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Legislative Time Travel

I only know this is wrong.”

- Guinan
Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion
“Yesterday’s Enterprise”

I’m a sucker for time-​travel sto­ries. Whether it’s Harry Pot­ter, Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion, Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11÷22÷63 or any­thing else, a good story about the hero trav­el­ing back in time and affect­ing (or restor­ing) “the time­line” is one of my favorite diver­sions. If the plot is clever and resolves itself well, I’m even will­ing to put up with hokey dia­log and two-​dimensional char­ac­ters. I just love it when a story, which can eas­ily open itself to para­dox, cliché and deus ex machina anti-​climax, man­ages to apply self-​consistent logic and arrive at an excit­ing, thought-​provoking and sat­is­fy­ing ending.

Of course, we know that time travel is impos­si­ble. You can’t go back in time and mur­der your grand­fa­ther, there are no alter­nate uni­verses and there is no grand gov­ern­ment con­spir­acy hid­ing an actual time travel device so we just think it’s impos­si­ble. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impos­si­ble to change the past, at least not if you’re a pro­gres­sive, or what­ever term the left chooses to apply to itself. The only hard part is get­ting your­self into a posi­tion to do it, such as becom­ing a Supreme Court Justice.

If you’re like me, and believe that words have mean­ings and expect that log­i­cal self-​consistency is essen­tial for any set of laws to make sense, then you would agree that once a law is passed it’s mean­ing should remain con­stant until such time as the leg­is­la­ture chooses to amend or repeal the law. That’s a pretty basic fea­ture of any “gov­ern­ment of laws, not of men.” The prob­lem, as the left sees it, is that our Con­sti­tu­tion was set up to make it hard to change the law, but we con­ser­v­a­tives see this as a fea­ture, not a bug.

The way the Con­sti­tu­tion says you change a law is to advo­cate for the change and con­vince the leg­is­la­ture to pass the amend­ment, get it approved by the other house and have the pres­i­dent sign it into law. But that can be dif­fi­cult since (ide­ally) each leg­is­la­tor is beholden to a con­stituency (those pesky “we the peo­ple” again), so they have to con­vince them that it’s a good idea too. If they can’t, then they may get voted out in the next elec­tion. At least, that’s how it’s sup­posed to work. What if there were an eas­ier way?

Let’s sup­pose that time travel were actu­ally pos­si­ble. Our leg­isla­tive cru­sader could go back in time, maybe to the Con­sti­tu­tional Con­ven­tion, and actu­ally advo­cate to change the Con­sti­tu­tion. Maybe con­vince James Madi­son that the first amend­ment should include that phrase “Con­gress shall make no law lim­it­ing the abil­ity of a mother to kill her unborn child at any time dur­ing her preg­nancy.” Then the Supreme Court never would have had to wres­tle with the abor­tion ques­tion in Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the left has dis­cov­ered that Leg­isla­tive Time Travel is much eas­ier. All they have to do is decide what pol­icy they want to enact and then declare that the mean­ing of the appro­pri­ate leg­is­la­tion is actu­ally dif­fer­ent from what every­one thought it was orig­i­nally, and – sur­prise! – it actu­ally means just what it needs to mean to enact what­ever pol­icy they want. They did it with abor­tion, they did it with gay “mar­riage” and now they’re doing it with “trans­gen­derism.” Instead of going back in time and con­vinc­ing Madi­son, all they have to say is “Madi­son really meant what­ever I wish he’d meant.”

And the Obama admin­is­tra­tion doesn’t even have to go back that far. By rein­ter­pret­ing Title IX to include the neb­u­lous term “gen­der iden­tity” they have the chutz­pah to tell leg­is­la­tors, many of whom are still around, that the law they passed to pro­hibit dis­crim­i­na­tion based on sex now means some­thing com­pletely different.

So now we find our­selves in an alter­nate real­ity where laws are no longer log­i­cally self-​consistent, since “gen­der iden­tity” is com­pletely sub­jec­tive and this made-​up inter­pre­ta­tion of plainly writ­ten law is now in direct con­tra­dic­tion of the First Amend­ment in forc­ing churches and reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions and employ­ers to go against the prac­tice of their faith (i.e. the free exer­cise of their reli­gion) to accom­mo­date what the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Pedi­a­tri­cians has clas­si­fied as a psy­cho­log­i­cal disorder.

Since we don’t believe in Leg­isla­tive Time Travel, we need rep­re­sen­ta­tives who will fol­low the Con­sti­tu­tion and not just make things up as they go along. Since Clin­ton has pledged to be Obama’s third term, we can expect more of the same if she is elected. It says a lot about how far left Clin­ton and the democ­rats have become that Don­ald Trump is actu­ally the can­di­date who is more likely to restore our time­line to one that make sense.

“I only know this is wrong.”

– Guinan
Star Trek: The Next Generation
“Yesterday’s Enterprise”

I’m a sucker for time-travel stories. Whether it’s Harry Potter, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or anything else, a good story about the hero traveling back in time and affecting (or restoring) “the timeline” is one of my favorite diversions. If the plot is clever and resolves itself well, I’m even willing to put up with hokey dialog and two-dimensional characters. I just love it when a story, which can easily open itself to paradox, cliché and deus ex machina anti-climax, manages to apply self-consistent logic and arrive at an exciting, thought-provoking and satisfying ending.

Of course, we know that time travel is impossible. You can’t go back in time and murder your grandfather, there are no alternate universes and there is no grand government conspiracy hiding an actual time travel device so we just think it’s impossible. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to change the past, at least not if you’re a progressive, or whatever term the left chooses to apply to itself. The only hard part is getting yourself into a position to do it, such as becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

If you’re like me, and believe that words have meanings and expect that logical self-consistency is essential for any set of laws to make sense, then you would agree that once a law is passed it’s meaning should remain constant until such time as the legislature chooses to amend or repeal the law. That’s a pretty basic feature of any “government of laws, not of men.” The problem, as the left sees it, is that our Constitution was set up to make it hard to change the law, but we conservatives see this as a feature, not a bug.

The way the Constitution says you change a law is to advocate for the change and convince the legislature to pass the amendment, get it approved by the other house and have the president sign it into law. But that can be difficult since (ideally) each legislator is beholden to a constituency (those pesky “we the people” again), so they have to convince them that it’s a good idea too. If they can’t, then they may get voted out in the next election. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. What if there were an easier way?

Let’s suppose that time travel were actually possible. Our legislative crusader could go back in time, maybe to the Constitutional Convention, and actually advocate to change the Constitution. Maybe convince James Madison that the first amendment should include that phrase “Congress shall make no law limiting the ability of a mother to kill her unborn child at any time during her pregnancy.” Then the Supreme Court never would have had to wrestle with the abortion question in Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the left has discovered that Legislative Time Travel is much easier. All they have to do is decide what policy they want to enact and then declare that the meaning of the appropriate legislation is actually different from what everyone thought it was originally, and – surprise! – it actually means just what it needs to mean to enact whatever policy they want. They did it with abortion, they did it with gay “marriage” and now they’re doing it with “transgenderism.” Instead of going back in time and convincing Madison, all they have to say is “Madison really meant whatever I wish he’d meant.”

And the Obama administration doesn’t even have to go back that far. By reinterpreting Title IX to include the nebulous term “gender identity” they have the chutzpah to tell legislators, many of whom are still around, that the law they passed to prohibit discrimination based on sex now means something completely different.

So now we find ourselves in an alternate reality where laws are no longer logically self-consistent, since “gender identity” is completely subjective and this made-up interpretation of plainly written law is now in direct contradiction of the First Amendment in forcing churches and religious organizations and employers to go against the practice of their faith (i.e. the free exercise of their religion) to accommodate what the American College of Pediatricians has classified as a psychological disorder.

Since we don’t believe in Legislative Time Travel, we need representatives who will follow the Constitution and not just make things up as they go along. Since Clinton has pledged to be Obama’s third term, we can expect more of the same if she is elected. It says a lot about how far left Clinton and the democrats have become that Donald Trump is actually the candidate who is more likely to restore our timeline to one that make sense.