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January 11, 2012

Why you should use the term “Pre-Constitutional Rights”

Downsize DC is making a change. This change was caused by recent controversies about who deserves the protection of Constitutional rights. These controversies have persuaded us that the concepts of “citizenship” and “Constitutional Rights” have corrupted the American mind. As a result, millions of us have a defective sense of right and wrong. To do our small part to correct this intellectual and moral rot, we here at Downsize DC will use the term “Pre-Constitutional Rights” INSTEAD OF “Constitutional Rights.” Jim Babka explains why in a 730 word essay, followed by a new kind of action item.

Most days you receive this newsletter with an action item from, Inc. But today, this editorial is provided courtesy of the Downsize DC Foundation.

Why you should use the term “Pre-Constitutional Rights”
by Jim Babka

In the Declaration of Independence, America’s Founders proclaimed a universal principle — human beings have inalienable rights.

In the Bill of Rights, some of these rights were named — but NOT all of them. In the Ninth Amendment, the authors of the nation’s charter said that they couldn’t possibly list all of the rights that you and I inherently possess. Those rights are innumerable. But with the Tenth Amendment, the Founders declared that they COULD count (enumerate) the few powers the new government would possess.

These concepts of inalienable rights and limited government were not original to the Founders, but the attempt to build an experimental government based on them was novel. Please notice that the ideas came first, and the government second. Likewise, the rights this new government was supposed to protect pre-existed that government. In other words . . .

You do NOT get your rights from the Constitution.

Your rights are too important, too natural, and too fundamental to be derived from parchment. Instead, your rights existed BEFORE the Constitution was even written.

A Constitution is, at best, only an insurance policy. It will often protect you, but sometimes it won’t. Depending on the tenor of the times this insurance policy can sometimes be poorly underwritten by the politicians, bureaucrats, and judges who have sworn an oath to defend it. But even during such times of moral decay, your rights continue to exist.

Are you with me so far? …because this next part may bother you . . .

Because your rights come from your humanity, they are also inherent to every other human being, REGARDLESS OF CITIZENSHIP, OR ANY OTHER FACTOR.

Thus, the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which also includes rights of conscience and expression, due process, the ability to be secure from arbitrary searches and seizures, and even the right of self-defense, are ALL enjoyed by EVERYONE, citizens and NON-citizens alike.

Sometimes, the Constitution is explicit about what it seeks to protect. The Fifth Amendment, for example, refers to “persons” instead of citizens. But even where the governing charter fails to be so definitive, the principle remains…

Human rights are “pre-constitutional” rights.

To argue otherwise is to say that your rights are NOT inherent to your humanity, but are instead a privilege conferred by other human beings, simply because those humans happen to have power. If you believe this then you have built on a foundation of sand, and your life and liberty will be washed away.

Such a view also raises the question as to where and how the humans who control The State gained the power to grant and deny rights to other people? In fact, there can be no answer to this question, because no such power exists. There is no magic that elevates some humans above other humans.

This is why we at Downsize DC will no longer use the term “Constitutional Rights,” but will instead ONLY use the term “Pre-constitutional Rights.” Please be clear about this. It does NOT matter which nation-state claims a human being as its chattel, that person’s rights are still pre-existing and inalienable.  

Pre-constitutional rights are necessary to a natural law viewpoint; the philosophy held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the framers of the Constitution, the ratifiers of the Bill of Rights, AND Downsize DC. We shout it loud and proud — “Pre-constitutional rights precede and are superior to Constitutional rights.”

Obviously, we’re still grateful that our pre-Constitutional rights are acknowledged in the Constitution. It’s important that the requirement for The State to protect these rights is the law of the land, because those who covet State power constantly seek to harm humanity. But . . . 

If we’re depending on the whims of the employees of The Leviathan State to protect us, simply because we’re all Americans, then our faith is misplaced. The Constitution cannot protect a people who fail to vigilantly understand from where it is their rights derive. Neither can the protection of those rights be honestly maintained if we’re unwilling to acknowledge that everyone else has these rights too, NOT JUST CITIZENS. Remember the Golden Rule!

To deny that human rights are inalienable in any one case, it to deny them in every case, including your own.

END of article.

We ask you to please join us in replacing the inferior term “Constitutional Rights,” with the superior formulation, “Pre-Constitutional Rights.”


If you agree with our argument and think more people should use the term “Pre-Constitutional Rights” INSTEAD of the term “Constitutional Rights,” then please FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to other people who might agree. Ask them to read it, and tell them that you too are adopting the term “Pre-Constitutional Rights.”

I have done this with a number of people, the most important of whom is the supreme defender of the Constitution on national TV, Judge Andrew Napolitano.

In addition to whomever else you send this to, if you agree that it would be especially powerful for Judge Napolitano to adopt this language, you could forward this essay to him at this special address:

I, personally wrote…

Dear Judge Napolitano,

I am writing to encourage you to make a change to your personal, on-air lexicon. Instead of referring to our “Constitutional Rights,” begin instead calling them “Pre-Constitutional Rights.” The essay I’ve written below, which was distributed to more than 31,000 subscribers of the Downsize DC Foundation newsletter, explains why this is a superior way to speak of our rights. And I know as a fan of your show and a reader of your most recent book, that you agree with the sentiments here. I hope you find this simple change to be compelling. I’ll be watching to see if you adopt it…

And then I cut and pasted the article from this link:  

Alternatively, I could’ve written…

Have beliefs about “citizenship” and “Constitutional Rights” corrupted the American mind? My concern is caused by recent controversies, like the National Defense Authorization Act, where Americans have debated about who deserves the protection of Constitutional rights. These controversies have persuaded me that the concepts of “citizenship” and “Constitutional Rights” have corrupted the American mind. As a result, millions have a defective sense of right and wrong. A small but important to step toward correcting this would be to stop using the term “Constitutional Rights.” Instead, use the phrase “Pre-Constitutional Rights.” Downsize DC President, Jim Babka, explains why in this 730 word essay.

If I’d gone with that approach, I could’ve, once again, pasted the article from this link:

Also, we’d like to generate lots of “tweets” to the Judge. You can RETWEET this:!/DDCDispatch/status/157119539442745344

You can expect to see more of this kind of ACTION ITEM in the coming year. We’re going to start reaching out to other power centers besides Congress. Stay tuned to the Downsizer-Dispatch to see what this will mean.

Jim Babka
Downsize DC Foundation

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