The Great Constitutional Divide – or what is Glenn Beck upset about?

This is dedicated to Nancy Huzar and to all those readers who, while waking up to the Tea Party Experience, now find themselves in an unfamiliar landscape with career politicians all claiming to be “Common Sense Conservatives”.

As we begin the second decade of the 21st Century in the United States, perhaps we should reflect on the crossroads that loom before us.  Should we proceed along the path to a Old World European Socialist Democratic form of governance?  Or perhaps we should continue the moderate centrist Constitutional Republic form of governance bequeathed to us by the Founders of our country?

Today, the Progressive Left would have you believe that they are America’s center, that they represent a centrist value position of the majority of Americans… all 300+ million of us.  But do they?

Perhaps the United States is fundamentally a centrist country holding moderate values that allow for tolerance of the extremes.  Perhaps this recent election is a statement by that once silent majority that they reject the progressive socialist agenda that the current administration is pursuing seemingly at all costs.

Consider this:  It was rugged individualists who believed that redemption was an individual matter between themselves and Nature’s God founded America.  Contrast that with the individual who now resides in the White House.  It is his core belief, and that of those around him, that redemption collective.  It is in the  group, not the individual where one finds redemption.  How alien is that to what our Founders believed?  What’s worse, there is an entire cadre of adherents in academia working 24/7 to re-write history to suit their worldview.

People’s view of the proper role of government is a continuum stretching from the extreme Left (Totalitarian Communism) to the extreme Right (Totalitarian Fascism).  Most Americans hold Moderate Values and fall as “Centrists” on this scale.

The current administration in Washington, and those of its allies on college and university campuses, tend to fall much further to the left of center than do most Americans.  This is one reason that voting districts in large urban areas and around major universities tend to be “Blue” on the election maps while large tracts of suburban and rural America vote “Red”.  The election of 2010 drove this contrast to the forefront of the county’s awareness.  It would be a strategic mistake for the statist members of the Republican Party if they didn’t pay close attention to the message of 2010.

America is becoming polarized, pulled to the left of the Constitutional Divide by an increasingly aggressive Socialist minority with their vision of a Collective utopia.  It is any wonder that today; the majority of Americans have such poor esteem for their members of Congress?  Is it any wonder that today, a majority of American’s sense something is terribly wrong?  It is exactly this awakening that drives talk radio and edutainment shows like Glenn Beck.  Americans know that the “Hope & Change” they were promised isn’t consistent with America’s core centrist moderate values.

Take this simple test.  Remember, each is a sliding scale from Left to Right.  Ask yourself; “What do I believe?  Do I believe in individualism or collectivism?  Which describes my thoughts best?”

Well, there it is, the Great Constitutional Divide[1].  Given that most Americans describe themselves as being “in the center” you may correctly conclude that the column on the right most accurately describes most Americans and, the column on the right is pretty much the center for the United States.  The stress many are feeling is that of a minority within the government, the major media and in our colleges and universities who are tugging us unwillingly into their Brave New World.

While this has been evolving since the early 20th Century, we may thank Barak Hussain Obama for forcing the issue and for waking up the great silent majority.  Just remember, you are the center and they are the extreme.

[1] With many thanks to Alan Korwin for providing most of the contrasting text within the two boxes. Be sure to visit him at


  1. Veritas Vincit says:

    When you read these contrasting values, ask yourself where Senator’s Kyl and McCain’s historic record puts them on the sliding scale.

    I noted the “RNC” in brighter red to illustrate the left of the American center that many long time “Republican” office holders have drifted to over time.

    The leadership of the Arizona Republican Party can swing either to the “bright red” or the more “brick red” on that scale January 22nd. Where it falls will determine the fate of the Republican Party in a post 2012 political landscape. The “Tea Party” is awake and hungry; feed them or be eaten by them. Its up to you.

  2. Oberserve says:

    I’ll tell you where Arizona Republicans are, they are moving left fast, but trying to use the teaparty for cover.

    Example: Russell Pearce.

    He is going to help pass the Arizona Economic Development Authority, the single largest (debt financed) spending program in the history of Arizona.

    For political cover, he’s running his federalize the birth certificates bill to “get those illegals” (ensnaring all Arizona citizens newborns in the meantime in the Homeland Security national id web).

    But since he’s the “get the illegals guy”, the teapartyists will support him, even though with his other hand he’s passing the largest spending program of all time.

    That’s the McCain special: walking left while talking right.

  3. Oberserve, shame on you for besmirching Mr. Pearce. He just want to get rid of the pesky mexicans, grow fed or state beauracracy to track and deport them and then some day, forbid US companies from shipping jobs overseas. Thats just a great american. Oh, and those silly tea party people need to overlook that huge fundraiser that Pearce is holding for all the lobbyists. The tea party wasnt invited and they are supposed to look the other way while he fills his campaign coffers with lobbyists cash so he can go out and spread the tea party message.

  4. Obsidian Reaver says:

    #10 has to do with strictly adhering to the Enumerated Powers. While you’ll never agree with the ideology, at least you can edify yourself by reading the lesson contained in the story about Davy Crockett being chastised by a constituent farmer for appropriating taxpayer dollars to those who suffered from a fire in Georgetown at davrcrockettstory dot org.

    Truth Conquers,
    Don’t let Mrs. Huzar fool you into thinking she’s some kind of sypathetic innocent. She was forewarned numerous times that multiple candidates were campaigning as conservatives when they weren’t.

  5. Obsidian Reaver says:

    Exactly! The Constitution has NEVER changed since ratification! Forget the fact that we’ve amended it 18 times! We’re stuck with what we were originally given!

    Klute, you illustrate another prime difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals believe the Constitution is a “living document,” that it radiates “penumbras” and in effect, it doesn’t really mean what it says and the courts should hold their fingers up to the wind and announce what the Constitution means on that particular day. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that words have meanings and that if we want the change the Constitution, there’s a strict process we have to follow.

    I heartily disagree that our economy would be harmed if we strictly adhered to the Constitution. I believe the exact opposite in fact. It’s been federal meddling in labor that has made the American worker fat and lazy and has driven work overseas. It was federal meddling in the housing market that created the housing bubble. It was federal tariffs and backwards economic policy that created the Great Depression and government meddling in “recovery” that prolonged both the Great Depression and our current recovery.

    As for the Coast Guard, I’m sure other conservatives could come up with better arguments, but I’d say that our military forces shouldn’t be involved in anything BUT defending our borders. Someone famous on the radio says, in effect, that they’re meant to kill. I tend to agree with that sentiment. Until the feds stepped in during labor unrest, we used to have state militias (you know, that pesky well-regulated militia mentioned in the Second Amendment?). Perhaps if we had state military forces again, rescuing individuals would be an appropriate use for them. …oh! that’s right! Leftists have this knee-jerk reaction that all “militias” are somehow racist. And, of course, crying racism is your way of shutting down debate.

  6. Veritas Vincit says:

    @Klute, “… suggesting that the government shouldn’t try to rescue people hit by a natural disaster?”

    You don’t miss a trick do you lil’buck-a-roo!

    Read about the Georgetown fire when Senator Crockett was in office, something about “…its not yours to give Senator.”

    If I want to assist people hit by a natural disaster I can volunteer or give through the Salvation Army, and I can solicit support from others including businesses.

    We don’t need the government deciding what is and what isn’t a “natural disaster” and then proceeding to do a Katrina. That was truly FUBAR.

  7. Veritas Vincit says:

    Klute, here’s a suggestion; move to China. From what you espouse you’ll love it there.

  8. Veritas Vincit says:

    Any state having a coast line may decide if that state wishes to fund a coast guard. What’s so hard about that?

    If they don’t want to fund one, then a private concern would take up the task. But historically its usually been a community effort.

    Its amazing Klute how closed minded you really are. But then that’s the case for most Liberals.

  9. Sadly, this is what happens when people base their understanding of the Constitution on trite tales and not on actually reading of in-depth history. What I see are people who don’t know details of what precipitated the Constitution rather than the Articles of Confederations (e.g. Shays’ rebellion, state debt, inability to tax, no court system to interpret (yes, interpret) the law, etc.). Also there is an alarming lack in insight into early arguments over the new found Constitution, especially in light of things like Shays’ rebellion and the complete lack of agreement in what the idea of ‘free speech’ even meant (see debates of Alien and Sedition Acts).

    I also would note that 1 claims the purpose of the Constitution is to ‘protect life, liberty and property’ which is of course not the purpose as stated in the Constitution. And, by the way, there is a reason the ‘property’ was not mentioned as part of this three part phrase in the Declaration, perhaps someone might want to look into why.

    As to spending on natural disasters, clearly this is part of the General Welfare and falls under that clause. Or at least this would certainly be an understanding of many of the Constitution signers (for instance) but would have been disagreed with by others (James Madison ), proving again the original intent of the Constitution is not as simple as some would have us believe.

    Finally, as to Coast Guard, this is clearly a Constitutional provision, I can’t believe anyone could argue otherwise unless they have a severe ignorance of history.

  10. The Left-to-Right linear scale is the Big Lie here.

    Political persuasions can be mapped in TWO dimensions. Check out the Nolan Chart. You can google it or try the quiz yourself here:

    While the old “left-right” line attempted to measure politics along a one-dimensional line, Nolan’s graph divides political issues into two dimensions: economic and social.

    So, instead of classifying all political opinion as being some variant of liberal or conservative, Nolan’s chart allows an accurate measurement of how much (or little) government control a person favors in both personal and economic matters.

  11. That chart is useless because everyone is essentially a conservative. For example, everyone wants murderers prosecuted via state power.

    These definitions are way too abstract and completely ignore history. Why are things the way we find them, not the way some philosopher says they should be?

    You can bark all you want about what the Constitution means, but it only means what we agree it means, right?

  12. drewkowski says:

    Could someone, on that map, also plot the locations of the best schools, hospitals, infrastructure, research centers. Imagine my shock, the blues have a monopoly on technology and brains.
    Additionally, blue is the primary population centers.
    You can shade in the whole state of Wyoming red, and a fraction of new youk, and guess who there are more of genuis?
    Isn’t it conservative mortgage-based capitalism that collapsed the nation? Now you turn to your preachers for the solution to the woes they created?
    We don’t neeed 20th centurey euro-socialism as much as we don’t need 21st century neoliberal capitalism (conservative for the lexicon-impaired). The problems we face will be dealt with by the “commons.” What we need, is 21st century communism. And it will win. Even if some are too uneudcated to see it is the only way the species will not eat itself.
    If there is a God this nation was founded on, he is a myth, and it is time we, as adults, move past that sotrybook crap too. I hope all you conservatives change your minds, or die in your sleep. Good night to you!

  13. Guess it’s a hopeless effort to mention the “Federalist Papers” – a “bit” of contemporary, explanatory documentation that goes with the Constitution, alas, that is evidently beyond Liberals’ ability to comprehend because the papers are over 100 years old.

  14. wanumba – have you read the Federalist, because Hamilton and Madison were in complete disagreement over this issue – showing again the fallacy you are trying to promote. Please read numbers 30 and 34 and then come back and tell us how it fits with the claims that Congress doesn’t have the power to tax to protect people from natural disasters.

  15. Thanks for proving Ezra Klein’s assertation about the historical-challenged reading abilities of Liberals. The debates help more clearly define the issues.

  16. Thanks for proving Ezra Klein’s assertation about the historical-challenged reading abilities of Liberals. The debates help more clearly define the issues.

  17. Veritas Vincit says:

    @Todd; “clearly this is part of the General Welfare and falls under that clause. Or at least this would certainly be an understanding of many of the Constitution signers”

    Obviously you haven’t read Elliot’s Debates. Johnathan Elliot documented the debates in each of the original state legislatures over the ratification of the Constitution.

    Today’s meaning of “general welfare” is light-years away from what the Framer’s had in mind.

  18. Veritas Vincit says:

    Klute is a prime specimen to illustrate the premise of this blog; the Constitutional Divide between “we can take care of ourselves” versus “we need the big nanny government to take care of us”.

    Thanks Klute for once again demonstrating just how a Liberal can twist the facts.

  19. Veritas Vincit,
    Yes, what General Welfare meant then was openly debated (in state legislatures and elsewhere) and I also question whether it was ‘light years’ away. People like Hamilton stated quite explicitly that what this might mean in the future was obviously left open since they were quite aware of history and new the needs and abilitiy of a nation might change over time. Building roads and canals were major undertakings at the time and these were seen as promotion of the general welfare. The fact that technological improvements have made it possible to actually be able to stop disease or rescue people from natural disasters, both of which don’t concern themselves with state boundaries, should indicate that holding the federal government to general welfare which was available in 1787 is ludicrous. I really find these arguments on the same level as trying to argue that the Air Force is unconstitutional because the constitution only mentions Armies and a Navy and the term ‘common Defence’ couldn’t possible include airplanes because the founders couldn’t have imagined them.

  20. How about this? Right here on Sonoran Alliance, a post addressing just this very subject, in the words of our Founding Fathers:

    Thomas Jefferson:
    “On every question of construction, [let us] carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

    – (The Writings of Jefferson” 15:449)

    “Towards the preservation of your government … it is requisite … that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts.
    One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.”
    — George Washington (1796)

    The Founding Fathers seemed to have had a VERY good grasp of human nature, ESPECIALLY of those who would want to manipulate the interpretation of the Constitution to favor narrow political interests.

    Now, Jefferson’s and Washington’s comments are over 100 years old, but it’s not Ye Olde Englishe, like Shakespeare, and don’t have too many big words that Liberals confuse, so the advice to Democrats is to read slowly and enunciate.

  21. …………….

    “I regard it (the Constitution) as the work of the purest patriots and wisest statesmen that ever existed, aided by the smiles of a benign Providence; it almost appears a “Divine interposition in our behalf … the hand that destroys our Constitution rends our Union asunder forever.”

    – (The Works of Daniel Webster, Vol. 1, p. 404)

    What’s up with the Democrats scattering for the shadows like vampires before a garlic-garland at dawn when the Constitution was read today?

    What is it with the Constitution that makes them want to pee in their pants, snarl and sneer?

  22. Wanumba,
    The problem is, I don’t think you understand the texts you quote. The spirit manifested in the debates is exactly what we are talking about.

    I note you don’t bother to quarrel with my references to The Federalist so you pull out more quotes that don’t back up what you are saying.

  23. ………………….
    todd Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    The problem is, I don’t think you understand the texts you quote. The spirit manifested in the debates is exactly what we are talking about.

    Hmm. The ultimate goal of the debates, 200 years ago, 100 years ago, 100 days ago is to clarify … what?
    Hint. Sounds like … “by what measure does one determine the appropriateness of any proposed change or law?”

    Applying the Liberal Left Progressive Infallibilty Rule: ONLY someone who has direct experience with the issue at hand has any authority to speak about it:

    Who better than … Thomas Jefferson:
    “On every question of construction, [let us] carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

    – (The Writings of Jefferson” 15:449)

    The original debates were the dsicussions that led to the final agreement set out in the Constitution and the original Amendments, so that they would harmonize with the spirit as stated in the Preamble.

    By that, dissenting arguments were aired, but by majority consensus, eventually discarded in favor of what was preserved in the Constitution.

  24. So what. Jefferson hated the Constitution.

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