I consider myself a conservative libertarian, but there are many things I don’t agree with my fellow libertarians on. I question their wisdom so often that I can’t advocate them as a party (which probably explains the 3% they pull in the national elections). Libertarians, like Gary Johnson, are constantly advocating a minimal involvement by the government, going so far to say that drugs and prostitution should be legal and we should be left to govern ourselves. There is one problem with this: We aren’t prepared for self governance.
Trying to live a higher law before learning to live the lesser law has been a disaster as far back as Moses and the Ten Commandments. Those ten simple rules from God were not what Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. When Moses caught the Children of Israel worshiping the Golden Calf Idol they had made, he destroyed the tablets he had brought, and went back for another, more simple, set of directions for them.
The same sort of thing happened to our Founding Fathers with the Articles of Confederation. Though it gave the Congress domestic and international legitimacy to deal with the Revolutionary War, conducting diplomatic relations with France and Spain in territorial issues, the weak government created problems that could not be resolved and had to be corrected and addressed withe the Constitution. The Constitution, in turn, was discussed, clarified and argued in a series of publications that became known as the Federalist Papers.
Current issues over the Constitution and it’s continuing legitimacy in these issues have been debated ever since–and the Constitution provides a way for amendments to be made to it, replacing lesser laws with higher ones. There are some higher laws contained in it that we have been able to live, like the right to free speech, and there are others that we are debating today over our ability to live them, like the right to keep and bear arms. Regardless of the legality of the Articles in the Constitution, the debate must be had to discover the ability of the people to understand them. Like the Federalist Papers, who were authored by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, we have our own, modern, wider, collection of leaders discussing what we as an American people can and can’t handle. These debates are important and even vital. To continue them a plethora of blogs have sprung up over the internet, like this one. Feedback, participation and research are not only left to the authors advocating a certain position on an essential liberty, but to the reader who will be as directly affected by the implementation of laws founded on those positions as any author.
While modern Libertarians like John Stossel and Ron Paul continue to advocate for a society ready for the higher law of the Constitution, we have forgotten even the basics of the lesser laws they were founded on.
Lesser laws, like the Ten Commandments, that lead to higher principals, like Jesus’s command “love one another,” (that eventually lead 17 centuries later to our Constitution) are founded on are must be firmly in place, and practiced, before the higher laws can be implemented. Even God understands this.
But there has been a movement to weaken even the lesser law in our nation. The Ten Commandments can not be found in many government buildings. The higher law of “separation of church and state,” is no longer clearly understood if the removal of their basic foundation is not even seen in public.
“Getting back to the basics,” is always great advice for people that find themselves confused and unclear on their direction. It is the only way to get back to, what many of us feel, is our calling in the higher law.