Commentary

Our people and politics will suffer if we continue to stray from the Constitution

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There is a very profound reason that the American constitutional republic has created the highest standard of living, for more people than any other country at any time on Earth. Americans have the individual rights to life, liberty, and property.  We have a written constitution that gives constancy to our laws and a capitalist, free-market economic system that provides upward mobility for all. 

Despite man’s ability to muck things up, the American system is far and away the best system for producing individual freedom, economic mobility and the highest standard of living for all ever devised by man. Why would anyone want to change this proven success with proven failures? 

Radio broadcaster Paul Harvey explained it as well as anyone: “It was self-serving politicians who convinced recent generations of Americans that we could all stand in a circle with our hands in each other’s pockets and somehow get rich.”

Maine’s political class needs to take a close look at poverty-stricken countries. Impoverished countries have the least respect for individual rights, life, liberty, and property. The more government centrally controls the morals, economics and laws of a country, the greater the disparity in wealth between political class (politicians, crony capitalists, petty tyrants, and dictators) and the people (factory workers, construction workers, middle management, small business owners, educators, farmers, truckers, etc).

Governor Janet Mills and her allies in the legislature subscribe to the British common law/precedent view of law based on a “living” constitution. The problem with this view is that it is unconstitutional to the extent that common practice and/or precedent cannot modify our constitution, which can only be accomplished if two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states affirm that the people want their constitution amended. Unfortunately, the political class and the elites think that, if they wish it so, it should be so, and therefore will be so. 

For instance, Governor Mills and her comrades appear hell-bent on taking our great state and its people down the rabbit hole of unconstitutional socialism. They are dividing Mainers into competing groups that are each told they have an unlimited, primary claim on the assets of the other groups; that a simple majority vote gives government control over all aspects of society. Often there is no rhyme or reason for their policies other than retaining power.

Just look at some of the policies proposed in recent legislative sessions:

·Eliminating the Electoral College – Why? Because they lost the last presidential election (if their candidate wins the next election with the Electoral College but loses the popular vote, I’m sure we’ll see a reversal on this front).

·The “Green New Deal for Maine” – Pure fantasy said with a straight face.

·Rank Choice Voting – Purely unconstitutional for state-level elections according to the Maine Constitution, but passed into state law via ballot initiative.

·Medicaid Expansion – Expanding Medicaid way beyond the original law’s intent, once again causing resources to flow from those workers who build the private sector to those able-bodied adults who choose not to work.

·Universal Healthcare – Providing government-run health care to everyone regardless of cost. Again, those who work will bear the burden so others who don’t can have healthcare.

·Free College – Sounds great, except that children who don’t go to college will go to work to pay for those who do. To add insult to injury, the college grads will, on average, earn more than the workers who paid for their “free” college education.

The governor and her allies fail to see that capitalism works because of the free market’s incentives: self-interest based on industry, self- improvement and individual responsibility. Socialism doesn’t work because of socialism’s disincentives: self-interest based on sloth, group identity and government dependence.

About John MacGregor

John "Jock" MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 79 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding. Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs Arkansas. Currently, Jock comments on the role of government in society. Jock believes in a constitutionally limited government, instituted by the people, to protect their rights to life, liberty and property.

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