If you are a Constitutionalist, you are incredibly unpopular right now. You are completely unwelcome in the Democratic Party, and The GOP (for decades the bastion of Constitutionalism) is treating you like the ex-girlfriend it only calls when it is between girlfriends and wants a sure booty call. The Libertarian party mostly seemed distracted by weed legalization and geography lessons last election. The Constitution Party seems to be with it, yet appears more about Religious Conservatism than Constitutionalism. Then there’s the new Federalist Party (in the spirit of disclosure, I’m a member). Founded in July of 2016, it’s incredibly new, and has a goal of working from the bottom up. Who knows what will come of it? With all this, it would seem Constitutionalists are cornered, cut off from relief, and betrayed by those we counted on. It seems we need a miracle to survive.
If all this has been as tedious of one of Obama’s speeches, and less clear than one of Trump’s, indulge me as I undertake a little historical analogy: Picture it, Sicily, 1922, I was…Wait a minute! Sorry, wrong story. The year was 1940, the place was Western Europe. The German Army had been ordered by Fuhrer Adolf Hitler (yes, literally Hitler) to occupy Belgium and France. Standing in his way was a tiny army left to defend Luxembourg that consisted of 412 men and 12 horses, which was immediately defeated. The Dutch army was larger and better trained, but lasted merely 7 days. The linchpin was the Belgian Army: brave, well-trained fighters who were still not prepared due to their King’s stubborn neutrality. Great Britain and France had attempted to persuade Belgium to join their side, but were rebuffed (Much as the GOP has rebuffed Constitutional Conservatism in exchange for Populism). When the Germans invaded, Belgium called on France and Great Britain at the last possible second (much as the GOP calls on Conservatives when its back is to the wall). The British and French answered the call, even as France was invaded the very same day. This split the Allied forces into the very north and very south of the country.
Ah, but things would get worse before they got even worse. Right about the time the bulk of the Allied forces became bogged down and largely surrounded by the German army (non-Constitutionalists), Belgium surrendered, leaving France and Britain holding the bag. There was no hope of winning in outright battle, and the reinforcements were cut off with no hope of escape. They had one slim shot at flight: the port of Dunkirk. To make it to Dunkirk meant surviving a gauntlet where the Germans had the ability to harass the Allies all the way. The evacuation was a desperate gamble, especially as the German Air Force dominated the field. It was an all-or-nothing moment that could have seen almost 400,000 men massacred. Instead, while many died making last stands to slow the Germans, over 330,000 made it safely to England. This number included French and Belgian soldiers who refused to surrender. Most of these men would return to fight the war when the easy thing for locals to do would be to throw down their arms and escape. They refused to desert, they refused to surrender. Though many died before the war was over, they died for the principle of defending all they held dear.
A few days after the Evacuation of Dunkirk, Prime Minister Churchill spoke before Parliament. In this address he gave words to the spirit these men carried, words that would goad them on when their muscles shrieked with pain, minds fogged with exhaustion, and hearts flagged from the carnage.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
The defenders of the Constitution, the warriors against a bloated government whose bureaucracy gorges itself, merely to grow so it may gorge itself more, had better hope, pray, and work for our own Dunkirk. If we do not, the last defenders of the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, those who would “…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” may find ourselves as easily overtaken as Luxembourg. If we surrender, then the light of freedom, which is fed by the courage of men of principle, is forever dimmed.