If the states are the creators of the Constitution and the Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution, what is the protector of the Constitution?
The protector of the Constitution is one with the protector of America herself, the U.S. military. (To those misguided individuals who like to think of the Supreme Court as the “guardian of the Constitution”: How many divisions does the Court have?)
It is self-evident that one sure threat to America’s Constitution would be the destruction of America herself. With no America, there is no Constitution. So, when professional politicians expose America to destruction or danger, what is our civilian-controlled military to do, just stand by and let the elected government ruin the nation? Surely, the preservation of the “chain of command” is less important than protecting America and her Constitution from domestic enemies.
We are referring to the act that is rarely brought up in polite society — the military coup. In The Atlantic, James Fallows writes:
We could hope for an enlightened military coup, or some other deus ex machina by the right kind of tyrants. … The periodic longing for a “man on horseback” is a reflection of disappointment with what normal politics can bring. George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower were the right men on horseback. … In 1992, an Air Force lieutenant colonel wrote an essay for the National War College called “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012,” which began with the perceived failure of civilian politics to address the nation’s problems. The author, Charles Dunlap, who is now a two-star general, meant this as a cautionary tale. His paper began with this quote from John Adams: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Tempting as the thought is when watching the Senate on C-SPAN, we can’t really hope for a coup.
Or can we? As America became less and less recognizable over the last two years, the prospect of an “enlightened military coup” must have occurred to many Americans. Despite the military’s ethos of honor, no American in his right mind wants a coup d’etat, nor wants the states to secede, nor welcomes an Article V convention. But what’s a patriot to do? Our government is dysfunctional. Even faced with financial Armageddon, Congress could not restrain itself from larding up TARP with pork. In the face of trillion-dollar deficits, Congress still cannot stop its infernal spending.
Before we take extreme measures, let’s see if the High Court will give us a little clarity on the extent of the feds’ power and reach. Let’s give the Supremes a chance to shed light on the meaning of the Commerce Clause. Let’s ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment. Let’s get the new Congress to send over a thousand rescission bills. Let’s see if we can restore America by forging a new appreciation for our founding document, for …
With no Constitution, there is no America.
Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.