In an op-ed for Breitbart this week, Sen. Rand Paul said it was time for the federal government to get serious about holding itself accountable to the Constitution:
In contrast to almost all of the legislation Congress passes today, the Bill of Rights is full of language such as “Congress shall make no law” and “The right of the people… shall not be violated,” along with a guarantee that non-delegated powers or those not specifically denied the states “are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
With this document, the Founders drew a line in the sand a few inches from the government’s feet.
Paul said that the Bill of Rights has not been faithfully upheld for the duration of the American experiment. Furthermore, he said, the Founding Fathers would not have been surprised to see Washington politicians stealing power away from the people.
“We have the Bill of Rights precisely because the Founding Fathers knew government can’t resist stretching its limits,” Paul wrote. “Much like Benjamin Franklin’s reported statement that we had a Republic if we could ‘keep it,’ the Bill of Rights relies on the people holding government accountable.”
Paul said that while he felt the country had strayed too far from its founding principles, he did not agree with those who thought it was too late to do anything about it. America’s government, he admitted, had been in violation of the Constitution for years. But that didn’t mean all hope was lost.
“If the Bill of Rights were mere words on paper, perhaps we could afford to indulge that feeling,” he wrote. “But they are not mere words. They are principles fundamental to who we are as a people and what we represent as a nation. If we stop caring enough to preserve them, we will lose more than a few liberties.
“We will become something else entirely,” he warned.
Without mentioning Donald Trump specifically, Paul expressed his excitement about the coming year. In 2017, he said, there was plenty of cause for optimism.
“I am excited for the upcoming opportunities we will have to institute long-overdue reforms, roll back an overzealous and misguided bureaucracy, and return to a government that works for the people instead of the special interests,” he wrote. “On this 225th anniversary, let us rededicate ourselves to the principles and boundaries found in the Bill of Rights, and let us recommit to passing them on honored and intact.”
So say we all.