In the past, both conservatives and liberals were able to agree on the fundamental values in the Constitution.
While the parties certainly disagreed on which methods were most useful to achieve the ideals that the Founding Fathers laid out in the Constitution, both generally agreed the Constitution was an extremely important document that would stand the test of time.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden made it clear that he no longer believes this to be true.
Following Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer’s retirement announcement, Biden was meeting with the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the newly-opened seat on the bench.
During that meeting, Biden exposed the dangerous thinking that has infiltrated the minds of many on the left.
“There’s always a renewed national debate every time we nominate…any president nominates a justice, because the Constitution is always evolving slightly, in terms of additional rights or curtailing rights, etc,” Biden said.
BIDEN: “The Constitution is always evolving slightly” pic.twitter.com/zOpiTL9sh5
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 1, 2022
This statement from Biden represents the fundamental disparity between conservatives and leftists in 2022.
Is the Constitution “evolving?”
Conservatives believe the Constitution is unchanging and non-negotiable. The ideals laid out in this document are the very ones that define who we are as a country.
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia perfectly articulated this position in 2017, Fox News reported.
“The Constitution is not a living organism,” Scalia said. “It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say.”
Protect and defend the constitution🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/3VCwJrBTta
— Gretchen Smith (@cov_Gretchen) February 1, 2022
To be clear, when the Constitution was ratified in 1788, America had not fully lived up to the ideals the founders expressed. The main example of this fact would be the institution of slavery.
While slavery was still present in the United States, the country had not yet fulfilled its promise to provide liberty for everyone. It is probable that even today, there are particular areas in which the United States has not yet fulfilled every ideal in the Constitution.
However, that is not the point Biden is making. Instead of saying that America may have work to do to live up to the Constitution, he is suggesting that the Constitution itself can change to fit his own view of what America should be.
Some Twitter users attempted to defend Biden’s assertion by pointing out that the Constitution has been amended 27 times since its ratification.
27 amendments were added to the constitution after its ratification.
What do you call that?
— remmy robertson (@remmy_robertson) February 1, 2022
Yes it is and it’s called Amendments.
— DOG LOVER (@RealDogLover10) February 1, 2022
These arguments represent a misunderstanding of Biden’s words. According to The University of Chicago Law School, the idea of a “living Constitution” means the document “evolves, changes over time, and adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended.”
That is what Biden is talking about. When he says the Constitution is “evolving,” he does not mean that it can be amended, but that the very content of it should be seen in a different light as the world changes.
It follows the leftist view of the post-modern world, one in which they believe objective truth does not exist. “Truth,” in the mind of a leftist, can be changed as time passes and people live through different experiences.
This is a completely unsustainable model. Any society that does not believe in basic, objective truths is bound to collapse on itself. The Constitution is supposed to represent the inherent truths America was founded upon, but comments like this one from Biden threaten to rip apart that very foundation.