With the Constitution as our Guide

Charles Kesler writes at RealClearPolitics:

The contest’s next phase has a way of reducing the candidates to policy wonks, especially the Democrats, who in order to mobilize their disparate supporters must advance long, specialized agendas. Goodbye, “the audacity of hope.” Hello, the hope of audacity, of any sort of bold Democratic policy addressing the common good rather than client groups.

Republicans have a hard time competing against such pandering, but that won’t stop them from trying. The best way to avoid this race to the bottom is to connect Republican policies to the Constitution and its principles. Thinking about the Constitution as a guide to policy has almost gone out of style, except in the appointment of judges and the current debate over war powers, a welcome throwback, in its way. One would have to go back to the Reagan era, and before that to the 1960s, to find Republican leaders opposing major government programs on constitutional grounds.

But the alternative to reviving constitutionalism is to make policy with no limits except for the judges’ whims, and with no guide except our leaders’ visions, distilled from their constituents’ desires. The alternative to constitutionalism, in other words, is to play politics according to the Democrats’ rules.

It’s true. The U.S. Constitution is brief. The Constitution together with the Bill of Rights and the Amendments is easily readable at a single sitting. It is easy to understand, though hard to grasp all its implications. It was the work of the bravest, best educated men, the men who most cherished freedom, of their time. They were guided by logic, a deep knowledge of history, and the love of God.

Read it for yourself.

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