Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Mr. Paul Goes to Washington
A rare practice that became famous through the famous movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington came to life right before our eyes when junior Senator Rand Paul took to the floor of the Senate and began an almost 13 hour, old fashion filibuster. A lot of pundits criticized Rand Paul and said that it was merely grandstanding but I saw it more as a single politician breaking ranks with both parties and trying to ensure that central government does not trample over the Constitution that is meant to limit it’s power and keep it from over reaching.
Senator Paul argued that the federal government does not have the right to kill its own citizens without due process of the law, if they are not physically engaging in or posing an imminent threat to the United States, as covered under the fifth amendment of the Constitution. When this country was founded and the founders created the constitution, they envisioned a country where men were free to pursue their individual goals without fear of a tyrannical centralized government, so the founders inserted the first ten amendments entitled the bill of right in order put restraints on a beast that would not otherwise restrain its self. Thomas Jefferson wrote that when, “the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” This quote holds true today as it did back then, for how free is any person if they fear getting killed by their government because they are suspected of something they may or may not of done.
There have also been a few pundits who said that the Supreme Court should have the final say and interpret how much power the President has in authorizing drone attacks. Why should five out of nine unelected people be the ones who decide how much freedom we should have? After all, the nine justices on the Supreme Court are but mere humans who are fallible in making decisions like in the rulings of “Plessy v. Ferguson” that racial segregation was constitutional, or Korematsu v. United States, which found that Franklin D. Roosevelt had the authority to detain citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps. My point is that the restraints that the founders put on the government should not be open to interpretation and should be followed to the word. So kudos to Mr. Paul for ringing the bell of liberty, just as Paul Revere once did, and showing the executive branch that they cannot bully their way down our throats.