The Washington Times

D.C. Delegate Needs A Lesson In Constitutional Law

Dear Editor:
Your Sept. 18 editorial "Those wacky District voters and their amazing initiatives" suggested that the "key question" raised by Initiative 37 is: Will the initiative's proponents be satisfied with an "educational victory" and now "go get themselves a life!" This ad hominem approach illustrates that some students still haven't gotten beyond the textbook cover.

The District's congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, agrees with the substance or "spirit of Initiative 37. Politically the key question is: How to achieve it! Mrs. Norton thinks that the Constitution must be reserved for "basic rights and due process." This opinion fails to consider income tax(l6th Amendment) and the several other amendments concerning the structure of government. Don't forget, "We the People" also stated the Constitution's purpose as "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity: concerns to which Initiative 37 plainly speaks.

"Law" is nothing more than what any given society may imagine at any given time. As Thomas Jefferson observed. "To imagine that law should remain immutable, is to expect that a man will wear still the clothes that he wore as a boy." Against stiff opposition from politicians and pundits, 56 percent of the District's voters said yes to the idea.

People actually said, "I'm going to vote for it; you'd have to be crazy to vote against it."

When a critical mass of society believes that something should be the "law:' whatever it is will be the "law." Who knows, someday it might become obvious that Initiative 37 is a law that humanity simply can't live without. Then, the key practical question may be whether society will reach critical mass on Initiative 37 before it's too late.

Still a long way from critical soci etal mass, we're not even thinking in terms of an "educational viaory." We view the election results as a poll, showing, we reckon, about 56 percent of District residents are leaning toward sanity, while the remainder is inclined in the opposite direction. Thus, we'll probably stick around until our key quesiton -- Will the 56 percent convince the 44 percent that sanity is preferable to life-style, tradition or insanity! -- is answered.


Proposition One Committee

D.C. Initiative 37 Campaign Washington

Dear Editor:
I'm writing in response to your Sept. 18 editorial "Those wacky District voters and their amazing initiatives." is a conservative newspaper, The Washington Times should be out- raged that Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has arbitrarily chosen not to respond to a majority of the District's voters, her constituents, in carrying out their will on this issue.

Her job is not to represent herself.

Her job is to represent the views of a majority of her constituents who have now spoken. Conservatives scream at the left about the Constitution and using the system to change it. We have used the system and now are told it doesn't apply to us because our deiegate doesn't personally agree with us.

The "purity" of the Constitution has long since been spoiled by the deaths caused by social experiments such as the Volstead Act.

Since 1945, and before, world leaders have amply demonstrated that when it is in their best interests they are quite capable of dragging the world into war. Now the people want to drag the world and its leaders kicking and screaming into peace, economic conversion and the greening of the economy We have used the system's own mechanism to do this. and now people scream foul.

A constitutional amendment insures participatory democracy and the assurance that it will become a bedrock of law so that the likes of an Oliver North cannot overcome its requirements.

The only way peace will be achieved is, as Dwight Eisenhower stated, that the people want it so badly that the leaders had better just get out of their way and let them have it.

Van Ness