False conservatives

apple pieMany ideas said to be conservative are not conservative at all. Conservatives seek to return to the traditional ways of the past–the good old days. Thus conservatives ought to favor a traditional interpretation of the Constitution–the First Amendment guarantees freedom of and from religion; the Second Amendment applies to an organized militia; the Fifth Amendment protects everyone from being required to testify against themselves. Today, some falsely masquerading as conservatives more correctly should be labeled radicals. Here are some examples:

    • Small Government
    • Drill baby drill
    • False ideas about Constitutional government
    • Low Minimum Wage
    • No immigration reform
    • Tax Cuts for the wealthy
    • Privatize education

The above ideas are reckless, ill-considered concepts, which don’t reflect conservatism at all.

Small Government — conservatives ought to be concerned with the effectiveness of government–is government doing what needs to be done cost-effectively? When false conservatives rail against big government, they are disingenuous–it isn’t really the size of government that they object to but only certain programs they don’t like.

Drill baby drill–conservatives ought to be concerned about threats to the environment. When false conservatives deny all threats they only serve the interests of energy companies. Denying the possibility of climate change and minimizing the danger of pollution reflects reckless optimism–there is nothing conservative in that.

Constitutional Government — sounds good, but is neither liberal or conservative. Those who say they would follow the Constitution often seek to give the Constitution a an unprecedented interpretation and to ignore what parts they disapprove.

Low minimum wage–a low minimum wage is sought by small business to maximize profit. The idea isn’t conservative–conservatives might better support living wages that allow workers to achieve the American Dream.

Immigration reform–conservatives ought to support the principle “one nation, indivisible” rather than seek to maintain an underclass of under privileged Americans. As in the past, conservatives ought to welcome immigrants to citizenship

Tax cuts for the wealthy–that America would be an oligarchy is a new idea. Conservatives support traditional values, thus conservatives should oppose the creation of a class of privileged Americans.

Free public education–a cultural value that predates our Constitution. Those acting to undermine and destroy it are not conservatives, but overreaching radicals.

Many claiming to be conservatives today are not conservatives but radical Republicans flying false colors. When a politician claims to be conservative, one should ask if the views expressed are really conservative or not. The NYS Conservative Party isn’t conservative at all. It invariably supports the Republican candidate whatever that person’s ideas might be. Real Conservatives would insist on a party and candidates who hold honest conservative views. It is easy to form a party in NYS; real conservatives should do that.

© William Hungerford – May 2014



About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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97 Responses to False conservatives

  1. solodm says:


  2. josephurban says:

    Good points. We forget that Nixon created the EPA. And other pre-Reagan conservatives, like William F Buckley , had solid intellectual credentials. Even Mitt was barely acceptable to much of the new far right.

    • solodm says:

      Joe, isn’t it one thing to have “intellectual credentials” and quite another as to how they are used? Hitler was nearly a genius when it came to human manipulation and political strategy.

    • BOB McGILL says:

      Jan 21, 2012 … Nixon created the EPA by executive order in 1970 as a sop to the anti-Vietanm
      war left — not because he thought an EPA was needed.

      Nixon created the EPA by executive order in 1970 as a sop to the anti-Vietanm war left — not because he thought an EPA was needed.

      Nixon reassigned to the EPA the ongoing environmental protection activities of other federal agencies.

      So Nixon’s move was little more than a cynical bureaucratic reshuffling done to facilitate his Vietnam policies — not some proud legacy of the Republican party

      • josephurban says:

        An interesting revisionist hypothesis. So, because the war in Vietnam was unpopular, Nixon decided to clean up the air and water and stop toxic dumping. Actually Nixon’s “new Federalism” was not a cynical ploy at all. For the first time the US actually took polluters to court and assessed damages. By putting Ruckelshaus ( a well respected environmentalist) in charge he sent a clear message that the EPA was going to be an active agency. (One example, the banning of DDT despite pressure from agribusiness not to do so) It was an effective agency until 1983 when Reagan gutted it and put in charge Ann Gorsuch. She slashed funding and misused the Superfund. Did Nixon create the EPA due to public opinion ? To some extent. But to suggest that reason was to “throw a sop” to “anti-war left” fails to take into account the unregulated pollution that was costing taxpayers, as well as the very “conservative” leaders of the environmental movement (like Ruckelshaus who later joined the Nixon Justice Department). The EPA was about cleaning up the mess of the “deregulated” industrial development. Nothing to do with Vietnam. Nice try, but that revisionist dog just don’t hunt.

      • pystew says:

        Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act—one of the few noble things he did.

  3. phadde2 says:

    If you don’t agree with some of these sentiments that your right, but I would ask that you don’t falsely represent the ideas of the founders of this nation which statements that aren’t entirely true. You have no evidence that the founders actually support your point of views, and mainly this because it would be extremely difficult to articulate your refutation in which they support. You make a claim that conservatives have false ideas about the constitutional government but make no commit the false of begging the question because you leave it at that with no evidence.

    Jefferson Republicans did want small government, George Clinton governor of New York was avidly against a constitution, it’s why there were Anti-federalist!! namely Patrick Henry being among them. Thomas Jefferson advocated for an agrarian society primarily because rural farms and its citizens had miles between their neighbors little alone government so what need would they have for it? Yes, Hamiltonian federalist pushed for a more energetic government, but not nearly the bloat that we see today. . Even though Hamilton was in favor of energetic government and central banking he was still a proponent of capitalism, as he wished the BUS to not be an entity of the government so that the wealthy citizens could buy bonds and invest their private capital to boost this nation out of debt by wishing it to succeed.

    The founding fathers wrote the 1st amendment to protect citizen from tyranny, not to protect the government from religion, simple as that. Again if you refute this please show me evidence, because I will tell you that the only indication is from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Dansbury Baptist that was falsely attributed to creating a “wall of separation” in the constitution that was ruled in Brown. v. Board of Education. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education This is more important as well if you’re even speaking about Constitutional government because even the Supreme Court ruling what is constitutional is unconstitutional!! There is absolutely no articles that allow the Supreme Court to have the ability for Judicial Review, this power was given to the Court by Chief Justice John Marshall in the Marbury v. Madison case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marbury_v._Madison

    The second amendment does not apply strictly to the militia, it was actually written in that manner by James Madison when he submitted it to the committee for the amendments, the amendment was then we drafted to the text that we see today, omitting the language that strictly tied it to the militia. http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/billofrights.html However, let’s assume your interpretations is correct and let’s look at the U.S. Code of law of what is the militia. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

    It appears that in section B2 citizens are qualified militia in the unorganized militia, therefore even in your interpretation they have the right to bear arms. However, let’s look at what the Federalist Papers, the greatest interpretation of the constitution (assessment of Chief Justice John Marshall, and also through Stare Decisis of the Supreme Court)

    Alexander Hamilton, Why should the people be armed? and what is the purpose of the populace having arms? From Federalist 28

    ““If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo. The smaller the extent of the territory, the more difficult will it be for the people to form a regular or systematic plan of opposition, and the more easy will it be to defeat their early efforts. Intelligence can be more speedily obtained of their preparations and movements, and the military force in the possession of the usurpers can be more rapidly directed against the part where the opposition has begun. In this situation there must be a peculiar coincidence of circumstances to insure success to the popular resistance.”

    Sir, I know the law and the Constitution of the United States of America. I have read the Federalist papers and by doing so I have heard from the lips of Madison, the father of constitution, and Hamilton the proponent of Federalism of what powers are to be formed from the document. There is nothing, and I mean nothing disingenuous about myself, and as such I am constitutionalist and a conservative and must reject this diatribe have half-truths with no evidence to refute what the beliefs of constitutional government. What you care to label conservatives as is not progressive, but a liberal wet dream, as such it is the intentions of one who promotes the reason of the subversive, not the progressive.

    You said,
    “Constitutional Government — sounds good, but is neither liberal or conservative. Those who say they would follow the Constitution often seek to give the Constitution a an unprecedented interpretation and to ignore what parts they disapprove.”

    Isn’t evident that you are guilty of your assertions?

    • whungerford says:

      Thank you for your comments. You might enjoy this discussion of the Second Amendment by historian Jill Lepore:

      • phadde2 says:

        I guess we’ll just have to disagree,I don’t see anything here that would give any great revelation. As a classicist it is in my training to seek my opinion and wisdom from as close to 1st sources as possible, and the greatest part about our nation is that we have the ability to do just that. The words of Hamilton, and Madison still provide wisdom today,

        Take this from your article:
        “Levinson also discussed what is called an insurrectionist interpretation, in which the Second Amendment is thought to allow for a militia of armed citizens standing “ready to defend republican liberty against the depredations” of a government become tyrannical.”

        This from Alexander Hamilton, principle participate in the Constitutional debate, ” if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”

        Levinson is in direct contradiction of Hamilton, so who should I consider as a Classicist ? the Primary Source or the not even a secondary source such as Levinson.

        Let’s consider a secondary source, 4th Chief Justice John Marshall because Madison and Hamilton were apart of the constitutional convention in such an intimate role and note taking process it gave their word and opinion as Marshall explained, “put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed.

        We’ve seen what Hamilton’s words were, and I mentioned the drafts undertaken by Madison that eliminated the connection to the militia, as well as the grammar chosen for the prose, as the first part being present participle. Madison would disagree with Levinson because of his disagreement with a standing army in Federalist 46,

        “Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.”

        James Madison also said this in a letter in 1821 to Thomas Ritchie, ”

        the legitimate meaning of the Instrument (The Constitution) must be derived from the text itself; or if a key is to be sought elsewhere, it must be not in the opinions or intentions of the Body which planned & proposed the Constitution, but in the sense attached to it by the people in their respective State Conventions where it recd. all the authority which it possesses.”

        So what did the state conventions say on the matter that ratified the document?

        Let’s look at Pennsylvania, one of the 13 colonies as an example

        Pennsylvania, The People Have a Right to Bear Arms

        Massachusetts Ratifying Convention
        Samuel Adams Proposal Feb. 6, 1788
        “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress . . . to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defence of the United States, or of some one or more of them. . .

        New Hampshire Convention
        Adopted June 21, 1788
        “X. That no standing army shall be kept up in time of peace, unless with the consent of three fourths of the members of each branch of Congress;… XII. Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion.”

        North Carolina: 6. North Carolina Ratifying Convention
        Ratification Refused & Bill of Rights Proposal Adopted Aug. 1, 1788
        “17. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

        7. Rhode Island Convention Ratification Document
        Declaration of Rights Adopted May 29, 1790
        “XVII. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, including the body of the people capable of bearing arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; that the militia shall not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, rebellion, or insurrection; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up, except in cases of necessity; and that, at all times, the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power; . . .”

        It seems on this accord the original sources such as Hamilton, Madison, John Marshall, and those who lived at the time do not agree with Levinson, and for that matter you. As I a classicist I must concur with their opinion on that matter, so how exactly in this regard are Conservatives being disingenuous with the original intent of the 2nd amendment and the Constitution, including myself ?

  4. phadde2 says:

    If you want to get into the nitty gritty of the grammar of the second amendment; since you made such a bold claim, and how it does not require a militia. My college major was Classics, so being familiar with moods, cases, verb participles and etc. as a part of the curriculum of studies.

    “A well-regulated militia, being necessary
    to the security of a free state,”

    Is a Present Participle, not a clause. As such it represents an adjective that modifies “militia”, which the main clause being that with the verb, “shall” and the subject “right”. This being the case “The Right to keep and bear arms.” is assumed and what is essential to having a militia.

    Professor Roy Copperud illustrated this perfectly with his scientific control as an example,

    “A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of
    a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall
    not be infringed.”

    Would this indicate that “well-schooled” would mean those with high school diplomas or college degrees could only read book? Absolutely not.

    • josephurban says:

      Still begs the question, doesn’t it? IF the founders intended every citizen to have a unregulated legal right to possess a gun, why include the clause about the militia? In fact, by taking out the clause it would be clear, wouldn’t it ? The first Amendment has no justifications. Not needed. But the 2nd Amendment justifies the possession of weapons. Why should people have guns ? So, if necessary, they can become part of a government directed and organized militia. There is no other reason to include that particular clause. No matter how you try to slice it, these guys were LAWYERS. Every clause had meaning.

      • phadde2 says:

        Nope just language, in fact read my reply to Hungerford about what the state conventions said on the matter as well as Hamilton, Madison, Marshall.

        I find it strange such an ardent quoter on the separation of church and state, but then the founders words have no meaning in regards to the 2nd amendment? Find me a direct quote where a founder says, ” For a citizen to have arms he must be apart of the state militia.”

        • josephurban says:

          Try these words: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…” The meaning is clear. A militia. Well-regulated. The words are the words. The founders words certainly do have meaning. Any honest reading of the amendment tells us that the reasons for allowing weapons is so the people can be formed into militias. And militias are , by definition, government entities. Clear. As I said before…why put in this clause if the intent was unregulated weapons ownership?

          • phadde2 says:

            Except ” well regulated militia” is a present participle that amplifies the subject “right” not to mention the what the law says in regards to the
            Militia, I suppose that isn’t plain, also “regulation” in regards to 18th century language meaning governmental regulation would have been foreign to the majority of colonist. In Washington’s letters during the war armies being regulated simply meant for them to be well supplied. This is refutation to your points, so please refute mine with evidence against them, this circular logic is tiresome and absurd.

          • phadde2 says:

            Could you explain to me the difference between a present participle and a
            Clause? I just need to know if I need to clarify what I am taking when I say present participle.

            Also “Shall not infringe” is very clear, I agree with you on that.

          • josephurban says:

            You seem to be avoiding the answer to the most basic question. Maybe it is because I am not making myself clear. The first amendment has 5 rights. None of which have qualifiers. The 2nd Amendment right has a qualifier. Why ? Why did the authors decide to modify the right to possess weapons?

          • phadde2 says:

            Not avoiding, its really really simple. Here’s you answer, there is no qualifier on two accounts, #1 It’s a present participle that amplifies “right”. #2 Commas separate independent clauses, if it was connected there would be a semi-colon.

      • phadde2 says:

        Also every able bodied male is apart of the unorganized militia, so even with your, I can’t even call it an interpretation, those able bodied males can all have arms. So you’re really nixed on two accords, what the document actually says, and now what the laws says with your assessment.

  5. whungerford says:

    Is it liberal or conservative to conserve justice for all, to conserve our planet, to conserve separation of church and state, to conserve public education, to conserve our government of, by, and for the people?

    • BOB McGILL says:


    • phadde2 says:

      It’s not liberal or conservative, it’s subversive to conserve separation of church and state, because it simple isn’t there, as I state below I don’t advocate for a Christian nation, I advocate for a nation where religion for does exist. The founders wanted to avoid a National religion, many states had state religion adopted, this would be able to be existence within the compound republic theory created by James Madison in Federalist 51. Again, I am not making up the words of the founders, you just assume that I am.

      That is actually the only issue I have with your statement here.

      • whungerford says:

        In “Town of Greece” the Conservative Majority found in favor of government sponsored prayers. “The town of Greece does not violate the First Amendment by opening its meetings with prayer that comports with our tradition,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. However, Justice Elena Kagan, dissenting, wrote, “When the citizens of this country approach their government, they do so only as Americans, not as members of one faith or another. And that means that even in a partly legislative body, they should not confront government-sponsored worship that divides them along religious lines.” No way this division doesn’t involve the question of the permissible degree of separation or that the Court did not divide along a liberal/conservative line.

        • phadde2 says:

          Kagan said that, in doing so is now the “law” at least in your point of view, that is what we call in my classical debates check mate, since you were of the opinion Justice’s don’t rule, remember?

          • josephurban says:

            You do understand that Kagan was dissenting. That means she did not agree with the majority decision. Her interpretation of the Constitution would certainly have brought pleasure to Jefferson and Madison, who both feared this attempt at religious coercion. She would have, rightly, rejected the ability of the state to impose prayer on it’s citizens.

            • phadde2 says:

              You understand reading comprehension and is why I stressed “your” in Wutherford’s perception of the law, nice try attempt, but aWisenheimer one . Jefferson perhaps, but not Madison unless he was lying in 1821? Do you think Madison lied in his letter in 1821?

          • josephurban says:

            The Madison letter of 1821 (if you are referring to the Ritchie correspondence) does not contradict his essay of the id 1780s. As he states, the text is all-important. And the text of the Constitution is clear. No religious test. What could be clearer? Consistent with his views in the 1780s. What’s the problem?

  6. josephurban says:

    I would like to respond to the following section of the post by phadde2:
    “…The founding fathers wrote the 1st amendment to protect citizen from tyranny, not to protect the government from religion, simple as that. Again if you refute this please show me evidence, because I will tell you that the only indication is from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Dansbury Baptist that was falsely attributed to creating a “wall of separation” in the constitution that was ruled in Brown. v. Board of Education….”
    Here is the evidence you desired….Protecting the people from “tyranny” includes protecting the government from religious domination and intrusion. They go hand in hand. Both Jefferson and Madison were quite open and articulate regarding the relationship between government and organized religion. In 1786 Jefferson wrote his opinion entitled: The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. In it he is quite clear that any establishment of a religion by the state is contrary to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. He says, in part, that the only time civil government should be involved in religion is when religious practices are disruptive to society.
    Madison, in his 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments is even more precise. He argues against a bill entitled: “A Bill establishing a Provision for Teachers of the the Christian Religion.” In section 2 he argues that the “separation” of religion and government must be maintained. To do otherwise violates “conscience”.
    So, the two primary authors of our system both argue for a clear separation of church and state. And they included this idea in the Constitution.
    Thirdly, god is nowhere mentioned in the document. Nowhere. The founders clearly were establishing a secular state,separate from religious institutions. In fact, the Constitution is quite EXPLICIT when it says: there shall be NO RELIGIOUS TEST for holding office. Can’t get much clearer than that.
    So, we have three distinct pieces of evidence. Essays by Jefferson and Madison and the Constitution itself which clearly establish the principle of the separation of religion and government.

    • phadde2 says:

      You have Madison, Jefferson was in the country at the time of debate, therefore his words are moot on the point as he could not participate with the debate, however let’s examine some of the words in the state conventions like North Carolina, as Madison said in 1821 that those who ratified gave interpretation to the document itself with regard to the RELIGIOUS TEST ( no need for caps, I can see the words)

      Those who understood the constitution at the time it was ratified, doesn’t Article VI rule out atheist from holding office? or is that a contradiction to the religious test? As Freedman points in Article VI the government couldn’t require all congressmen to be Christians but it does require all to be theist. This indicated by that one must take an oath to uphold the constitution, and as it was understood at the North Carolina ratifying convention by the future Supreme Court Justice James Iredell explained that one must have a basic belief because an oath is “solemn appeal to the Supreme being, for the truth of what is said, by a person who believes in the existence of a Supreme Being and in a future state of rewards, and punishments”

      Even with this being said, I’m not a defender of This Nation is a Christian nation, I am a defender of what the Constitution actually says, and what it doesn’t as well as the history around it. I’m not disingenuous as Mr. Hungerford has claimed, I simply read what is their, and study the men who helped create the document. I believe all prayer should be allowed, and those who have religious morality should legislate with such. If you elect a Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, or even an atheist because I don’t 100% agree with Iredell the people shouldn’t be shocked when the congressmen or whoever votes as one of those named, they knew they were that before the elected them.

      • phadde2 says:

        Jefferson wasn’t**

        • josephurban says:

          I am not sure how Jefferson being in or out if the country makes his writings about the separation of church and state “moot”. I admit you lost me on that one.
          I also do not see how the actual words of the legal document, Article 6 ” …no religious Test shall ever be required…” can allow anyone to assume that those words “rule out an atheist”. To the contrary. No religious test means that the adherence to any religion or lack of adherence to any religion is irrelevant to holding office. The words mean what they mean. They could have very easily said, “there should be no religious test for those who believe in god to hold office, but unbelievers may be excluded”.
          I find it a little disturbing that we have some revisionist historians taking the actual words of the Constitution and trying to reinterpret the meaning of those words to fit religious agenda.
          We need to ask ourselves. Why is god not mentioned in the Constitution? Why does the document start with the words, “We, the people” ? Obviously, the “people” are the supreme authority in creating the document. Had the founders wanted a religious nation, they could have quite easily proposed one. “we, the people, under god”. They didn’t. The ideas of separation were clearly outlined well before the writing of the Constitution (by both jefferson and Madison in the mid 1780s) and the document reflects that accepted position.

          • phadde2 says:

            I suppose you are simply missing the point that Madison said that.

            “the legitimate meaning of the Instrument must be derived from the text itself; or if a key is to be sought elsewhere, it must be not in the opinions or intentions of the Body which planned & proposed the Constitution, but in the sense attached to it by the people in their respective State Conventions where it recd. all the authority which it possesses.”

            The State conventions in Madison’s view hold the highest interpretation of the document, also Jefferson not being here to debate it, also eliminates his say on the matter, as he was not here to plan or propose.

          • josephurban says:

            I see you are avoiding the issue. Jefferson’s writings were well known. As were Madison’s views. As the documents I referred to both clearly demonstrate, they strongly adhered to the principle of the separation of church and state. Reflected in the Constitution. They could have easily made this a Christian country. The founders instead demanded that the US be created as a secular state. As the TEXT ITSELF states…We, the People…no religious test…I have yet to hear any arguments that suggest the nation was founded as a religious one or that the founders suggested it be so. Any references to those positions by the founders? Anywhere in the document that suggests the US be a religious nation as opposed to secular?

          • phadde2 says:

            I’m not avoiding the issue, stop using the circular logic…fallacy after fallacy. it’s good as most will not understand what you’re doing but I have clearly refuted and stated that you can believe what Jefferson wrote, I know it, as it was used to create this pseudo clause; but it has no meaning in regard to the Constitution of the United States because he wasn’t part of the body that debated the document. How is that avoiding the issue? Madison’s view in 1821 was the the body that debated the document, and the state conventions is what gives the constitution. This was a refutation to his writings as on religion prior to 1821!!! Why is this hard to read and comprehend? Again how is this avoiding, I stated it!?!? Do you just not see? Instead you’re using circular logic to attempt to get me argue the same points, please tackle these points so we can actually debate in linear fashion. You never tackle these refutations because they do happened to make the debate irrefutable. You will literally have to say I don’t think the 2nd amendment should exist, or that Separation of Church and State was created by the Brown v. Board of Education case.

            Like I said before, It’s fair to have these beliefs like Jefferson, but have them with integrity, and be honest about it, and how they came to be in existence.

          • phadde2 says:

            I’ve also refuted you’re point that you’ve heard no argument as the founder’s establishing a religious one, because I never argued one. This is a red herring fallacy because I argued that they established a nation that was open to be able to worship to any religion. Again look up at the feed, more circular logic, how many times do I have to reexamine and restate my words?

          • josephurban says:

            You seem to be emphasizing that Jefferson was not involved in the verbal debates. But you fail to mention that he was very much involved in writing letters to the delegates. He corresponded with many of them, expressing his strong support for the addition of a Bill of Rights and a free press. to suggest that his ideas were (moot) because he was not present in body understimates his influence. His views and writings were well known and respected and his opinions sought. To suggest otherwise is historical revisionism.

      • phadde2 says:

        You challenge me to find words from the Founders that support by claim, simply because you believe to have monopoly on the matter as they expressed by Madison and Jefferson, yet those aren’t the only two men that founded this nation. So here if you want founders support of my position, let us beat this dead horse!

        “We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

        John Adams 1798, Address to the militia of Massachusetts

        “I have lived, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

        Benjamin Franklin July 28, 1787, Address at the Constitutional Convention

        “In my opinion, the present constitution is the standard to which we are to cling…. Let an association be formed to be denominated ‘The Christian Constitutional Society,’ its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.”

        Alexander Hamilton Apr. 16-21, 1802, Letter to James Bayard

        “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

        John Jay, First Supreme Court Justice Feb. 28, 1797, Letter to clergyman Jedidiah Morse

        “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth.”

        George Mason, The Father of the Bill of Rights
        1772, Robin v. Hardaway,
        General Court of Virginia

        “[W]hile just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.”

        George Washington Oct. 1789, Letter to the Synod of the Reformed Dutch Church of North America

  7. whungerford says:

    I would take issue with the claim about Judicial Review, that “this power was given to the Court by Chief Justice John Marshall in the Marbury v. Madison case.” I would say instead that this power was assigned to the Court by the Constitution, was asserted by the Court in the Marbury opinion written by Chief Justice Marshall, and has been accepted as a key element of Constitutional “checks and balances” ever since.

    • phadde2 says:

      It never existed prior, 3 Chief Justices existed before. Marshall was responsible for many good things but the Midnight Judges with John Adams and being part in the administration would be watergate of the 19th century, and then being the Chief Justice ruling in this manner is gross encroachment of power by the Judicial branch. The language is not in the constitution, or with its original intent, the great defense of the branch is Federalist 78 which is silent on the matter. One could only arrive at this conclusion through the “living document” theory.

      • whungerford says:

        Nonsense: the Chief Justice did not rule; the opinion of the Court was unanimous. The prior history of judicial review is discussed at length in the Wikipedia article you cited. As Marshal noted, a written constitution that can’t be enforced is meaningless.

        • phadde2 says:

          It is nonsense I agree with you!!

          • phadde2 says:

            Also review the criticisms of the ruling there and elsewhere. What you fail to consider in the English style courts is the role of Stare Decisis, which is judicial precedence. Therefore the opinions of the courts, and is why we have case law, as such they are used as the law for future generations, so the words of the Justice do become a great factor in the law, one could argue, the law.

          • Deb Meeker says:

            It seems 5 presently sitting Justices only support their version of Stare Decisis – used in cases they have previously diminished. McCutcheon on the heels of the landmark Citizen’s United decision, would suggest that this Court surely believes the Constitution is “living” enough to change as it suits their ideology.
            No doubt in my mind, if they get an opportunity, they will completely overturn Roe V Wade as well. Whereas in his vetting in the Congress before his being seated, Justice Robertson was all about believing in the role and importance of Stare Decisis…

            • phadde2 says:

              I could agree with this perception as being the what used as the truth in rulings today in regards to State Decisis makes the constitution living but it’s purpose was not that as we are a republic therefore what rules is the law. Court precedence was adopted from English law.

      • josephurban says:

        Of course the constitution is a “living document”. That is obvious. That is why it is continually being re-interpreted as times change. That very flexibility of interpretation is what has allowed it to endure. And that is why so any decisions are5-4. They are based on current political and social realities.

        • phadde2 says:

          Partial Credit, It is obvious in that this has been a type of precedent since Marbury v. Madison, your correct, but it’s wrong that when criticizing conservatives of not wanting a return to the original sense of the constitution which would be a reflection of a republic, where the rule of law presides.

          “A republic, if you shall keep it.” Ben Franklin

          Of course with living document theory, can threaten the ability to keep it.

          Also you also contradicted yourself in support of Separation of Church and State, Justice Black’s court ruled in your favor therefore it is the absolute purpose and law of the land.

          The Court in the Heller case ruled for the individual citizen to have the ability to have arms.

          So which is the legitimate rule of law, that of the original intent ? or that of the living document? It appears that you lose on both accounts.

          • josephurban says:

            The “original sense ” of the Constitution? While the neoconservative movement tries to claim” original sense” the court decisions demonstrate otherwise. Did the founders consider corporations to be “persons”? Didn’t the founders count some human beings as 3/5 of a person for census purposes? Didn’t the founders deny the franchise to the overwhelming majority of adults? The so-called “originalists” are actually very aggressive activists. Good example was the 2000 election when the 5 “originalists” overrode the state of Florida law and courts which demanded it count it’s own votes. Let’s not pretend that the “originalists” are anything more than political appointees with a political agenda. (By the way, I would say the same for the liberal judges).

            • phadde2 says:

              Again with the fallacies, as I am explaining the origination of court’s Judicial review powers, all the examples provided are red herrings, as they have nothing to do with Judicial review or the Marbury v. Madison case.

          • phadde2 says:

            You’re grasping at straws, with these red herrings The Slave articles actually were written as a pragmatic approach to unify already established pro slave states, and free states. The Slave trade clause gave Jefferson the power to abolish the slave trade within his presidency. Attempting to bring several varying factors to discredit the constitution and the need of the living constitution, which in accordance to the rule of law it appears as focused with 21st century lens is laughable. Your attempt to take a stab at the GOP being in bed with corporations is as well, as I have being Constitutionalist have no allegiance to them.

            The Founder’s were very weary of Corporations, so actually that is detriment to your pro argument for the Constitutionality of Judicial Review. The Patriot Act is a gross violation of the Constitution, articulated and instituted by Bush era, I say throw them all in jail as well. Read some of my post on my blog, I think it will astonish you my viewpoints. I think in current news Bundy ranch, he’s in violation of the law, wow a shock? Maybe so since the attempt here is to paint me as an extremist because I’ve read and comprehend the document for myself. You’ll find that I am very susceptible to compromise with partisans because my only allegiance is with that of the constitution, which the slave articles were amended by the 13th and 14th amendment. This is in faith with originality of the document since the document gives the people the ability to amend it, not needing a living constitution.

      • josephurban says:

        The Judiciary Act of 1789 clearly and explicitly gave power to the Supreme Court to review cases tried in the state courts if the issues involved the interpretation of the Constitution. The principle was in place. The principle was judicial review. It was not tested until the Marbury v Madison decision. But Justice Marshall was simply extending the principle of judicial revue as already passed in 1789.

        • phadde2 says:

          Not exactly, Mashall’s explanation of the Judiciary Act created Judical Review this is common knowledge, nice attempt again. That’s law school 101.

          • phadde2 says:

            Here’s the very concise history of the Judiciary Act that didn’t give this power until John Marshall reviewed and eliminated the language. Simply, When Marshall struck out the “writs of mandamus” as unconstitutional, that created Judicial Review in American Law.

            “In the administrative law context in the United States, the requirement that mandamus can be used only to compel a ministerial act has largely been abandoned. By statute or by judicial expansion of the writ of mandamus in most of the U.S. states, acts of administrative agencies are now subject to judicial review.”

  8. whungerford says:

    Considering the Second Amendment, the idea that an armed mob can revolt against the government is not conservative but wildly radical–anarchism. If we believed the Second Amendment allows armed insurection, we ought to repeal it at once.

    • josephurban says:


      • phadde2 says:

        You still have no idea what that really means… lol Although I have no issue with the expense on education this clearly shows the lack of what is taught with basic education today.


        Participle phrases always function as ADJECTIVES, adding description to the sentence. Read these examples:

        The horse trotting up to the fence, hopes that you have an apple or carrot.

        Trotting up to the fence MODIFIES the NOUN horse.

        The water drained slowly in the pipe clogged with dog hair.

        Clogged with dog hair MODIFIES the NOUN pipe.

        Eaten by mosquitoes, we wished that we had made hotel, not campsite, reservations.

        Eaten by mosquitoes modifies the pronoun we.

        Okay there’s the lesson on participles, is this really this difficult to understand?

        • phadde2 says:

          Let’s pretend this isn’t the case. This doesn’t even take into the account the punctuation. As the writers knowing the how to articulate participles, also knew how punctuation worked. The comma is used to separate two independent clauses, and semi-colon the latter clause has relationship with the prior clause.

          Here’s in example of the semi-colon in the constitution,

          “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” Article 1 section 7

          Here is one with a comma, and semi-colon

          “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” Ariticle 1 section 9 Cause 7

          Let’s look at the entire second amendment, as is in the Bill of Rights.

          “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

          No semi-colons, just to be sure let’s see Madison’s prior drafts

          Here is the original text brought to the floor

          “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

          Wait… Wait… There it is a semi-colon!!! This would should that a militia has a relationship to the people being armed, why did it change?? The founders knew that it would be interpreted as such!!! So they made it into two independent clauses, even your interpretation if you can’t understand that it’s a present participle


          Take special note of Patrick Henry and his believe for the need:

          “My great objection to this government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights or of waging war against tyrants.”
          Virginia’s U.S. Constitution ratification convention (June 5, 1788), reported in Elliot, Debates of the Several State Conventions 3:47.
          “[W]here and when did freedom exist when the power of the sword and purse were given up from the people?”
          Virginia’s U.S. Constitution ratification convention (June 9, 1788), Elliot, Debates of the Several State Conventions, 3:169.

          Also note, Madison word’s in his 1821 letter about those who interpret the meaning of the Constitution, it seems that I have to often remind you of this.

          Was Patrick Henry an extremist? bent on Anarchy? and not Liberty? to think the former is absurd!

          This lists a variety of opinions from the men who were around during its inception, the opinions differ from yours, its plain and simple. Like I said, If you disagree, just say it, say you want to repeal the 2nd amendment, because you do not believe in its purpose, but don’t attempt to persuade those by what the amendment doesn’t establish .

        • josephurban says:

          I usually don’t respond to rude comments, as it just encourages them. But I will make an exception. You have correctly stated that the phrase…”well -regulated militia….etc.” ..refers to or “modifies” the “right” to possess arms. Exactly my point. The right to possess arms is a “right” for the purpose of being available to participate in a “well-regulated militia”. It is not a constitutional right (at least not in the words of the 2nd Amendment) APART from participation in a “well-regulated militia”. Is it really that difficult to understand?

          • phadde2 says:

            You’re not refuting my point about a present participle, but I don’t blame you for this, I blame the remedial English and grammar most get with their education. I didn’t understand participles until my Classics classes in college either, as such your assessment on the construction of a present participle with a comma is followed my the main clause, this simple grammar, so it is easy to understand. The issue at hand is that your failure to be able to understand the construction of the participle phrase with the punctuation ahead of the main clause has led you into a straw man as you have attempted to minimize my refutation of the participle phrase with again circular logic.

        • Anne says:

          For someone who is so smug about his grasp of basic grammar, you’re actually a pretty bad writer. Joseph Urban may feel it’s rude to point out those kind of shortcomings but, what the hell, I make part of my living as an editor.

          • phadde2 says:

            That’s why I would hire
            You as my editor, and as I am fully aware of the rules. I’m not going to take the time proofread, wisenheimer. How about actually refuting my points instead of proofreading the comment section of a blog …

          • phadde2 says:

            One feature I wish wordpress would add, and maybe this would depend on the “theme” is the ability to edit your own comments. I can see after post a comment where the errors are made, but at the point there’s little I can do to change them. However, within the rules of debate, even if I have a point that refutes how the grammar makes the meaning of clause interpret or how commas and semi-colons change the meaning, then make errors. It doesn’t make my refutations, any less correct, and to think so is a fallacy, pure and simple. But atlas, I don’t need your help at the time, I’ll just continue to use this website when I use to actually take them time to proofread. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/1/34/

          • ChrisR says:

            I agree with PHADDE2 so someone makes a few typing mistakes big deal……. does it take from their point? Heck no.. the bigger issue here is ya’ll blind and just fail to see his reason.

    • phadde2 says:

      Absolute Hyperbole, how absurd!!! You call conservatives extremist, how laughable. Here let me try!! I suppose Tories would have said the same! Let’s examine you’re great Sage of the mountain (You know the guy that is responsible for the Separation of Church and State) said this in the Declaration of Independence,

      “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      Check the ending of the statement, “to provide new guards for their future security.” Doesn’t sound like the advocacy of anarchy.

      Finally we get to the goal you really want to accomplish and the plain truth, to repeal the second amendment. We’ve come to this conclusion because the founders don’t support your view nor does your living document theory, as the courts ruled against you in Heller.

      Good luck getting 38 states to sign on.

      • whungerford says:

        No, I did not call conservatives extremists, though some may be that. I call radical Republicans extremists, and rightly so. Those who believe the Second Amendment allows armed insurrection are a good example of extremists.

        • phadde2 says:

          Play on words, more circular logic, let me make it more linear.

          If the Government becomes oppressive, you’re view is that armed insurrection is wrong? If Yes, I am astonished, as I could only view this is as a case of stockholm syndrome.

          If having the 2nd amendment to protect from oppression of the government, but the fear of the citizens just revolting not because of tyranny, this is the logical fallacy called the slippery slope. The refutation becomes invalid.

          • josephurban says:

            You are very good at setting up straw men. But no one has made those comments or assumptions. Stockholm Syndrome refers to people who have been held captive as hostages. Not sure how this applies.

            • phadde2 says:

              Well I was applying blindly following a nation that oppressive would only be connected with Stockholm, this would be a red herring if anything as it has nothing to do with the debate, but nice attempt, many confuse the two. Also anytime that I’ve pointed out a fallacy I’ve explained how it was used, rules of logical debate. Nice attempt again.

      • josephurban says:

        Actually whungerford did not call conservatives extremists. Contrary. His original post discusses those who are “masquerading” as conservatives. Quite a difference…. Also, I normally would not point this out, since it is kind of rude. But since you have given a lesson on “present participles” and made derogatory remarks about the current educational system, I thought you might like to learn one of the more fundamental aspects of English. When you use the term “your” it is possessive, meaning “belonging to”. While the term “you’re” is a contraction meaning “you are”.

        • phadde2 says:

          Oh and now an ad hominem filled with fallacies aren’t we? You’ve used that one, slippery slope, red herring, perhaps you are teaching others how not to debate within the rules of logic?

          • josephurban says:

            Well, phadde.I apologize. I was under the impression that since you could dish it out (with comments like “your failure to understand” and “how absurd” and “I blame remedial English and grammar”) that you might to able to accept a gentle jibe. Guess not. Won’t happen again. And perhaps, instead of accusing others of logical fallacies and listing them from Logic 101 we can actual discuss the issues. Language should be used to clarify, not cloud. Don’t you agree?

            • phadde2 says:

              As my degree is in classics, no. As with graduate level logic classes? Again your assessment of my logic 101 background, which is again a ad hominem, I am simply waiting through the BS of circular logic to clarify the already plain classical thought that the founders would have used to create any government. Which I have stated over and over with evidence for the refutation but is simply ignored, again the qualms with the logical approach is only a way to use circular argument to attempt to gain the hog ground.

            • phadde2 says:

              I literally illustrated participles for a 3rd grader, what more clarity do you wish? Ignored, and again argued with the rehashing of past arguments.

          • josephurban says:

            And yet, with all of that you have not been able to give a response to one of the clearest, most basic questions asked. While the Constitution could have simply stated that all persons have a right to possess a weapon, it does not do so. It adds the provision that the purpose for allowing weaponry is for people to participate in a militia. That is the key question. My answer: That particular right, as expressed in the 2nd Amendment, was intended to be limited and regulated. Otherwise, there is not need to add that provision.

            • phadde2 says:

              Well, I’ll make it simple, but in doing so you have to answer my question at the end.

              I have all ready stated the answer to your key question, several times. However; here it is again:

              A Well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security a free state, The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

              So I am going to attempt to break it down simpler, The first part being present participle and not the main clause would be as if the amendment read as, “Because a Militia is necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to have arms must not be taken away.”

              Meaning that for the militia to exist to secure a free state, the people must have arms for the militia to exist to protect the free state.

              As I know you’ll all ready disagree with this…

              My question, as I have explained this several times, how is this not circular logic, when I am in need of repeating myself again, and again?

            • phadde2 says:

              To Illustrate further the right is assumed, not stated. Many didn’t want the Bill of Rights because they were assumed rights, today is evident that they are not.

          • Anne says:

            Actually, that was accurate–you misused the word “you’re.” I could help you with some of those comma splices, too.

            • phadde2 says:

              Let me ask you for this hint, as I am typing on a phone, how is it easier to be able to proofread, edit, and prevent misspellings such as above ? The phone auto-corrects incorrectly as I type, and as it never registers precisely where I want it to change things. I just go ahead and post. Anyway to make this easier?

          • phadde2 says:

            After a comment is posted, can you edit it ? So if mistype a “your” for a “you’re” a contraction for ” you are” or vice versa, Is it possible for me to correct the mistake?

          • josephurban says:

            phadde….Your question: “Meaning that for the militia to exist to secure a free state, the people must have arms for the militia to exist to protect the free state.

            As I know you’ll all ready disagree with this…

            My question, as I have explained this several times, how is this not circular logic, when I am in need of repeating myself again, and again?”

            My answer: For the militia to exist, the people must have access to arms (according to the 2nd Amendment). I agree, the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to be able to provide a militia. The reason the people have arms is not, then , an individual right in and of itself (as the 1st Amendment lists very specific individual rights). Rather, it is a right tied very specifically to participation in a militia. In other words, in modern English. You can have a weapon, but the reason we are letting you have a weapon is because the government may need you to participate in a militia.
            We will have to agree to disagree. I don’t see that as circular reasoning. You have a right based on the governmental need.
            That does not mean that an individual may not also have the right to a personal weapon, unrelated to a militia. You can appeal to the 9th and 10th amendments to secure that individual right. I just don’t see how the 2nd Amendment grants it.

            • phadde2 says:

              This is actually the clearest response I’ve read from you today. Although I disagree because my interpretation of the defense of the free state is different. Perhaps we’ve found truly where then our disagreement arises, as such we will have to as you say agree to disagree.

  9. solodm says:

    I sense a driven, somewhat narcissistic attitude floating through out your comments, phadde2.
    There is room for interpretation in the Constitution by all citizens. As we attempt to discuss what keeps real scholars up at night, it might help for you to remember – no one interpretation will necessarily be agreed on politely, let alone by trying browbeat those who disagree.

    • phadde2 says:

      Interesting…I model my objections and refutations on the manner of how Hamilton and Jefferson modeled their refutations with each other, so yes your senses most likely do not fail you. However, I find this style of debate refreshing because it stripes away the political correctness or even politeness that in my opinion that hold what people really feel.
      So Joseph Urban or yourself may find it rude for me to make objections in such away by saying absurd or etc, but what I like about the style is that why attempt to sugar coat what I truly feel, but the language I feel is still civil? Why can’t I say that’s absurd, and then refute as to why? It’s not like I am saying “You’re an %^&*ing moron for thinking this way.”

      • Deb Meeker says:

        I find your “style of debate” quite off-putting not refreshing. Not because of name calling or the self-righteous indignation shown when disagreed with, but merely because those who firmly believe they have the “only” real or factual answers are usually those with none. For example, just reading and absorbing information, does not make said material true. I seriously doubt that one person commenting here could be the only one with the inside track on truth or fact.

        • phadde2 says:

          If one, or even yourself, believes something to be true, why bend on your principles? Why not wear it proudly as a chip on your shoulder? Even though I think Josh is wrong I can tell you after this debate he has great admirable conviction! Even if I find it misplaced.

          • Deb Meeker says:

            Why not start your own party as the blogger suggests can be done easily in New York? While I personally find a difference between having conviction and having an egocentric mind, perhaps the chip on your shoulder would find a few followers to revel with you in your obsolete views.

            • phadde2 says:

              See there you go, “obsolete views”, I suppose those who propose Americanism are inherently dangerous to your viewpoint, such as in the believe in Constitutional government, and logical thought. As in your mind they are obsolete, and so by rejecting such thought is progressive? The constitution was created by those who were master classicists, and therefore masters of logical prose, therefore it’s not shocking the need to abandon it if one wishes to reject constitutional government.

              If that’s the case, my question that I pose is that are my views anymore obsolete than yours? As you cannot possibly predict the future than your “progressive” ideas can’t truly move forward into the future as you do not have the ability to predict future civilization. Unless you are in fact a wizard… … …

              I’lll be a bit extreme here, But let’s examine your own progressiveness, So a “living constitution” is progressive right? Okay Awesome! So you are a sub-human piece of meat that can and should be enslaved and the “living constitution” says so. After all, “living” means that it says whatever I want it to say (which is how everyone here is using it), so we need our guns so we can enforce OUR version of what the Constitution says and if you disagree, it is only because you are racist, bigoted, intolerant heterophobes. Sounds like a bit of Hyperbole?, yet every time you speak of a living constituon, how keeping to what is actually proposed on the document is obsolete this is the exact absurd reality you’re promoting.

              Also note for all of the political correct crowd, I don’t really think that way, I am illustrating a point of the absurdity that one viewpoint is advanced, and the other is obsolete.

      • josephurban says:

        I think one can be direct without being impolite. Politeness and civility are the glues that hold society together. One of the things I have noticed about our political discourse over the past 40 years or so is the increasing verbal hostility on both sides of the aisle. The “loyal opposition”, at least in my memory, tended to be more civil in the past. There were, of course, exceptions. The problem tends to be that when one’s tone becomes hostile ( the last 3 presidents all faced this) one’s arguments become lost in the process. Nothing wrong with criticism and disagreements. Both are to be welcomed. Perhaps the difference is that while “debate” attempts to win points, “discussion” tries to reach understanding. Just my thoughts.

        • phadde2 says:

          I will say this, I don’t find the style
          Impolite, I find it useful. All though I disagree with you whole heartily you a man of conviction, and that is admirable make no mistake. Through my direct style everyone saw this, as such my own principles were firm and bot compromised even if you find them to be wrong.

          • solodm says:

            Also it would appear that to the point of your joining this discussion, you were mostly arguing against your own ideas…..you wrote this piece, correct?

            • phadde2 says:

              I did write, obviously you didn’t read it as I did no such things,again reading comprehension. It appears to be no such things. For if you had actually read it, or possessed the skills of reading comprehension you would have notice no mention of criticism on proponents of the 2nd amendment, In my view , which is obvious at this point, the conservative stance that the 2nd amendment was created to fight tyrannical government is not extreme. Here’s a quote from that shows even support for the 2nd amendment in this essay:

              “Let me ask you this, Can a Gay person be pro-gun, an NRA member, could they be pro-life, be a supporter of religious rights, or be fiscally conservative with government spending? The answer to all of the questions is yes they can; however, they will never choose to vote for an ideology or a party who views them to be second-class.”

              Also another example how you didn’t read is that you missed quote in support of my views that the Separation of Church and State is pseudo clause,

              ” I have publicly rejected the notion that Christianity must be purged from the government, as with it from American society, not because I believe thoroughly that Christianity walks hand to hand with our government but instead that the constitution declares that there must be a secularization of government is baseless.”

              Now if you’re referring to my comments with the founders speaking about Christianity, that was merely to illustrate that the founders did speak about religion. Again if you read my comments I explained that in my belief is that if you elect a catholic, mormon, muslim, or even atheist( which I already said this, circular argument again?) don’t be shocked when they act as such. This brought on the quote from Kagan from the past ruling by Wutherford I believe.

              After all of that it is EXTREMELY apparent you didn’t bother to read it, and assumed what it said, or skimmed it. Reading comprehension is important here.

              The extremes that I was talking about was social stances on gay marriage, and immigration, nowhere my comments on here I took a negative stance on.

              I would argue that if you believe that with my pro- marriage, pro-immigraton, my pro-2nd amendment, and recognizing the founders wanted religion as a whole to be able to exist within government as extreme, as this would actually but me closer to the middle than a lot of conservatives, than that would make you an extremist on the other side, which I would say most around here are is apparent.

          • whungerford says:

            Extreme or not, the idea that the Second Amendment was created to fight tyrannical government is not conservative–conservative is the antithesis of revolution, insurrection, vigilantism, and anarchy. A stereotype for conservative is Swiss bankers.

            • phadde2 says:

              Well conservative are simply holding on to the values of the past, I think you even stated the definition. So your point here is asinine. as the past is massive, so it’s apparent it doesn’t cover the entirety of it. This appears to be another grasp of straws.

        • whungerford says:

          No, I wrote: “Conservatives seek to return to the traditional ways of the past–the good old days.” Conservatives would hardly wish to return to the days of the French Revolution even though that did occur in the past. Even though there were firebrand radicals at the time of the American Revolution, they were not conservatives. Some conservatives were Tories, many of whom fled the country. Some conservatives, like John Adams who had no use for mobs or rabble, were patriots but not radicals.

  10. whungerford says:

    Phillip, your penchant for declaring yourself the champ is bemusing; much like James Eichinger declaring “And with 0% of precincts reporting in, we are ready to call the race. Gov. Cuomo has won reelection!”

  11. josephurban says:

    A key idea, in think, in any discussion of the “living constitution” that there is always an historical context for political thought. It does not exist in the abstract. Any political ideas are reflections of the time. What I appreciate most about the US Constitution is that the very ordinary men who debated and wrote it were aware of that. When you see the amendatory process and the inclusion of the 9th and 10th amendments it seems to me that they were saying something like this. “We have created an outline and framework for a government. Times change. Society changes. Technology changes. What we write here is NOT for all time. It should be amended . It is not a divinely inspired text, it is a bitterly debated political document” (Not an actual transcript!) From my perspective, an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution recognizes that flexibility is the key component, intentionally included by the original authors.

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