Updated: Jul 9, 2022
246 years ago, as America was becoming an official country unto itself, our founders had an idea about what it would take for a free and democratic society to work.
John Adams, America’s second President, stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He wasn’t the only Founding Father to hold this view.”
Similarly, James Madison, America’s fourth President, wrote, “Our Constitution requires sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.”
So, the founders knew that for a free and democratic society to do well and thrive for the long-term, it would require true morality and uprightness among the citizenry.
-But, over the last few generations, that moral foundation and commitment to uprightness among the citizenry has begun to decay and fall apart. It can be seen in a number of ways…
The decline of the family unit;
How people use social media;
-My point here is not to identify every sign of decay possible. Rather, I want to point out a few things emerging from the Supreme Court’s Dobbs' decision that are concerning, and indicative of larger cultural decay.
One of these signs is the Absolute Failure of Journalism.
-At one point in our history, the Press Core was respected and trustworthy. Journalistic ethics were a driving factor in what got reported, and how things were reported. Truth was the business of journalism. A name like Walter Cronkite meant something, and could be trusted by people on all sides of news events. But that day has long since passed.
Today, news sources are known more for their biases than for their honesty.
I subscribe to the New York Times, one of the world's oldest and most influential newspapers. They are unashamedly liberal and left of center on most issues. But, occasionally, even they will report something so biased and so factually inaccurate that it catches me severely off-guard.
In the Tuesday, July 5th edition, the Times ran a story entitled “The Disunited States.”
-The entire thrust of the story is meant to cast doubt, shame on the Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs' decision which overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade Decision. The Times story states its opinion clearly: The Supreme Court is wrong; the Dobbs' decision is wrong; and more than that, the Times is saying the Court acted beyond its power.
And while it is somewhat permissible for a newspaper to publish its opinion on certain events, it is absolutely wrong to report inaccurate and wrong information. And this is what the Times is doing.
A Failure to Understand Basic Civics
-By calling the Court’s decision a “muscular embrace of State’s rights,” the Times is obviously criticizing the decision and the Court’s power. And while such criticisms are currently in vogue, they are wrong-headed and completely misunderstand the nature and operation of the U.S. Constitution.
The United States of America operates on the principles of Federalism, which divides power between the States and the Federal government. Liberals and Conservatives differ on the amount of power the Federal government should have, but that is a different issue.
If the Federal government wants to pass a law, it must pass through the Legislative branch of government: The U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate. It is then sent to the Executive branch to be signed into law by the sitting President. Upon his approval, the bill becomes a law. The other branch of the Federal Government, the U.S. Supreme Court, rules on whether or not those laws are in line with the U.S. Constitution.
This is basic civics.
-And in 1973, when the Berger court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, it was not ruling on whether or not a Federal law was in line with the Constitution, it was actually operating outside of its purview by declaring new law. This type of action is called “Legislating from the Bench.” The Roe decision was entirely outside of the Court’s authority. Not only was it bad judicial philosophy, it was not law because it did not come from the Legislative and Executive branches.
So, when the 2022 Roberts court handed down its decision overturning Roe, they were not making a pronouncement on the morality of abortion. The Court, rightly so, was correcting a judicial overreach from the past and returning the legal issue to the level of the State where it belongs—it belongs to the States because that the Federal Legislature has failed to pass a bill dealing with it.
-But that doesn't matter to the most influential newspaper in the world. Truth does not matter. Understanding our country and its principles does not matter. What matters is bias. What matters is cultural power and relativity…even if it's at the expense of truth. And when such things rule the day, decay sets in and accelerates the death process.
John Adams, James Madison, and the other founders would be appalled to find out what has become of the American experiment.
A Failure to Honor the Principles and System
-The other thing to notice about the public response to the Supreme Court’s ruling is the response of the members of Government itself. It makes sense to think that we should expect our elected officials not only to uphold the law and the rule of government, but we should also be able to expect them to understand how it all works. But, in the past few weeks, some incredibly concerning statements have been made…
Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio Cortez joined protests in front of the Court calling the decision “illegitimate” and encouraging protestors to take to the streets.
President Joe Biden called the decision “a tragic error” for women’s reproductive healthcare. Which is unfortunate and beneath the office of the Presidency. He did go on to encourage voters to vote Democrat in November so that the congress could pass legislation enshrining abortion in Federal law.
This should have been his only response. Encouraging the civic process of our government.
A multitude of other federal officials, including Vice-President Harris, have made disparaging comments concerning the high Court, which is an utter betrayal of our Federal process and principles. Such comments by public and leading officials are a sure sign of societal decay.