Terrorism and the Bill of Rights: Suicide Pact or Not?

Just as knowledge of the actual Constitution seems to fade, expressions of concern from both the left and the right over what is said to be unconstitutional behavior by the government seem to get constantly sharper, particularly in response to measures the government has taken to safeguard the country in the face of a worldwide campaign of terror being waged by Islamists.

In fighting this war against an enemy who thinks that the very idea that people can choose their own government is a sacrilege, perhaps we should follow the example and take the advice of our greatest president, who, when addressing an unprecedented crisis that threatened the existence of our country, said in 1862: “As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.”

If we take the Constitution seriously—not just one or two of its amendments but the political architecture it put in place for a government that can, among other things, preserve the state and protect its citizens—maybe we can fight the radical Islamic ideology in order to save the same country that the president called the “last best hope of earth.”

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