Robert Curry: Americanism Is In Our Bones, If Not In Our Intellects

Robert Curry—American Greatness contributor and author of Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the Forgotten Power of the American Ideaappeared on the Seth and Chris Show yesterday to discuss his recent article, “Replacing Scalia and Replacing Constitutional Rights.” The theme of Curry’s work may help us to understand how we, the American people, can begin once again, to exercise the sovereignty our Constitution recognized and sought to guarantee.

Curry’s argument, he avers, is a simple one: America is in a Constitutional crisis because we “no longer understand the ideas that would enable us to work the mechanism properly.” Put differently, we are slowly losing our capacity for self-government. As his article on Scalia made clear, we demonstrate our confusion about the ideas that set us apart from other nations even in the language we use to describe our rights. The Founders understood them to be inalienable and the purpose of government, therefore, to be securing those rights. But today we talk of “constitutional rights” as if they were given to us by that instrument—as if their point of origin is something as arbitrary and changeable as a human contract.

The good news, however, is that our problems are self-inflicted and for this reason we also have the power to correct them. We may have forgotten the ideas that informed the Founders and their understanding of what is required of a self-governing people, but according to Curry we still “kind of have them in our bones if we don’t have them in our intellects.” America is not intended to be a country ruled by experts or a chosen few. We have the power to remind ourselves again of what it means to be a free people and that task really isn’t as daunting or intimidating as the “experts” would have us believe. We should defy them and do it.

You can (and should) listen to the whole interview here:

About Julie Ponzi

Julie Ponzi is Senior Editor of American Greatness. She holds an M.A. in political philosophy and American politics from the Claremont Graduate University. She was an Earhart Fellow and a Bradley Foundation Fellow while studying at Claremont and also earned a Publius Fellowship from The Claremont Institute. Formerly the Director of Academic Programs at the Claremont Institute, she also taught American politics at Azusa Pacific University. Her writing has appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, The Online Library of Law and Liberty, The Columbus Dispatch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Times. She was also a regular and long-time contributor to the Ashbrook Center's blog, No Left Turns. She lives in California. You can follow her on Twitter at @JuliePonzi

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6 responses to “Robert Curry: Americanism Is In Our Bones, If Not In Our Intellects”

  1. We’re losing our capacity for self-government because we are not claiming our unalienable rights, and how can we if we don’t understand that our rights come from our Creator? There are no constitutional rights. There are only constitutional protections of our unalienable rights. If I claim a constitutional right (that doesn’t exist), then I am leaving the door open to the whims of the Supreme Court, but if I claim an unalienable right, then the discussion turns to “Does God exist?”. It’s no small wonder in this day and age that there is never any mention of unalienable rights, but it is the foundation of the founding documents of this nation. What did John Adams say?: “Our constitution was made for a moral and religious nation.” Please, stop with the “constitutional rights”. There are no such things.

    • Dear Captain Mann,
      Thank you. You are so right that “unalienable rights are the foundation of the founding”.
      Lord Acton wrote that by means of it the Americans solved the hardest problem in politics. The coolest part is that the Founders solved that hardest problem by discovering the truth. Now that’s a wow!

  2. The words of Robert Curry are always worth considering.

    • Thank you ricocat1 for your kind words. Wishing you the best!