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– Current battle within the Republican Party’s conservative wing between Classical Liberals and an ideological bent to conservatism that believes government is there to “do the common good” or “do justice”

Classical Liberal/Libertarian notion of Constitutionalism that government is there to perform the things that independent society can’t do on its own and is there to enforce neutral rules

– Goal of Federal government is to prevent harm between people and the local government has more leeway to experiment and have different rules, as long as a person is free to leave

– This is a mix of Montesquieu, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill

– Common-good constitutionalism suggests that things I like: family, church, marriage, social networking should be promoted by government – even if it violates traditional restrictions and grows government

– Adrian Vermeule in his article suggests Conservatives should embrace this not just as a legislative strategy, but a judicial strategy

– Violate’s Founders’/Framers’ views on government because they didn’t trust the ambition or competency of people that ran government

– Whole purpose of checks/balances but “common-good constitutionalism rejects those (like early Progressives) in favor of their deemed “Common Good”

– This means that you’re giving power to a force, a “giant gun” or “giant lumbering idiot” (as Shapiro calls it)

– This ideological view is the same as the Left’s “government should do things I like” instead of a “principled containment of government for the preservation of individual liberty”

– Originalism suggests that the judiciary should interpret Constitution based on what is written there – that the Federal government can only do the things that are written and what Framers intended in their crafting (as we know from the Federalist Papers)

– The Leftists on the Supreme Court interpret Constitution in such a broad way that they “read our own moral wants into the vague language of the Constitution”

– Vermeule is suggesting that the Conservatives on the Court should do the same thing here

“Such an approach—one might call it “common-good constitutionalism”—should be based on the principles that government helps direct persons, associations, and society generally toward the common good, and that strong rule in the interest of attaining the common good is entirely legitimate.”

– Does this sound like checks/balances/limited government you know or something straight out of Jacobin magazine?

– “Pandemic politics” are not normal politics and anyone that suggests otherwise is wrong

– It’s like blowing holes in your walls with a shotgun because you “think” a prowler is in your house versus knowing there is someone there

– This is the justification FDR used for his ideological “war on want” or the Great Society “war on poverty”

– Freedom of speech is something guaranteed in the Constitution

– Freedom from want is something that independent society should strive for by creating a means and social fabric without the heavy hand of government

– He identifies two contrasting views of Originalism

“One is libertarian (or “classical liberal”) constitutionalism, which emphasizes principles of individual freedom that are often in uneasy tension with the Constitution’s original meaning and the founding generation’s norms. … Another alternative is Burkean traditionalism, which tries to slow the pace of legal innovation.”

– He’s advocating for an activist Judiciary on behalf of the things that he likes versus the things government is ascribed to do in the Constitution

– “Common Good” Constitutionalism does not create a limiting principle of what government can and cannot do

“Finally, unlike legal liberalism, common-good constitutionalism does not suffer from a horror of political domination and hierarchy, because it sees that law is parental, a wise teacher and an inculcator of good habits.”

– How is this any different that the Left in their views of government – Shapiro specifically mentions Obama’s “nudge” theory for what Law ought to do

“Your parent’s ought to make you a better person, your religious community out to make you better a better person, your moral teachings out to make you a better person. If you’re relying on the government to make you moral and wise, let’s just say that there’s not a long history of that being particularly effective.” – Ben Shapiro

“Just authority in rulers can be exercised for the good of subjects, if necessary even against the subjects’ own perceptions of what is best for them—perceptions that may change over time anyway, as the law teaches, habituates, and re-forms them. Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.”

– If anyone of the Left had written this the cries of “Tyranny” would be loud and long

“To pretend that common-good constitutionalism is anything other than the arbitrary application of government power to a set of principles that you like, even if I like the same principles, is to completely reject the founding vision of a limited government.” – Ben Shapiro

– How is the Revolution fought with a common-good constitutionalism view of government?

– Promoting a vision of good is for parents and actual moral teachers not some bureaucrat in an office somewhere

– How can you look at them or any of the Judicial members as “wise moral teachers”?

“This is just Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the Right.” – Ben Shapiro

“In this sense, common-good constitutionalism promises to expand and fulfill, in new circumstances and with a new emphasis, the Constitution’s commitments to promoting the general welfare and human dignity. Overall, constitutionalism will become more direct, more openly moral, less tied to tendentious law-office history and endless litigation of dubious claims about events centuries in the past.”

– This view of constitutionalism has nothing to do with the traditional senses of conservatism – of Burke because it doesn’t constrain – of Locke because it doesn’t see value in individual Rights

– It simply because a game of “which dictator controls the best”

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