Recently, I heard someone use an expression stated in a dead language, which has consequences for all of us living in this free society: “vox populi, vox dei.” This Latin expression, loosely translated, means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” It is a concept at the heart of political tyranny, elevating the wisdom of the created to that of the Creator and implying that man is equal to his Maker.
The humanist movement has long agreed with Greek philosopher and mathematician Protagaras who stated “man is the measure of all things.” When the thinking of Protagaras reaches the political arena it translates into mob rule under the whims of the majority.
The voice of the people is not the voice of God; the voice of the people is only legitimate when it is in accordance with the Word of God. Such is the concept of constitutional governance, which embraces the notion of natural or revealed law as the basis of all just human law.
Free societies can never flourish where the voice of the people is considered absolute. There is a difference between the “consent of the governed,” and the “governance of the consented.” By this I mean that we, the people of these United States, have a voice in who enforces our laws, and what our laws might look like, but the rule of law trumps the rule of men.
We are a republic of laws, not of man’s opinions, and such is a characteristic of a free nation. Even the lawmakers are subject to the law of the land. Think about it: there are laws that legislatures attempt to pass that the Constitution forbids, which protects the freedoms of us all.
When the indiscriminate will of the people becomes the law of the land, the people will be subjugated to the tyranny of relativistic rights. If all that is required to change the law of the land is the unpredictable whim of the majority, then private property, personhood, wealth and legal protections are just one vote away from extinction. Under such a system where every law is made by vote of the majority, absent constitutional restraints, class warfare is conjured-up as the takers start taking from the makers, and the makers start turning into takers.
Such a free-for-all would lead to economic collapse, cultural chaos across the country and a standard of living that would mirror that of a third world country.
Before you think I’ve gone off-the-reservation, let me be clear that this philosophy isn’t some far-fetched fantasy, but the very present approach to policy embraced by the political Left in this Country. Look no further than the Obama Administration’s contempt for the Constitution for proof. They have mandated the purchase of health insurance, ignored legislated law (such as the Defense of Marriage Act) and threatened to raise the debt ceiling without Congressional authorization.
To the left, the Constitution is merely a recommendation for how the nation ought to be governed, but is quickly cast-aside when it conflicts with their grand ideological agenda. The Left has declared war on absolutes, instead favoring the obscure relativism of their reckless policies. The Constitution is hated by the Left because it is based on the absolutes ingrained in the Western World by the Judeo-Christian Ethic that shaped our civilization.
It is critical for us as Americans to remember that elected legislators, and those whom they represent, can trample a person’s rights as quickly as a monarch. Respect for the rule of law is requisite to preserve the representative republic in which we live.