Monday, October 8, 2012
Discussions Missing from the Domestic Policy Segment of the Presidential Debate.
One of my major complaints about the now over and done with first presidential debate has to do with the artificial demarcation of issues presented to the candidates by the moderator Jim Lehrer. As we all know now this debate was limited to domestic policy. Which was fine had it embraced the entire universe of domestic policy. But it did not and noticeably absent was any discussion of liberty issues. There are several liberty issues that could have been discussed and debated (and which each of the candidates has discussed in their respective campaigns for office) but which Lehrer exhibited no interest in dealing with in the debate. Among those liberty issues not dealt were a woman's right to choose and to control her own body, the efficacy of medical marijuana, the War on Drugs itself, DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), the repeal of the noxious DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) law that prevented gay and lesbian people from openly serving their country in the US military and of course the current big civil rights issue, Marriage Equality.
Myth Romney is a supporter of the semi-proposed amendment to our Constitution that would forever define marriage as between one man and one woman (at least at one time) in the belief that it is the traditional definition of that institution. Even though that is neither factually nor historically correct. He shares this view with President George W Bush. President Barack Obama does not share that view and has announced his support for Marriage Equality. That difference is the beginning of a big and very important debate. Myth in order to keep the wingnut apparent-majority in today's GOP reasonably satisfied with him as he now tries to move toward the center of the political spectrum has embraced the support of those people for this amendment.
Even a cursory examination of American Constitutional History shows that there are three types of Amendments to our Constitution. Those three types are the Structural Amendments, the Liberty Amendments, and the Anti-liberty Amendment.
Structural Amendments are those which affect the structure of the government created by our Constitution. They are the the Tenth Amendment, the Eleventh Amendment, the Twelfth Amendment, the Sixteenth Amendment, part of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Twenty-second Amendment, the Twenty-fifth Amendment, and the Twenty-seventh Amendment.
The Liberty Amendments are those which honor the promise of the Jeffersonian obligation and promise trumpeted in the Declaration of Independence to maximize the liberties and equality under the law of the people and designed to further the purpose of our Constitution expressed in the Preamble to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Those Amendments are the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Third Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Seventh Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, the Ninth Amendment, the Thirteenth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, part of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Nineteenth Amendment, the Twenty-first Amendment, the Twenty-third Amendment, the Twenty-fourth Amendment, and the Twenty-sixth Amendment.
There was only one Anti-Liberty Amendment to our Constitution. It was Sixteenth Amendment enacted in 1913 to turn America into a dry nation and which began the First War on Drugs, Prohibition. America came to its senses in 1933 when the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Sixteenth and sort of ended the First War on Drugs.
Now people of the ilk of Myth Romney want again to limit the liberties of the American people by preventing certain disfavored groups of them from entering into legally recognized free associations that form the basic building blocks of our society and that are guaranteed by the First Amendment and I believe by the Ninth Amendment and to freeze into our Constitution discrimination of a very basic kind. This is a very fundamental issue of our politics and our liberties. Why was it not discussed in the presidential debate before the estimated fifty-eight million Americans who watched that debate and wanted a thorough discussion of American values and domestic policy?