Letter: Mulholland, Did they expect an objective scholar?
October 4, 2016
Did they expect an objective scholar?
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke apparently offended several people who attended his speech during the recent Constitution Week events. I did not attend, so I can only address the responses published in this paper September 28. It appears to me that their reaction may be somewhat justified if they expected an objective Constitutional scholar, but Sheriff Clarke apparently spoke as a private citizen. Such speeches are seldom objective. Those who were offended should have known what to expect. Perhaps that was the very reason they attended. Sheriff Clarke's views have been aired on TV several times, which is why attendance was so great. And, of course, why would local police and sheriff officers not want to attend a speech by a famous fellow law enforcement officer? They naturally would bring their patrol cars in case they were called to duty, just as on-duty firemen drive their pumper to the grocery store. As I tried to explain in a guest column earlier this year, support of the Constitution is not a right-wing nor far right position. Our government was created by the Constitution, and therefore the Constitution lies at the center of our political spectrum. It clearly states in Article VI that it is the supreme law of the land and may only be changed by the amendment process specified in Article V. Article I, Section 8 lists 17 areas the government is authorized to have the power to act on; all other powers are reserved to the states or to the people. Obamacare is not one of those areas, and Sheriff Clarke was not wrong to speak against it, because it is objectively unconstitutional, regardless of what the Supreme Court ruled. All officials in federal government, including military personnel, take an oath of office that begins like this: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." It follows that creating a law that is unconstitutional, or obeying such a law, must be illegal, or speaking bluntly, criminal, especially for government officials who swore to support it. Anyone wanting to understand our Constitution correctly and more fully should read it through very carefully, and should likewise read and understand our Declaration of Independence. The Constitution is simply the way the principles stated in the Declaration were implemented as a government of the people. Hillsdale College offers an excellent, free, on-line course on Constitutional principles that I strongly recommend to all.