their political desires, they must endeavor to protect and abide by is as is required by their oath of office.

But there is also another “who”. That “who” us – the “We, the people” designated in the Constitution. We have a duty to refrain from electing people to office without the requisite character to hold to the limits and as much a duty to defeat those in office who seek to “reinterpret” the Constitution.

Obama has proven that the antecedent to the Adams quote is true, that:

“…we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.”

I’ve said that the lawless respect no laws. Since illegitimacy has its roots in a disrespect for lawful controls, it is not illogical to consider a lawless administration to be illegitimate.

10 thoughts on “Respect, Lawlessness and Legitimacy

  1. What of all the “laws” this lawless administration has foisted upon the American people in the form of regulations? Are we the people disrespecting the law and, therefore, become lawless, when we resist illegitimate regulation … or for that matter, actual legislative laws that violate the Constitution?

    So many people who say that we have the obligation to obey the law even if the law is a bastard.

    What say you?

    • There is no Executive Order on the Constitution. Nor is there any “Budget” power given to the Government.

      Most doen’t know this …….. There is so much that happens in Washington that is actually not legal wrt the Constitution…..it is and has been done now for so long By tradition that most assume it is legal. But in fact it is not.

      • Right. And, the problem is that we are taught to obey the law … even when the law is wrong, unconstitutional, immoral, or just downright nonsense.

        We cannot, at this juncture, force the Obama administration to follow the Constitution, but we could stir things up for the next president if we’d stop obeying the regulations and “laws” that have been placed upon us by this lawless administration.

        An example might be the SCOTUS ruling on the states’ Firearms Freedom Act legislation. The Constitution does not give the SCOTUS the authority to rule on firearms laws within the states. Alaska and other states that have been delegitimized by that ruling should simply refuse to comply.

        Just starting there would be a good first step. Yeah, it would cause a stir … and that’s a good thing.

  2. Pingback: Respect, Lawlessness and Legitimacy | contentconservative

  3. ” We have a duty to refrain from electing people to office without the requisite character to hold to the limits and as much a duty to defeat those in office who seek to “reinterpret” the Constitution.”
    This is soooo true……….. but how do you compete with “Santa Claus”?

  4. Ooooh, I do not like this analogy. I have driven in WY, and I know very well I would not have been able to resist this kind of temptation. Bully for you. Love the points that AK and Dusty made.

  5. Utah,

    We….Us.. the People, have to Restarin ourselves from electing those of the character we have of late been electing. And elect more of those like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Justin Amash, Louis Gohmert and others. You are 100 % correct !!

    BUT …. we ( the People ) also need to be PROACTIVE to “right the Ship” so to speak. This is why a Convention of States under Article V in the Constitution is probably needed as M Levin advocates. There needs to be some kind of “governor” in the legal sense on the abuses that generations of Politicians have proven themselves to incapable of avoiding at best, and enthusiastically engaged in normally.

    Why John Corzine and Charlie Rangel are not in jail is beyond the pale. And of course there are literally hundreds of their compatriots that should follow.

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