Comments about ‘About Utah: Let's give talk about Constitution a needed rest’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 4 2010 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Provo, UT

Amen. Too bad more people didn't understand this during the last too years of shameful, extremist acrimony.

Kearns, UT

We can never give the constitution a rest. And what these advocates are proposing is that it be a job requirement by all elected officials to at least read the constitution for which there were elected to uphold. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Most lawyers and judges don't even know what it says so how can a legal system work if no one knows the rules?

Mike in Salem
Salem, UT

This article is laughable. Do you think those of us "extremists" who wave the Constitution have problems with its amendments that have been ratified by a super majority of the states and congress? That we want to go back to a time when suffrage was limited by race or gender? Of course not.

What we have a problem with is the selective incorporation if the bill of rights into the 14th amendment and the expansion of the commerce clause by activist courts. This has gutted the rights of states and expanded the scope and power of the federal government to the detriment of the country.

If you think education or health care should be the responsibility of the federal government, use the legislative process to amend the Constitution like was done when women were given the right to vote. Until that is done, unless the law as it was written and intended is upheld, we may have a constitution, but we don't have a constitutional government and that should scare the heck out of everyone.

Springville, UT

I completely agree. The fervor over the Constitution has gotten out of control and irrational. In my view the Constitution was divinely inspired and enabled this country to come together. It is not scripture and is far from perfect. It is an evolving document and was designed to be that way. Benson writes a lot of common sense, and it's good to see a Republican talking the right wing extremists down from their ledge. I still argue that moderation and pragmatism is the best way to go, and I really think Utahns are that way when you get down to it.

  • 7:14 a.m. Nov. 5, 2010
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Provo, UT

I agree that the we should never ignore the Constitution, and I also agree that pre-Renquist the Supreme Court over-interpreted the Commerce Clause. However, I think that Mr. Benson is right that some of the people invoking the Constitution do so as if it were a talisman that only they know about. If Mike Lee's family really debated the Commerce Clause over dinner, then why did he (at times) act like there was only one true interpretation of it? Lee Benson's point is that even the founders were vague in their understanding of some provisions, so to invoke it like a talisman that magically settles every issue is wrong. That is what the ACLU does in the courts and what the Tea Party is trying to do at the ballot box.

Provo, UT

I might ad that some who claim to love the Constitution and carry it in their pockets know little about it. A great example is Utah's "Patrick Henry Caucus" whose website says they unite to “sustain the Constitution”. Don't they know that Patrick Henry refused to go to Philadelphia because he "smelt a rat" and then voted against it during ratification?. I think Ron Paul would prefer to go back to the Articles of Confederation, but he knows that saying so will garner about as much support as his attacks against Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln and what he and Pat Buchanan view as "unnecessary" wars (Civil War and WWII, respectively).

So when Lee Benson refers to those who are against the Constitution (but pretend to be for it) I would agree that they are extremists.

Not long ago, Gordon B. Hinckley attested to the continued relevance of the Constitution. While I am troubled by some actions of the Supreme Court (particularly those of a generation ago), the document is still strong. The Rehnquist and Roberts courts appear to have been moving in the right direction on some issues.

West Jordan, UT

I believe the constitution is what makes our country exceptional in all the world. It certainly has provisions when change is warranted. Perhaps we can take a break now from all the discussion but come time to vote again I hope we continue to study it's magnificence and vote by it precepts. I love this document.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

I think that's what got us into this mess, when we stopped talking about what the constitution allows politicians to do.

We need to go back to the founding principles that once made this a great nation, and it can make us great again if we go back to it.

Lee Benson needs to learn to accept diverse points of view. Not everyone is happy about talking about more bailouts or printing more fiat money. Some of us care about the future of this nation, unlike the current administration that hates this country and the people in it.

West Jordan, UT

Really Lee? Restoring Constitutional PRINCIPLES is "extremist"? The solution to our woes is to set the Constitution and its PRINCIPLES aside?

This op-ed is so wrong on so many levels. Were there compromises in creating the Constitution? Yes. Is the Constitution perfect? No.

But the point we Constitutional “extremists” are trying to communicate is that we rightly fear the unprecedented growth in the size and power of the federal government. The Constitution has been trampled on by progressive politicians for the last 100 plus years to where it is no more than words on a piece of paper that is routinely IGNORED. The limits placed on the Federal government were put in place to protect Americans from tyranny and to foster prosperity and happiness — mine and yours.

In the words of a much more famous Benson (Ezra Taft Benson), “Before we can intelligently sustain the principles of this divinely inspired document, we need to understand it and the philosophy that underlies it. We will then be in a position to determine encroachments on our liberty when well-intentioned, but unenlightened politicians attempt to circumvent those principles.”

Sorry Lee, but we shouldn't set aside the Constitution.

Somewhere in Utah, UT

To SonOfLiberty | 8:57 a.m. Nov. 5, 2010

Unfortunately, the far right is trying to set aside the Constitution. They claim to understand it but, at best, have a superficial understanding of it. They are willing to support only the parts of it with which they agree, and do their best to ignore or minimize the remainder. A lot, if not most, of the far right have at best a superficial, shallow understanding of the Constitution and do not understand the breadth and depth of it, nor do they really understand how it was written, what it means, and what it stands for. Its Bill of Rights and other amendments are intended to protect against the tyranny of the majority and, unfortu8nately, that is exactly what the far right want to impose.

Certainly don't set aside the Constitution -- we badly need its protections. DO set aside the attempts by the far so-called "constitutionalists" from the far right to re-construe it.

Centerville, UT

No lee. More time should be spent learning what the constitution is and says. I should be understood by every fifth grader. Let alone every adult.


Lee is, like most people, tired of extremist know-nothings shouting about its "PRINCIPLES" to further their agendas rather than actually studying it & governing by it.

Mr Big

Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, Privileges and Immunities, Equal Protection, Due Process, evolving standards of decency, rationale reasoning, strict scrutiny, suspect class, affirmative rights...these ideas are easy to understand? I guess it depends whether you are an ardent originalist or let the Constitution float around according to our society's barometer. This article really bothers me. This is indeed our nation's perception of the Constitution. I would suggest you become more familiar with the document before making broad sweeping generalizations.

Please, explain all these concepts to me.

Claremore, OK

I loved the "how far back" should we go reasoning,

the observation that Glen Beck and others (way too many others) use the Constitution to inflate themselves,

the too infrequently pointed out fact that some segments of our society think they have the lock on supporting or revering the Constitution and that anyone who disagrees with ANY portion of their opinion or world view can't possibly be any good,

and the observation that it is a wise, good wonderful document, and yes maybe even inspired document, but not the end all.

Wish those who were so sure it is a divine document gave real divine documents as much credence and attention.

Moab, UT

We the people fortunately have been awakened to the truth of what is happening in America! Getting back to the basics, following the rule of law and respecting and following Constitutional principals is what the anger is all about. Because government has forgotten its place in our lives due to power hungry elected officials who have lost sight of their job descriptions for other issues that belong to the States, the people have spoken and desire now to return the power to "We the People" and if it takes a continued effort on Glen Beck's willingness to educate the people, then I support his efforts! We need to educate our youth to accepting responsibility for keeping America FREE, and protected from Socialism and Communism....we have been asleep at the wheel in spite of the warnings sounded in the 60's by Ezra T. Benson!!!

Salt Lake City, UT

'For years, the Constitution did not give black people the right to vote.
For even longer years, more than a century actually, it did not give women the right to vote; and for longer years yet, Native Americans.
Do the tea partiers want us to get back to that Constitution?' - Article

Good point.

'I want my country back.'

Back before interacial marriage? Back before womens vote? Back before.....

Saint George, UT

In Mormon Scripture, the constitution of the United States has the seal of approval from God. Read D&C 101:80 This is the only government document in the entire world, that we know of, that has God's blessing. Are you seriously asking to "give the constitution a rest" Mr. Benson??? OK let's dabble in marxism and communism (2008 - on), do you feel better now???

La Verkin, UT

I tried to say just a simple "Amen", but that was rejected, so I'm agreeing again. Amen.

Kearns, UT

This article might be worth agreeing with if the current government didn't ignore the Constitution completely.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

Think of the constitution as blueprints for a building. As you go you may need to add a wall here or knock out a window there, but in the end you have a beautiful building.

Then an evil real estate developer comes along, and - ah, I'll save that for another day.

I just wonder how many people who are screaming for or against the constitution have actually read it. If you havent, read it! Now it's more important then ever to understand our constitution, and how the government is slowly inching it closer and closer to the shred bin.

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