Monday, March 8, 2010

Jefferson on Self-Preservation.

If I hear another Libertarian or a supposed Conservative use the Constitution or Federalism to oppose American wars, our strong National Defense, the Patriot Act, and increased Executive power when war does occur, I'm going to lose it.

The easiest way to curb American war making capacity, i.e. actually be anti-war, is to support Federalism and the Constitution.

I'm not going to respond to the idiotic notion in that article. Instead, I'm going to let Thomas Jefferson refute it on the basis of Self-Preservation.

The question you propose, whether circumstances do sometimes occur, which make it a duty in officers of high trust, to assume authorities beyond the law, is easy of solution in principle, but sometimes embarrassing in practice. A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest.

The law of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of the highest obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us, thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.

- The Living Thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, presented by John Dewey (1957).

As one might remember, Thomas Jefferson was the first American President to encounter radical Islam when he launched our first war against the Barbary Pirates, one that was against the Constitution, but necessary to preserve safe passage for American ships, and to curb the ransom we were sending the Pirates, a ransom that remained for close to two decades, until Jefferson declared war.

We are in another fight for self-preservation against radical Islam, and to encourage the use of the Constitution as a measure against the protection of America, is borderline insane and treason in a political sense.

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