20 May 13
The Bill of Rights, paraphrased from a friend and scholar:
“At the time of the drafting of our Federal Constitution, there was much heated discussion with regard to the structure of the federal government. The proposed construction certainly attempted to dissipate power among the branches, but the rights of citizens were still not secure. Tyranny was ever the major concern.
In fact, the body of the (unamended) Constitution protects only two individual rights:
The prohibition against ex-post facto laws, and
Bills of Attainder.
James Madison was the principle author and architect of the Bill of Rights. He also almost single-handedly caused the BOR to be passed by the First Congress.
At the time, the single greatest objection to an enumeration of specific rights was the fear that, when a right was missed in the enumeration process, that right would be deemed forfeit. The states thus submitted a total of seventy-seven enumerated rights. Avoiding a cumbersome and tediously redundant list demonstrates Madison’s genius, and also reveals his historical study of tyrants.
Throughout history, tyrants have used a predictable assemblage of techniques to collect power and weaken, discredit, and demolish all opposition. The single most effective and regularly-used technique is to misuse the law to criminalize all forms of resistance. ‘Treason’ is thus incorrectly defined, by tyrants, as any word or act that even suggests opposition to them. Truth is never a defense! Entire groups are thus arbitrarily declared “enemies of the State,” and everyone in them loses his civil rights, his property, sometimes his life.
Religious beliefs, particularly Christian and Jewish, are regularly seen by tyrants as home for opposition.
Weapons in the hands of the those expressing concern about tyranny is also regularly seen by tyrants as a threat.
Madison therefore recognized that central to all tyranny is the creation of ‘special classes’ of citizens, classes who are arbitrarily endowed with special privileges not enjoyed by the rest of the population. ‘Special citizens’ are specifically exempted from obeying certain laws that are binding upon the rest of us, most often through a series of capricious edicts. Individual rights and thus progressively, relentlessly converted to ‘privileges.’
Hapless citizens falling outside ‘special classification,’ including members of the opposition, find themselves progressively marginalized, denigrated, despised, eventually stripped of rights, property, liberty, and are ultimately herded into gulags and gas-chambers.
Madison thus created an inter-connected list of individual rights that protect the personal liberty and property of every, individual citizen.
What should represent a great concern to all good people is when tyrant wannabes contemptuously dismiss the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, in an effort seize power, using terms like ‘irrelevant,’ ‘outdated,’ ‘a living document.’”
“The most dangerous man to any government is the one who is able to think things out, without regard to prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”