Rep. Bill Young, of Florida: Constitution was a bad idea.

2009-02-03 02:12

Read the story.

Here’s what got me:

Rep. Bill Young, R-Florida, said he has “quite a bit of anxiety” about the possibility of transferring detainees to U.S. facilities.

“Number one, they’re dangerous,” Young said. “Secondly, once they become present in the United States, what is their legal status? What is their constitutional status? I worry about that, because I don’t want them to have the same constitutional rights that you and I have. They’re our enemy.”

Oh, Bill. Silly, silly, Bill. Didn’t you read any of this stuff before you signed up? Let’s start with the question of why we are talking about “Constitutional Rights” to begin with. Let us read a passage together.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Does this document (it’s the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Young) say “all citizens of the United States”, Mr. Young? It does not. Do you know why it does not? That is because the central, foundational, point of the American experiment was not the idea that Americans should be treated better than other people. It was that it was wrong of the British to treat other people unfairly; for instance, to treat colonists as second-class citizens.

It was not that we should have these rights because we are in America. No. Our foundational belief is that these rights, these fundamental liberties, are unalienable. They are universal. They apply not only to the privileged elite, but to everyone. Not only to British aristocrats, but to Colonial commoners.

Not only to us, but to them.

If you have a problem with this concept, I urge you to step down, and let your seat in our goverment pass to someone who believes in our government. You would throw away the entire foundation of our nation in order to imagine yourself safer? If you have your way, there is nothing for us to defend but some land and a bunch of immigrants to it.

You are so wrong as to astound and amaze. First, you hold the ludcirous notion that somehow putting these people on our soil, rather than on soil we rent from Cuba, somehow changes anything. The courts have not usually agreed with you, but then, neither does the plain language of the constitution. Let us read that again, too, since it seems like you’re unaware of it:

Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

And don’t even start on the “public danger” line. Even if we grant it, to even be talking about it we have to admit what is plainly true: This amendment recognizes the rights of any person. If these prisoners are granted to be members of our species, then they have these rights. They must have these rights, the same as you and I, because they have done the same exact things to earn them — they have been born human. That is all it takes to qualify for this amazing offer!

The only enemy of America’s principles in this picture, Mr. Young, is some jerk from Florida who thinks that the unalienable rights of all humanity can be tossed away on a whim.

Peter Seebach




  1. Just wanted to say that you are absolutely right here. I find the idea that anyone would claim to support something, and at the same time express explicit disbelief of it, to be completely nauseating.

    — lol · 2009-04-09 06:59 · #