Rescuing liberty is a tall order

August 19, 2011 | By LUKE WAKE

It’s safe to say that the fight for liberty in America is an uphill battle because, we’re fighting to restore our lost constitution in face of difficult precedent. Yet despite bumps in the road, we never give up, and we never give in. To quote the great American patriot John Paul Jones, “[We] have not yet begun to fight!”

In a way, the legal battle over Obamacare represents the American struggle in a microcosm. America was born in revolution, sparked by the classical liberal idea that men are endowed by natural rights. This philosophical tradition holds that men are naturally at liberty, and that government should let men remain generally free to live their lives without burdensome constraints or mandates. In this vein, the Founders drafted our constitution with an aim to tie the hand of government so that liberty could flourish.

But in the progressive era the New Deal courts gutted the constitution of its meat, unbinding the hands of government so as to enable political social engineering. Unleashed from its constitutional restraints, the government has grown larger and larger over the past century, and so too has government’s entanglement in our lives. Our liberties have been so greatly compromised today that most any law restricting our liberty will be upheld so long as the court believes there is a conceivable rational basis supporting the law.

So the legal battle over Obamacare is just one fight in the greater struggle for liberty. But, our hope is that in the end we will prevail in our commerce clause challenge, and that our victory will reaffirm the proposition that there are meaningful limits on the federal government’s powers. Even though this alone will not undue all the harm the progressive courts have caused over the past century, a victory may have symbolic value, representing the pendulum beginning to turn back in our favor.

But whatever the outcome, and no matter what should happen next, you should know that we will continue the fight. Wherever lady liberty is in peril, we will be fighting to protect her. We shall never surrender.