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Bill of Rights Day

Today is Bill of Rights Day, the most important American holiday that you’ve never heard of.

Think about it. Without the Bill of Rights, without the fundamental protection of individual liberty, the Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

As it happens, I recently had a small discussion about the Bill of Rights buried on a comments thread. Heare’s what I wrote.

The Founders weren't a monolithic block. You need do nothing except compare the The Federalist Papers and The Anti-Federalist Papers to see that. Or look closely at what happened with the Bank of The United States. Or look at the response to the Whiskey Rebellion. Let's not forget the Louisiana Purchase.

As far as me "understanding," haven't you "advocated a common moral system to join people together" since you first started replying to my comments? Even if it meant "dictating personal behavior (and occasionally beliefs)?"

I wrote that ten years ago after spending a couple of decades dealing with some of the best and worst that conservatives AND liberals had to offer. Still true though. Just ask Penn Jillette.

The Anti-Federalists weren't Founders?

Where do you think the demand for a Bill of Rights came from?

Adult humans are perfectly capable of governing themselves.

Or are you about to crash an airplane into a building?

Of course the Anti-Federalists were Founders. The Founders weren't just the signers, they were everyone who argued about it, everyone who voted on it, and everyone who accepted it.

"We the People," remember?

That's the thing. No one person, no one group had all the answers. No one knew exactly what would happen. The system only works when everyone who has a stake also has a say.

That was the gift of the Founders to future generations. The rest is poetry.

Free to choose and accept responsibility for the consequences.

Oh, BTW.

The Massachusetts Compromise.

Look it up in the history books. Or even on Wikipedia.

And look at who spoke for the Anti-Federalists. John Hancock and Samuel Adams, two gentlemen who even by your standard are unquestionably Founders.

Of course it's relevant.

The Bill of Rights wasn't put in the original document. People objected, they yelled at each other, they waved their fingers under each other's noses.

The Bill of Rights is arguably the foundation of liberty in the USA.

It was added AFTER the convention because it was the only way to get the Constitution ratified.

"We the People" indeed.

And why do you think the states demanded it?

Why did four other states demand it after the Massachusetts Compromise and no states demanded it before?

I know a Moses solution appeals to you, but the Constitution didn't come down from the mountain perfect in every way. There were arguments back and forth. It was changed. Then they argued over the changes.

Just like we're arguing now.

Government is not your friend. You should always watch it carefully. You should argue about it with the people you trust and the people you don’t trust.

I know of no better way to honor the Bill of Rights than to use it.

I don't think I'm always right, I just don't think anyone is absolutely right. And that is why there is more to life than black and white.

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