- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Democratic Party has been corrupted by socialist influences — there’s no doubt about that. But what’s interesting is a) the Democrats brought this on themselves and b) the fact that they did has made all of America focus on the debate between democratic socialism, versus socialism, versus communism, versus whatever.

But ‘lest we go too far down this rabbit hole, let’s remember: The standard is the Constitution.

The standard is not the Democratic Party and whatever shape and form of democratic principles they happen to settle on this day, this week, this month, this election year.

That’s an important point to note because it keeps us from floating.

It keeps America, as a country, as an economy, as a government, as a culture, from waving and wafting in the wind, breezing this way when the majority pulls hard and then floating that way when the majority changes direction.

Justice Antonin Scalia had it right when he reminded that the role of the court was to interpret the Constitution based on the meaning the framers intended at its writing and adoption.

Or, in his own words, as NPR noted: “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means today not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it means when it was adopted.”

Scalia’s critics loved to pounce and point out every seeming deviance he made from this philosophy of interpretation and application to show its failures — and more so, to show his failures as a justice. But those are partisan attackers; no system is perfect or pure.

“My burden is not to show that originalism is perfect, but that it beats the other alternatives, and that, believe me, is not difficult,” Scalia also said.

Now take that principle of originalism out of the courts and apply it to the political world. To the Democratic Party and the discussions that have come from the debate stages in recent months.

America, campaign 2020, is in heated discussion about what constitutes a Democrat; what the difference is between a Democrat and a democratic socialist; what the definition is of a socialist versus a communist; why one form of socialism is kind and gentle but another form, brutal and murderous; how socialism and the free market can work together, in harmony, to bring a fair, just, equal yet still-capitalistic system of opportunity for all — and more.

But these arguments are moot.

These debates are unnecessary.

These questions are irrelevant.

The only question to ask is this: Is it constitutional?

The Democratic Party — infiltrated as it’s become with godless, socialist, thuggish personalities in recent times — may be confused, may be trying to settle on which presidential candidate to pick, may be struggling to discern its 2020 identity, its 2020-and-beyond identity. But Dems brought that on themselves. Dems allowed themselves to become so blinded by hate — for President Donald Trump, for conservatives, for patriotic Americans — they opened arms wide to whatever deceptive, aggressive, even violent means that came to try and upset this White House, toss out this administration.

But that doesn’t mean the rest of America has to walk that confused path.

Democrats are drifting, to put it mildly. And their drifting into socialism, into democratic socialism, into communism, into whatever, has had the unfortunate effect of bringing the nation into that pot of confusion to discuss, in short, what it all means, where we’re all headed as a country.

But it’s not necessary to deal with this clutter. It’s not inevitable the Democrats’ hard pull left has to suck in the rest of the sane nation.

The standard for America doesn’t come from the Democratic Party.

The standard for America is the Constitution. On that, America need not waver. On that, the principles of originalism still apply. So when political talk of the day turns to considerations such as democratic socialism versus socialism, and socialism over capitalism, Americans can shrug it off, pooh-pooh and say, with sufficiently disdainful tones: None of the above.

We choose the U.S. Constitution.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

Sign up for Daily Opinion Newsletter

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide