How Wilson’s ‘living’ Constitution and ‘apolitical’ civil service class undermines our rights

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President Woodrow Wilson wanted a professional bureaucracy that was apolitical. The theory sounded great but was unfortunately based on a faulty premise. Wilson’s theory is based on the idea that a professional bureaucracy could be apolitical. The problem with Wilson’s theory is that it requires the perfecting of human nature. The undoing of Wilson’s theory is that politicians recognize the value of controlling the purse strings to assure that the bureaucracy’s apolitical view coincided with the politicians’ view of policy.

President Wilson, an accomplished intellectual, believed that a professional bureaucracy could be apolitical and apply professionalism and science to the running of the country’s affairs. His view was that the founder’s Constitution was out of date, and that it needed to be evolved into a Darwinian “living” Constitution.

The Wilsonian theory of a “living” constitution gave birth to an orthodoxy that increasingly dominated the Congress, the judiciary and the administrative state since Wilson’s presidency. Because Congress controls their budgets and the judiciary determines their legitimacy, bureaucrats naturally align themselves with the desires of those who control their destiny. There is very little that government does that isn’t strongly influenced by money and who gets it. Agencies and grants produce work products that tend to support the paymaster’s preordained conclusions. It is the way of human nature.

So much for the apolitical professionals in government and the scientific community who depend on government grants in academia and think tanks. Whether they understand it or not, the fact is that the “apolitical professionals” have become weaponized functionaries of the political establishment.

The three constitutionally separate and distinct branches of government are being merged into the Wilsonian concept of a unified, parliamentary government. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches are muddled together using Wilson’s “living” Constitution theory to make law based on legislative or judicial intent rather than Constitutional restraint.

The written U.S. Constitution, Article V says in its entirety: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

Since the 1920s, the Ivy League law schools have increasingly taught Wilson’s theory that the Constitution should be “living” and the law should evolve the way British law evolves. That is to say that the executive, the legislature and the Judiciary can all make law. Giving heavy weight to precedent is how the British keep order in a chaotic system. Wilson’s theory of a “living” Constitution creates the same chaos here as in Britain. 

The more Wilson’s theory has become dominant in all three branches of our government, the more precedent has become necessary to control the chaos. The end result of unifying government using the “living” Constitution model is the subjugation of the people’s inalienable, God-given rights to the will of the governing elites and the establishment of our government.

Our written Constitution provides for limited government whose purpose is to serve and protect the rights of the American people from without and within. Because it is the basis for all law, our written Constitution has little need for precedent as the means of ordering our society.

Not that there is no need for precedent in Court decisions, but no previous or current court ruling can amend the Constitution without going through the process described in Article V. The courts can declare a law unconstitutional, but they cannot usurp the rights and powers of the legislature, the executive, the states or the people.

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