I am just an individual, yet, I am forced to legally confront the United States and its agent the IRS (many people and considerable resources) in order to protect my family’s rights. In the legal world they call me pro se. It is an unbalanced battle. If might made right, this dispute would have been over before it started. Yet, the battle goes on (4+ years). We have not won, but are we not losing either.
There is much to celebrate in this particular fact for all Americans.
The federal government has been lawless in its actions against us since 2009. At first I thought they rationalized breaking the law because they conveniently concluded that we were bad people. Now I think they break the law because they feel compelled to protect the system from our lawsuits challenging their earlier lawless actions–I suppose by theorizing that the IRS is “too big” or “too important” to fail. Nevertheless, both conclusions are wrong and will eventually fail.
This is the magic that is still America.
Our social compact is different than other societies. The American Constitution is not so much a agreement between we the people (though it is), but a philosophical result of centuries of societal unrest stemming from conflict between individuals or groups of individuals. In the past, despots and kings existed to suppress the rights of the many in order to benefit the few (tyranny of the minority). Later, democratic leaders emerged to suppress the rights of some in order to benefit the many (tyranny of the majority). The American Constitution came to pass by recognizing that much social unrest stems from, in part, the oppression of individual rights. Critically, the limit for our individual rights is necessarily drawn at a right to pursue happiness. We do not have a right to have happiness. Otherwise, as individuals, we would be tempted to encroach upon the rights of others in order to obtain our happiness.
Centuries of conflict have found the principles of the American Constitution to be true. Centuries more will test or refine the truths further. We don’t survive the battles with the IRS because of the constitution specifically. Instead, we survive because we do everything we can to force our opponents to write the things (in briefs, opinions, etc.: that it is permissible to break the law when it is in the United States best interest to do so) that their actions in reality support. They can’t and won’t do this because the justification for their actions would conflict with both the constitution and truths that comprise it. The public would never accept or stand for it. Thankfully, that is also the truth.
This is also the magic that is still America.
Happy 4th of July