Does Experience Matter?

It seems like the question of experience has emerged in virtually every presidential campaign in recent memory.   And this year it is especially important.

But what does that really mean – to have the experience to be president?  What’s the criteria?  When do you know someone has enough?  And what is more important, political experience, executive experience, or legislative experience?  Diplomatic experience or military experience?  How about business experience? 

Or is it judgment and adherence to principle that matter most?

Examining the historical record I find that there is no correlation between so-called “experience” and a successful presidency. 

Presidents with lots of experience have been successful, while those with little experience have also been successful.  But there has also been presidents with a lifetime of experience who failed and those with little experience who also failed.

And even the question of success and failure is open for debate, as one administration might be successful to some but a failure to others. 

So let us take a peek at a few examples from presidential history.

James Monroe, a protégé of Mr. Jefferson, had one of the most impressive political resumes of any American statesman.  Monroe served in the Virginia State House, the Continental Congress, as a delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention that debated the U.S. Constitution, as both a U.S. Senator and Governor of Virginia, as ambassador to England, France, and Spain, and finally as James Madison’s secretary of state, an office, at that time, seen as a stepping stone to the presidency. 

Monroe’s administration was largely successful, even though he tends to get lost in the shuffle of the Virginia Dynasty.  He had to preside over the nation after the costly war with Great Britain, as well as manage the nation’s economy after the onset of the Panic of 1819.  He won re-election in 1820 despite the depression, receiving all but one electoral vote.  Monroe was a strict constructionist, who vetoed the Cumberland Road Bill because he said the Constitution did not grant Congress the power to make such an appropriation.  He signed the Missouri Compromise Bill, which cooled the sectional controversy over slavery for 30 years.  In foreign affairs, he gave us the Monroe Doctrine, one of the great foreign policy papers in American history, completely in line with our traditional non-interventionist position.  Historians have ranked him as high as eighth in presidential polls.

James Buchanan also had a distinguished political resume, as impressive as any American president.  He served in the Pennsylvania state legislature, the U.S. House for ten years, where he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Senate for two terms, chairing the Committee on Foreign Affairs, served as James K. Polk’s secretary of state, and was also ambassador to both Russia and Great Britain.  He  was even offered an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court but turned it down.  But with all that experience, and prestige, his presidency was a disaster, mainly due to his judgment or lack thereof. 

With the Supreme Court poised to rule on the Dred Scott case soon after his inauguration on March 4, 1857, Buchanan communicated, unethically, with Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, urging him to make a definitive ruling that would end the fight over slavery in the territories.  Rather than handing down a simple ruling that Dred Scott had no standing to sue in federal court, and leaving it at that, Taney, whether he followed the new president’s prodding or not, handed down a decision that caused the sectional crisis to burn red hot.  And with the Southern States leaving the Union one by one after the election of 1860, Buchanan did absolutely nothing, one way or the other.  He did not even evacuate Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, instead leaving that thorny issue for Lincoln, a situation that led to war rather than peaceful negotiations.  In short, Buchanan fiddled while Rome burned and historians have hammered him for it.

By contrast, Buchanan’s successor, Abraham Lincoln, who most Americans as well as academic historians place in the top spot, had almost no experience at all.  He served a few terms in the Illinois state legislature and one term in the U.S. House, which he himself said was a “flat failure.”  But the conventional historical wisdom is that Lincoln, because he preserved the Union and, supposedly, freed the slaves, was a great success.  I would argue, however, that Lincoln essentially shredded the Constitution to accomplish what he did and, because of that, he does not deserve such a high place in American presidential history.  The damage done to our federal republic is still with us today. 

But looking at it from the standpoint that he accomplished what he set out to do, even implementing the old Whig, now Republican, economic program of high tariffs, centralized banking, and federal-funded internal improvements and subsidies to big business, then he can be regarded as successful, to at least a portion of the country.  Yet if you asked most Americans in 1860 if they knew of Abraham Lincoln, the vast majority, because of his lack of experience, would not have had a clue.

Jimmy Carter also had very little experience and his presidency was the biggest failure of all.  Despite attending the U.S. Naval Academy and serving his country in uniform, Carter, when it came to matters of national security, proved pathetically weak and indecisive.  When radical Islamic thugs in Tehran seized the U.S. embassy, after Carter’s bungling led to the overthrow of the America-friendly Shah, the president did nothing but preside over his own embarrassment for 444 days, while citizens of the United States were held against their will by a group of religious thugs.  Even a military rescue attempt ended in disastrous failure.

Carter’s political experience consisted of a single term in the Georgia state senate and one term as governor but despite his service in Georgia, his domestic record is just as derisory as foreign affairs.  Carter proved unable to deal with crippling economic conditions that included a serious energy shortage.  The president followed liberals in Congress nearly over the cliff, as the nation faced inflation, unemployment, and interest rates all in double-digits.  The situation was so bad that Ted Kennedy challenged Carter for the party nomination in 1980.  Kennedy lost but Carter was crushed by Ronald Reagan in the fall.

Barack Obama’s meteoric rise has been nothing short of spectacular but this has led to questions about his experience to hold the office of president of the United States.  This is a major weak point his campaign must address.  But instead of puffing Obama up, they have, instead, engaged in a campaign to tear McCain’s vast experience down.

Wesley Clark recently launched a full frontal assault on national television against McCain.  “He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn’t a wartime squadron.  In the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk,  It’s a matter of gauging your opponents and it’s a matter of being held accountable.  John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions.” 

And Barack Obama has?  Tangling with McCain on experience is not a wise strategy for the Obama campaign.  Though I find no correlation, many Americans do.

But instead of focusing on experience, voters should examine the record of every presidential candidate – any votes they have cast in legislative bodies as well as prior policy initiatives and speeches.  Voters can also determine judgment.  Simply look at the decisions he has made, even during the campaign.  But at the end of the day we are not going to know what kind of president any candidate might be until he finally takes office.

The Democratic “Machine” and the Latino Vote

The new political battleground is shaping up to be an all-out fight between Democrats and Republicans over the increasing Hispanic vote, which could be a key to the future of the United States.  In fact, Barack Obama told the National Council of La Raza, on July 13, that the “Latino community holds the election in your hands.”  But with John McCain as the GOP nominee, Republicans are more than ready to step up to the plate. 

According to Dick Morris, in his new book Fleeced, Latinos might comprise 20 percent of the total population by 2020.  If they vote 90 percent for Democrats, as blacks do, the Republican Party might be forever out of power.  This is a major reason why the late Sam Francis was fond of calling the GOP the “Stupid Party.” 

But instead of taking a patriotic position and seek restrictions on immigration, particularly the flux of illegal aliens, Republicans seem bent on trying to woo Latinos to their side.  Success will be futile, as there are no better sugar daddies than Democrats.

The modern-day Democratic Party has maintained a tradition from the corrupt political machines of the late nineteenth century, based in most Northern cities – get ‘em off the boat and into the booth as fast as possible.  Southern politics after the War Between the States never operated this way, with the exception of Huey Long’s Louisiana, but was devoted solely to the preservation of  white supremacy.  This crooked Northern system is accurately portrayed in the films Gangs of New York and Far and Away.

The most infamous political machine in American history was Tammany Hall in New York City.  Bosses, like William Tweed, were notoriously corrupt.  In fact, Tweed was finally convicted after stealing more than $100 million from taxpayers (that’s $100 million in 19th century dollars!).  He died in prison in 1878.

The old process worked like so.  New immigrants, many from Ireland, arrived on ships which docked at New York harbor.  Once off the boat, they were generally met by a “ward boss” or his representatives.  They were promised jobs and even housing, all provided by the machine.  However, part of every workers’ wages kicked back to support the machine, which provided funds for “get out the vote” drives.  These workers were expected to get out and vote “Tammany” in every election and many of them voted “early and often.”  To not support the machine risked losing job, lodging, and all. 

With its candidates firmly entrenched in office, the machine could then award contracts to its supporters for various government jobs and construction programs.  These contracts, as you might guess, were many times what was needed to complete the project.  But, as with the wages, part of the government funds kicked back to the machine.  The process then started over again.

One major example of the Tweed Ring in action was the construction of a courthouse in New York City, a building still in use today.  The original budget was $250,000, in 1858 just before the War, but by the time it was completed the city had spent $14 million, much of it in the pockets of Tammany bosses.  Roy Morris, in his book Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876, tells of one electrician who submitted a contract to install fire alarms in the new courthouse, for the sum of $60,000, a high bid to be sure.  Boss Tweed responded to his request by asking, “If we get you a contract for $450,000, will you give us $225,000?”  Who could have said no?  And it was taxpayers who were left with the bill.

Democratic politics are not nearly so corrupt today but use a similar method.  Whereas the old political machines used graft and corruption in the form of stealing public funds and shaking down immigrant workers, today’s Democrats use legalized theft in the form of inflationary paper money, high taxes, and government handouts to maintain a permanent voting base.  The more people on the dole, the more likely they are to vote Democrat.  This is a primary motivation behind nationalized health care.

As for Hispanics, Democrats have been in the lead in the race with Republicans to out-promise each other.  Latinos, legal or not, are promised free health care, access to primary and secondary education, tuition breaks to colleges and universities that taxpayers don’t get, Social Security benefits, jobs, and quick citizenship and voting rights.  Step across the border with a pregnant wife due any minute, have the child in a U.S. hospital thereby making it an American citizen, and the authorities can’t send you back, even though this is a major distortion of the original intent of the 14th Amendment.

But Democrats are also not above out-right fraud.  During the 1996 presidential campaign, Democrats hurried the naturalization of more than a million Hispanic voters so they would be eligible to cast ballots that November.  It was known as Citizenship USA, a project initiated by Vice President Al Gore with the full knowledge and backing of President Clinton.  In fact Gore even admitted that the scheme was a “pro-Democrat voter mill.”

From August 1995 to September 1996, according to records from congressional investigations, 1,049,867 aliens received citizenship under the program.  Many of the laws governing naturalization were ignored, like background checks and fingerprinting.  About 180,000 immigrants were never fingerprinted at all.  Another 80,000 who were checked had criminal records, but were naturalized despite those restrictions.  According to David Schippers, a Democrat who headed the congressional investigation against the Clinton administration, one alien was even naturalized while still in jail!

Citizenship USA put politics ahead of the safety of the American people, as well as the laws of the nation.  It’s a prime example of how far Democrats are willing to go to maintain power and win over Hispanics.

Republicans are not nearly so brazen and seem to want a more moderate position that will appeal to enough Hispanics to remain competitive.  But this strategy is destined to fail.  Either the Republicans stand on principle and do what is right for America or fold up their tent and go home.  The war is over.

Lincoln and Darwin: Disastrous Legacies

This week’s edition of Newsweek has a thought-provoking article on Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.  Author Malcolm Jones points out an interesting historical fact, that both men were born on the same day, February 12, 1809, and both had an extraordinary impact on history.  This celebratory article is likely to be the opening of the literary floodgates, as we get closer to the 200th anniversary of their birth.

Newsweek ponders this question:  which of the two mattered the most?  To Jones its Lincoln, though Darwin is given his due.  I contend, however, that while both are highly relevant, both were also failures, giving us problems that we should rightfully be seeking to correct.

Both men had remarkably similar life experiences, according to Jones.  “Both lost their mothers in early childhood.  Both suffered from depression and both wrestled with religious doubt.  Each had a strained relationship with his father, and each of them lost children to early death.  Both spent the better part of their 20s trying to settle on a career, and neither man gave much evidence of his future greatness until well into middle age:  Darwin published ‘The Origin of Species’ when he was 50, and Lincoln won the presidency a year later.  Both men were private and guarded.”

These are very interesting facts but Jones failed to point out two additional similarities, namely that Lincoln and Darwin were both racists, especially by today’s standards, and their legacies have also been quite destructive. 

Let’s start with Abraham Lincoln, thought by many to be the greatest president in American history, but only when the story is carefully crafted.

So much of what is taught about Lincoln in schools across the nation, from grade school to the doctoral level, is pure myth and outright lies.  He is hailed as the Great Emancipator and “Father Abraham,” a “great friend of the Negro.”  But this is nowhere near the truth.

During the fourth debate with Stephen Douglas at Charleston, Illinois on September 18, 1858 Lincoln gave his personal opinion about blacks: 

“I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior. I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

These thoughts were very well known at the time.  So much so that William Lloyd Garrison, the famous abolitionist, did not support Lincoln and called him the “slave hound from Illinois” who has “not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins.” 

In fact, slavery was not on Lincoln’s mind when he decided to prevent the Southern States from determining their own future, as the American colonies had done in 1776.  In a letter to Horace Greeley, on August 22, 1862, Lincoln set forth his rationale behind the war:  “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” 

And it must be noted that Lincoln wrote this letter at a time when he had already decided to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed no slaves at all.  It was nothing more than an executive order that only freed slaves in areas that the Confederacy controlled, areas that Lincoln had no control over.  So, simply put, he had no power to free anyone.  The four slaves states remaining in the Union were not covered under this proclamation, nor were areas of the Confederacy that the Union army occupied.

And what of those slaves who were free, before or during the war?  For all of his life Lincoln favored the colonization of freed blacks in the West Indies, Central America, and Africa.  As president he backed a plan to pay masters to free their slaves then send them out of the United States.  Its obvious, given his statement in the debate with Douglas, that Lincoln did not want blacks in North America.

In addition to being a racist, let’s also point out that Lincoln destroyed the fundamental concept of the Constitution, that of a voluntary association of free states with a federal government of limited powers.  When the war ended, America had ceased to be a federal republic and began the journey toward a national centralized state.  A great pillar of Western Civilization, republican government, was not defended, as he claimed in the Gettysburg Address, but assaulted with intent to destroy.

And for those that condemn George W. Bush for trampling American civil liberties should take a look at Lincoln, who imprisoned 14,000 citizens without trial or charges, seized telegraph offices, waged war without congressional approval, and committed war crimes against Southern civilians.

Not quite the legacy of a man who is deserving of a massive monument in the nation’s capital.

Now let’s turn to Charles Darwin, whose theories led to an on-going assault on another pillar of Western Civilizations – Christianity.

Darwin was a naturalist, a scientist of sorts.  After his famed voyage on the Beagle, he stewed over his ideas of evolution and natural selection for nearly two decades, mainly because he feared they would be viciously attacked.  When it was discovered that other scientists were working on similar theories, and were about to publish them, Darwin rushed his thesis to print in 1859.

Now most everyone knows a little something about Darwin’s thesis, that species evolve, or change, over time and through the process of natural selection weaker species, or weaker members of a given species, will eventually die out.  It is also known by the term, “survival of the fittest,” a term Darwin did not use.  But that accurately describes the process Darwin crafted.

It has been said by many of his defenders, mostly in the academic fields, that Darwin did not have humans in mind when he wrote Origin of the Species.  And, upon reading the text, he does not mention mankind.  He feared the inclusion of humans might lead to further hostility.

But it is clear that humans were implied.  Take a look at the full title of Darwin’s most famous work:  On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.  Sound a lot like he is implying humanity to me, not to mention the fact that it is quite racist.  Who could be a “favoured race”?

Darwin’s career was not done, however.  A few years later he published a second book, one which college professors rarely mention.  The second book brings humans into the equation of natural selection.  In The Descent of Man, published in 1871, Darwin wrote, “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races….” 

Scientists today, like Dr. James Watson, are fired and blackballed for saying much less!

Also in The Descent of Man Darwin puts humans at the top of the evolutionary chain and, within the human race itself, ranks Caucasians at the top.  At the very bottom we find “the negro and the Australian [Aborigines]” ranked just above the ape.

According to Benjamin Wiker, author of 10 Books That Screwed Up The World, And Five Others That Didn‘t Help, “Having read The Descent of Man, we can no longer claim that Darwin didn’t intend the biological theory of evolution outlined in the Origin of Species to be applied to human beings.”

Darwin’s theories have had disastrous consequences.  It led to the present assault on Christianity, on-going these last 150 years.  Darwin’s theories gave the atheist intellectual ammunition to show that God did not create the universe or mankind.  Scientists now can claim that man was “not planned” and a “mere accident,” to quote a few.

It has also led to the advent of Nazism and the Holocaust.  Academic professors in our government university system will always argue, unsurprisingly, that Hitler took Darwinism and perverted it into what they term “Social Darwinism.”  But this, given what we have just read, is not the case.  A large portion of Nazi philosophy is draw directly from Charles Darwin.

Richard Weikart, a professor of history at California State University at Stanislaus, in his book From Darwin to Hitler:  Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, writes that Darwinism gave Hitler and the Nazis the “necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”

So ask yourself who mattered most, Lincoln or Darwin?  Both were racists and both led assaults against important pillars of Western Civilization.  In my book, both are equally destructive and equally worthy of our condemnation, not our praise.

The Mystifying Logic of the Supreme Court

In the past couple of weeks, in three major cases released before adjournment, the United States Supreme Court has left us all wondering just what passes for logic in the hallowed chambers of the nation’s highest judicial chamber. 

This honorable Court has ruled, in recent days, that enemy combatants, who are not U.S. citizens, should be granted access to our court system and provided the same rights under our Constitution enjoyed by American citizens; that the State of Louisiana cannot execute child rapists; and, in what should have been an open-and-shut case, rightfully struck down a Washington, D.C. ban on handguns but only by the slimmest margin possible, 5 to 4.

In the first decision, Boumediene v. Bush, the Court ruled, outrageously, that Guantanamo detainees, that is those persons that U.S. military forces have captured on foreign battlefields and who are engaged in combat against us, have a right to the same due process rights, found in the Fifth Amendment, as U.S. citizens.  In other words, they can use civilian courts rather than the military tribunals, which have always been used throughout U.S. military history.

The Court in this case reversed the decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals, which rightfully concluded that constitutional rights do not apply to aliens outside the United States.

Giving such rights to known terrorists borders on insanity.  Once inside a civilian court, with a defense lawyer in tow, they can demand the right of discovery, gaining valuable intelligence information.  This happened when the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing were caught and put on trial.  Not only is the turning over of information damaging, and potentially deadly, terrorists can also learn how we are gaining our intelligence, which is infinitely more harmful to our national security.

And can you not see how illegal aliens might be able to use this ruling to their benefit?

In Kennedy v. Louisiana, the decision by the Supreme Court to strike down a law passed by the State of Louisiana to execute child rapists is yet another example of the arrogance and misguided logic in Washington.  Here again we see the Supreme Court reaching down into a sovereign State and overturning a law passed by its duly elected representatives.  This practice has been going on since the days of John Marshall, and is clearly outside the bounds of the strict parameters of Article III of the Constitution.

Governor Bobby Jindal called the ruling “an affront to the people of Louisiana.”

And again the chosen method is the Bill of Rights, as the Court often enjoys applying those restrictions to the individual States.  The Left believes that the Fourteen Amendment fastens the First Amendment restrictions upon the States.

But this is not what our Founders desired.

In 1866 Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.  Section 1 declares: 

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Two years later, on July 9, 1868, the requisite number of States had ratified it (although some of them where still out of the Union at the time, which makes for an interesting argument against its legality). 

However, nothing in that amendment even suggests that the Bill of Rights was being applied to the individual States.  It does use the same language as the Fifth Amendment, applying those protection upon the States, but nothing more.

It was never the intent of the Founders to apply the Bill of Rights to the States.  Those ten amendments were seen very clearly at the time as a means of binding the federal government. 

In 1875, seven years after helping to pass the Fourteenth Amendment, Congressman James G. Blaine of Maine, who served in the U.S. House, including three terms as Speaker, in the U.S. Senate, as Secretary of State twice, and was the GOP nominee for president in 1884, proposed an amendment that would apply part of the First Amendment to the States.  The “Blaine Amendment” concerned the use of public funds for religious schools, a issue still disputed today.  His amendment stated as follows:

“No State shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by taxation in any State for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund therefor, nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect; nor shall any money so raised or lands so devoted be divided between religious sects or denominations.”

Now the question is this, if the Fourteenth Amendment applied the Bill of Rights to the States, why would Blaine have needed such an amendment?  Because the Fourteenth Amendment did not impose the Bill of Rights upon the States.  But it has since been used by the Court to impose restrictions upon the States and upon the people.

One year later, however, the Court was presented an opportunity to rule on this very subject.  In United States v. Cruikshank (1876) the Court held, by a vote of 9 to 0, that the Bill of Rights does NOT apply to the States.  The case involved civil rights but it clearly had wide-ranging implications, as noted in Chief Justice Morrison Waite’s majority opinion.  He stated, in regard to guns, that the Second Amendment declares that just such a right “shall not be infringed, but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress.  This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government….”  Simply put, Congress, or any part of the federal government, cannot infringe on the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights.

As for the Washington, D.C. gun ban case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court does exercise jurisdiction here because Congress, under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, is given authority over the seat of the national government. 

The Court struck down D.C.’s long-standing ban on hand guns, in place since 1976, as an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment, which the Court interpreted to be an individual right.  But why would this case be so close?  Four justices, the liberal members of the Court, took the opposite side in what should have been a slam-dunk case.  But this is judicial activism at its best – if they don’t like the Constitution they just simply rule how they would like it to be.

Over the weekend I watched one of my favorite movies, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, in which several scenes brought me back to the Heller case.  If you recall the film, Gene Hackman’s character, Sheriff Little Bill Daggett, oversaw a gun ban in his small town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming.  This left the townspeople, and any visitors who might enter, totally at the mercy of the sheriff’s department, i.e. the government.  Without any weapons to defend themselves against an over-bearing government, the people simply had to endure Little Bill’s vicious beatings, three of which are showcased during the film. 

The Founding Fathers had just such a scene in mind when they envisioned the Second Amendment, the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” in order to defend themselves against an oppressive government, on any level.  The idea of a government taking away the people’s arms smacked of tyranny in its worst form.  For if a people were disarmed, government would be free to do as it wished.  This should be unthinkable to any freedom-loving person.

The Second Amendment simply states:  “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  It must be noted that a militia in the 18th century was not like today’s national guard, but a unit consisting of the local people, who were armed, and could repel invasions, like the minutemen at Lexington and Concord.  George Mason, a “Father of the Bill of Rights” along with James Madison,  once said of militias, “I ask, sir, what is the militia?  It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”

But the amendment also protected one’s right of self-defense and the right to dispose of a hostile government.  The evidence for this is clear in the historical record.  Without the Second Amendment, the rest of our protected rights are meaningless.

The Left, predictably, has already kicked off a full-scale assault on the ruling and on gun rights in general.  The Chicago Tribune editorialized on Friday, June 27th, that not only were the Founding Fathers complete idiots but we should, as the title states, “Repeal the 2nd Amendment.”

We must be on-guard against these kinds of brazen attacks.  Although they may be unthinkable, the Left has always been masters of chipping away at our rights and liberties until they are no more. 

But we cannot, as true conservatives, put too much faith in the Supreme Court as the final judge of our liberties.  This was not the intent of the Founders and it should not be our platform either.  For the logic of five robed members of the Supreme Court can trample our rights as surely as a despot.