The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted on July 9, 1868, is a complex and multifaceted piece of legislation that has sparked debate since its inception. Originally intended to provide protection and equal rights to former slaves and minorities, some believe that its wording has led to a phenomenon known as the "straw man" argument, which they claim threatens our individual liberties. In this blog post, we will delve into the 14th Amendment, the concept of the straw man, and how these two issues may be related to the erosion of our personal freedoms.
The 14th Amendment is made up of five sections that address citizenship, due process, equal protection, representation, and debt. The most commonly referenced section is Section 1, which states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." While this amendment was primarily designed to protect the civil rights of African Americans following the Civil War, it has been interpreted in various ways by the courts over the years. One interpretation that has garnered attention is the concept of "corporate personhood," which grants certain legal rights and protections to corporations as if they were individual citizens.
The straw man argument is based on the belief that the 14th Amendment has created a separate legal entity known as the "straw man" for each citizen. According to this theory, the government creates a legal fiction, a separate entity with the same name as the individual, but written in all capital letters. This "straw man" then becomes the target for legal and financial obligations, rather than the individual themselves. Proponents of this theory claim that by creating the straw man, the government essentially enslaves the individual and limits their natural rights. They argue that this straw man system is a way for the government to manipulate and control citizens, taking away their liberties in the process.
While the straw man theory does highlight some of the concerns regarding the potential erosion of individual liberties. For example, the concept of corporate personhood has allowed corporations to wield significant power and influence, often at the expense of individual rights and environmental protections. Moreover, the 14th Amendment has been used by the courts to expand federal power, which some argue has infringed upon state sovereignty and individual freedoms. The centralization of power within the federal government can create a situation where individual liberties are overshadowed by the interests of the collective, leading to a loss of personal autonomy.
The straw man theory does serve as a reminder of the potential dangers that come with the expansion of government power and the influence of corporations. As citizens, it is crucial that we remain vigilant in protecting our liberties and ensuring that the original intent of the Constitution is upheld. By understanding the historical context and implications of the 14th Amendment, we can work together to preserve the freedoms and rights that define our nation.