The late, great conservative columnist Joe Sobran, who edited the National Review when it actually was a conservative publication, called our culture “Post-Constitutional America.” That was nearly 30 years ago.

Sobran knew it went back a long way. We have been operating under the maxim, since the very first administration under beloved George Washington, that wanton violations of certain parts of the Constitution are OK if you can get people to ignore them. Once breached, it is merely a matter of achieving a consensus as to which parts can be safely violated without awakening the revolutionary fervor in the people – a fervor which is laid out in the Declaration of Independence, which says “… a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce [us] under absolute despotism.”

Let us look at the historical record of the art of breaking the Constitution, citing only the most obvious ones:

— There is no constitutional authorization for a National Bank, nor in its current reincarnation under a private corporation called the Federal Reserve. We can thank Washington, Hamilton … and even Jefferson, who made a trade-off deal to end congressional opposition to the bank in 1791. What Jefferson got was a relocation of the federal capital to south of the Mason-Dixon Line. A bad bargain.

— In 1798 John Adams signed into law the Sedition Act, making it a crime to criticize the President of the United States. It is regarded by all historians and scholars as an outrageous violation of the First Amendment, just eight years after its “guarantees” were enacted!

— In his long and overly praised career from 1801-35, John Marshall created new powers for the judicial branch, not found anywhere in the Constitution.

— In 1803 Thomas Jefferson knew that the Louisiana Purchase was unconstitutional, but could not resist the advice of his cabinet, nor the temptation to make the U.S. a continental empire and world power.

— In 1832 Andrew Jackson threatened to invade South Carolina over tariffs, thus creating a union by force and setting the table for Lincoln.

— Between 1861-65 Lincoln himself admitted, along with his contemporary supporters and sympathetic historians, that he violated the Constitution in numerous and outrageous ways: from suspending the writ of habeas corpus, violating free speech and press, and rigging state elections with federal troops. Worst of all, he took his cue from Jackson’s idea that the union was not voluntary, ignoring Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address which admitted that it was – at the cost of 610,000 lives.

— Between 1866-1877, Reconstruction proved that constitutional amendments, in violation of the rules found in Article V, can be force-fed down the throats of unwilling states in both the North and the South. It also proved that presidential elections can be stolen through military occupation and congressional support.

— We discovered that the Green Lobby (called “conservation” back in the day) can persuade Congress to create unconstitutional federal properties in national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife refuges, suffocating the economic development of states west of the Great Plains.

Entering the 20th century, the violations have come fast and furious, and a person can run out of breath from even a partial list: socialist programs, the welfare state, undeclared wars, control of the economy, seizure of private gold stocks, destruction of states’ rights, centralization of power, the endlessly expanding bureaucracy, the demonization of resisters, the destruction of religious freedom, the infringement of self-defense, the mass murder of the unborn, elderly, handicapped and other “useless eaters,” health mandates, inflation, open borders, rigged elections and soon a universally-guaranteed income.

The state of Alaska, now under the ownership of George Soros, is no better. We have a judicial dictatorship, which can tell a governor that his line-item veto is unconstitutional, thus removing the State Legislature from the process of overriding it! If this is shocking, you probably missed that they seized the power of the purse from the Legislature years ago, and there was never any thought of the Legislature to impeach judges, which they are constitutionally empowered to do.

Our judiciary can now overturn the power of a Grand Jury, re-writing the protocols, with no legislative mandate or oversight, in order to squelch attempts to expose bureaucratic corruption. The indifference of the legislature comes from a junior high school understanding of the constitution, which thinks, “The constitution means whatever the courts say.”

But likely the true cause is that they don’t want to be ostracized like Representatives David Eastman and Christopher Kurka, or Senator Lora Reinbold. Truth-telling is very unpopular, as any biblical prophet could tell us. The Romans and Pharisees showed us that the most loving and truth-telling man that ever lived would be accused of treason, spat upon and taunted, struck mercilessly with lead-tipped whips, and nailed to a cross.

Until we get truth-telling legislators on the state and federal level, we will continue to discover that rigged elections, vandalism, arson, rioting and murder are permitted by the left, while every tiny misdeed by the right will be set under the microscope for criminal prosecution.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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Living in the chaos of post-constitutionalism

Bob Bird
Bob Bird ran for U.S. Senate in 1990 and 2008. He is a past president of Alaska Right to Life, a 47-year Alaska resident and a retired public school teacher. He has a passion for studying and teaching Alaska and U.S. constitutional history. He lives on the Kenai Peninsula and is currently a daily radio talk-show host for The Talk of the Kenai, on KSRM 920 AM from 3-5 pm and heard online


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Great article. Simple fix. change your voting card to read democrat and go do anything you want. Murder, rape, rob, plunder, pillage, loot, steal, ABORTION, etc… you get my point. It’s all ok I. today’s world. No jail time required. In 2016 all my guns were stolen. APD had video, license plates, make and model of car and tge three peoples faces and not one finger was lifted to recover or stop tge vehicle as it drove from Eagle River to Anchorage. After 6-8 other robberies APD finally went after and stopped them. what a joke. Because of their culture they got time served and walked. I never got restitution or any of my firearms back. After a year I got a 22 and a pellet gun oh Andy 300win mag I can’t shoot because of shoulder reconstruction. Bottom line change to Democrat and be like Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Mr. Wilson from district 27 in tge valley and tge other 7 RINO’s. It’s ok you can even still get a republican ballot to vote how you want.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Oh gosh Neil, I could not think of selling my soul to Satan to have some sort of piece in these crazy times. People cannot give up. The left keeps hounding and hounding and hounding to make us tired, to make us just throw our hands up and say, “I GIVE!” We are not going to give in. I have faith in Our Heavenly Father. I know that I can talk to God at any time and ask him for insight, patience and perseverance. Even if man or Satan kill us, they cannot have our souls if we have faith in God.

      • FreedomAK says:

        I’m no expert, but I think he was being sarcastic. People do that now and then….

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        FreedomAK, yah, I agree that he was being sarcastic. I just thought that I would throw in my thoughts also. Lol

    • Terry Stires says:

      Democrats are responsible for a weak APD response?

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    Why hasn’t George Soros been banished or deported from the U.S. as he was from at least 6 other countries? Why does America tolerate his power to ruin our states and borders borders?

    • Mary says:

      I have heard that Soros does not live in the U.S. but actually resides in Canada conducting his nefarious business from there.

  • The Independent Observer says:

    Good question Ruth, I’ve often asked that question myself. Of the things that Bob comments on, I have a vision of the Man of Washington DC or Juneau, dressed in painter’s garb with shoe covers and standing in the middle of a large room full of people standing about. He has a paint brush in his hand and paints a line on the floor from wall to wall. The people move out of his way so that their shoes are not painted. While the line is still thin, they step from one side of the line to the other, but after a period of time the man moves forward and widens the line in the direction of the largest number of people, who now back away from the growing line. The painter continues to paint the floor of the room reducing the crowd to an opposite corner and places a sign on the floor stating, “Property of the US Government – No Trespassing.”
    The government continues to gobble up resources and names them for itself, not for the People. The Government was once understood to represent the People and tacitly admitted that they did so from the People’s House, harkening back to the Constitutional understanding that they were a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Sadly, that no longer seems to be the case, at least in the minds of a majority of the electorate. The People now obediently and willingly allow the government to move about freely and without protest or interference, submissively giving way to the bulldozer that has replaced the paintbrush. They’ve been indoctrinated to the ways of Marx and Lenin by the lies of the left and their ownership of the educational system, labor and commerce, the bureaucracy and the banking institutions. They’ve centralized everything that drives our economy, communication and our culture. Even our defense system has been infiltrated and undermined. No longer do our borders repel, rather contain. Our habits are codified, our speech is digitally memorialized, our movements are scrutinized, and our oaths are demonized. This country looks nothing like the one that was handed over to us by our forefathers, and we should be ashamed to call this country, “The Land of the Free, and the home of the brave.” We are no longer free and there doesn’t seem to be enough brave left to fight our way out of the closet we’ve allowed ourselves to be jailed in.
    Folks, the count is 3-2, bottom of the 9th; we’re 4th and 9 at the 10 yard line, 30 seconds remaining with a score of 26-30; the Communist’s have the ball on the Freedom side of the court and are charging the hoop with a tie score and no time left on thee clock. It is not enough that we win the game or even the next election. We need to not only win, but learn to exploit the possession and put significant distance between those who would capture our flag, but reinforce the documents that grant us the authority to be a nation; the Bible and the Constitution! It’s rally time folks, and time to abolish the petty differences and start climbing up the hill we’re willing to die on. We as a modern nation have never tasted real freedom, we’ve just had more of it than most have around the world, but it was gifted to us. But even that taste should be enough to sustain us in our willingness to keep it and not lose it, embrace it as breath, much less give it up without a fight. Remember those who lost their life defending it. Reflect on that gift and Never Forget!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Well put Independent Observer. We still have so many that are hoping that, by being quiet, they won’t be noticed and everything will be okay. I hope that everyone who understands what is going on in our world speak out, share everything they learn and know. Quit worrying about how someone is going to think about you or feel about you; speak truth constantly to everyone you know. The time is short.

  • Kathy L. says:

    Again, well stated Mr. Bird! I appreciate your writing and your fervor. You and a handful of others have the spirit of some of those early Americans and Constitutional framers. The question is What do we Do about it? It seems to be out of control and taking on a life of its own. With election interference we can’t even show up to vote someone or something up or down.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Kathy L., the conservatives in the valley have several different groups that meet. Do you go to any of the meetings? If not, find a group or two that you can get involved with. It is nice to get together with people who are brainstorming on what goals to focus on; additionally, it feels pretty good to have fellowship with people who have similar goals.

      • Great Granny says:

        CCCAK…Concerned Conservative Citizens of Alaska next meeting on Dec. 12 at the Real Life Church in Palmer…11am. All welcome! The President is Mike Coons.

  • Dave says:

    It couldn’t have been much worse than this 3,700 years ago in Sodom and we all know how that turned out.

  • Sterling Crone says:

    may the Creator of All Things smile upon Bob Bird for his courage and acumen in showing us that tyranny lives HERE. NOW.