I’ve been a big fan of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem for years, but tonight, she cemented my admiration for her. She rooted her Republican National Convention speech in the example and principles of my personal hero, the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison.
Not only was Noem’s substance important (more on that momentarily), but her citation of Madison and the founding principles also was somewhat courageous. We suddenly live in an age when this great nation’s philosophical provenance and its founders are under attack, not just from street radicals and statue destroyers, and not just from benighted high school history books, but also from an almost viciously dishonest project of the nation’s most traditionally powerful newspaper.
To cite a founder not named Hamilton, especially a southern plantation owner, is a well- and rightly-aimed thumb in the eye of the wokesters and cancel-culture avatars who portray the United States as intrinsically evil. They are wrong. The United States’s founding was the greatest single advance for human liberty in the history of mankind. Men like Madison, especially Madison, used astonishing genius, a phenomenal work ethic, tremendous goodwill, and high principle to create an empire of liberty.
It was neither easy nor simple. Please forgive a lengthy quotation, but Noem’s speech provided a passage that bears repeating in full as an important civics lesson. First:
“Men of great intellect and wisdom like James Madison, the father of our Constitution, hoped our constitutional republic would last for ages, mitigate the problems that would naturally arise from political factions, and prevent tyranny. Our Constitution gave only a few, narrowly defined powers to the federal government. Most powers were left to the states so that those closest to the people could decide the laws that would govern their activities.”
And: “Madison also authored much of the Bill of Rights because he understood the natural tendency of government to increasingly encroach on the people’s consent and thus our freedom. He urged his colleagues to adopt these amendments to enshrine in our Constitution the ideals laid out in the Declaration of Independence: one, that all power comes from the people; and two, that government is created and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people.”
Specifically, she said: “Our Constitution guarantees:
· The right to speak, to assemble, and to worship;
· The right to arm ourselves as a counterbalance to a standing army; and
· The right to a fair and equitable criminal justice system.
We must fight to protect these foundational rights from governmental interference and indifference.
America is unique in the world. Government’s power at all levels is limited to the confines of our Constitution, which protects our God-given liberties and civil rights.”
At its heart, these are the principles at issue between conservatives and today’s “progressives.” The latter do not agree in limiting the size of government in general, in decentralizing the limited governments that are required, or the private right to bear arms. Conservatives, and most Republicans, do agree with those ideals.
Credit to Noem for paying homage to those excellent constitutional values.
Author: Quin Hillyer
Source: Washington Examiner: Gov. Kristi Noem disses wokesters by praising American founding