January 16th, 2008

I am a Self-Proclaimed Constitutionalist

It becomes less shocking each time I read a story like this. With increasingly centralized authority and continual power-grabbing, state and federal agencies use their muscle to pursue whatever political agenda they deem proper. Rule of law is tossed out the window when it doesn’t harmonize with one’s own predilections.

The kicker in this story, however, is the sheriff’s explanation for why they kidnapped the man’s son.

The sheriff said the decision to use SWAT team force was justified because the father was a “self-proclaimed constitutionalist” and had made threats and “comments” over the years.

However, the sheriff declined to provide a single instance of the father’s illegal behavior. “I can’t tell you specifically,” he said.

Seemingly ignorant of the golden rule, the sheriff then admits that he would not tolerate such an action against his own child:

However, the sheriff said if his own children were involved in an at-home accident, he would want to be the one to make decisions on their healthcare, as did Shiflett.

“I guess if that was one of my children, I would make that decision,” the sheriff said.

More stories continue to come out of the woodwork of “social workers” demanding action for some perceived fault of the parents to provide adequately for their own children.

But since when was legalized kidnapping permitted upon labeling someone as a “self-proclaimed constitutionalist”? Or even “making comments”? What’s that one amendment about—you know, the one right before the second one?

Readers beware: I, too, am a self-proclaimed constitutionalist.

Yes, I will seek to provide for my own children in a way that I deem fit. I will clothe them, educate them, feed them, and raise them in a way that is consistent with my beliefs and desires, not some bureaucrat’s. I do and will “make comments” here and elsewhere regarding the inefficiency of big government, the intrusive nature of the nanny state, the sheer illegality of many of its actions, and the loss of liberty such policies cause.

It is only in a fascist state that persons are punished for “making comments”, especially those that are in harmony with that nation’s supreme law.

Einstein once said that force attracts men of low morality. The magistrate and sheriff in this story seem to exemplify such a statement. It is immoral to kidnap another person’s child for perceived mistreatment on the word of a few social workers. It is immoral to cast aside the principles of individual liberty that are to be protected by this very sheriff. It is immoral to punish a person who is a self-proclaimed advocate of the very document this nation was founded upon.

Yes, I am a self-proclaimed Constitutionalist. Come what may, I will stand by this nation’s basic laws and uphold them. While our officers and representatives shirk their oath to obey and defend this document, those who do in fact do so are punished and mocked. Why?

As a self-proclaimed Constitutionalist, I buck the common sentiment that the government exists to care for us from cradle to grave. I believe in individual liberty, self-autonomy, and personal responsibility. These words, for whatever reason, don’t resonate well in our current political discourse.

It is a sad day for America when the very laws and principles that once made her great are considered a nuisance by those who have conflicting political agendas, with the backing of executive power to promote their agenda.

8 Responses to “I am a Self-Proclaimed Constitutionalist”

  1. Mark N.
    January 16, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    From your linked story: “Shiflett was ‘rude and confrontational’ when the paramedics arrived and entered his home without his permission.”

    Yes, and I would be, too, if someone entered my home without my permission. Even the police know that unless they have a warrent, they don’t get to come in your house if you say they don’t get to come in.

    Or, at least the good ones do.

  2. David
    January 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    As I started reading that story I was initially thinking that perhaps Shiflett might have done more to pacify the authorities before they got to the point of breaking down his door. Later it became obvious that he had been sensible enough to let them see his son to parade his son in front of the social workers even when they had no real reason to be there.

    At the very least the judge could have offered the family the chance to have the boy checked for free at a medicaid clinic. That could have provided a chance to satisfy the family regarding the cost of unnecessary care and vindicated the father with the clean bill of health without calling in the SWAT team.

  3. Connor
    January 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    At the very least the judge could have offered the family the chance to have the boy checked for free at a medicaid clinic.

    Being a “self-proclaimed Constitutionalist”, he probably would have declined any support/treatment from medicaid. 🙂

  4. Josh Williams
    January 16, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    From what I’ve read in the article and and others, this easily qualifies as “Unnecessary and excessive use of force.”

    It hardly bears mentioning that any parent has the right to refuse medical treatment for their child, unless their life is unavoidably in danger. The paramedic who started this whole debacle sounds like he was never made aware of that fact in medical school, (and ought to be fired.)

    Note: head traumas can sometimes result in life threatening intracranial hemorrhages; sometimes victims will show few symptoms, perhaps only a headache. Cranial bleeding may take hours or days to develop, it’s only detectable with an x-ray.

    On the other hand, nothing about that mitigates the right to refuse care.

    Something that strikes me about this whole story, is how people unconsciously assume that what is good, coming from their point of view, must necessarily be good from someone else’s. In other words, they assume their ability to make decisions must be greater than that of others.

    I think this type of bias is particularly common in business and political culture. Perhaps the belief that government ought to “save people from their own stupidity against their will” stems from this.

  5. Daniel
    January 17, 2008 at 11:42 pm #

    How can I say this? I’ve spoken with many SPCs over the years, and most of the conversations have ended with me backing away slowly, smiling and not making any sudden moves. I could be wrong here, but people who proudly tell me they’re an SPC set off all kinds of mental illness alarms for me. Has anyone else noticed this?

    I’d like to say you’re not one of the crazy ones, Connor, but then you do seem to think that WorldNetDaily is actually news, so I’m not sure. One thing I am sure about is that this article (like SPCs themselves) isn’t likely to be balanced.

  6. Michael L. McKee
    January 18, 2008 at 6:04 am #


    I, for one, should like to take this opportunity to apologize to you if my proclamation that I am a SPC causes you mental distress. You see, I love freedom so much that I am even willing to dispatch another human being to the other side of the veil posthaste should he attempt to unconstitutionally deprive me of my precious, (more than life on earth itself) liberty. You see, young man, I have not sufficiently humbled myself before the Lord that I might realize the redeeming freedom of His atonement. While I may daily seek the Lord’s mercy for my unworthy soul and yours, I have no intention of letting one of my fellow sojourners risk losing his second estate by taking an innocent life; mine. Now, you may consider my words to be extreme, and you would be absolutely correct. The only thing I find offensive or worthy of my wrath, at this point, is anyone talking about diminishing or removing even a modicum of the freedom my Saviour has given me through His Word. I hope this has been some help to you. If you were merely being facetious, the same apology applies.

  7. Daniel
    January 18, 2008 at 7:14 am #

    Thank you, Michael. That helps a lot.



  1. Pursuit of Liberty » Blog Archive » Downsize D.C. - January 23, 2008

    […] caught my attention and led me to DownsizeDC.org. This is the kind of site that would attract any self-proclaimed Constitutionalist, Ron Paul supporter, or advocate for limited government. Among the various things they advocate for […]

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