I tried posting the following comment on Thomas Knapp's blog, but was told (by the blogging software, not by Tom, I assume) "Your comment contains too many links and will not be added."
I love books with footnotes, and I like webpages with links.
Tom said (and I have no idea which post this comment was attached to):
1) The Constitution was broken before the ink was dry on it, both in construction (slavery, for example) and implementation (even the first three presidents, whose dedication to the country is difficult to doubt, found it impossible, or at least undesirable, to work within its constraints). There is no past constitutional candyland in which the thing was given full effect -- ever.
2) While there are overlaps between libertarianism and the content of the Constitution, libertarianism and constitutionalism aren't the same thing. Tactically, it may make sense to hold our opponents to the Constitution and to operate within its constraints ourselves ... but it's not scripture, it's not sacred, and a society moving in a libertarian direction will eventually find itself up against the choice of whether to heavily amend it or to simply overthrow it in favor of something entirely new.
In a nutshell, I use a pro-Constitution "tactic." But I also advocate abolition. (I think this is the original post.)
Here's how I put it in my comment -- with all its links:
I agree with you 200%, by which I mean, I may believe it more fanatically than you.
In my campaign I use the tactic of holding my opponent to his Oath of Office. Virtually no politician keeps his oath, and the Constitution is now just a fiction.
Every Signer of the Constitution, if he were here today, would confess the Constitution has completely and utterly failed to keep its objectives of preventing the government from becoming a Tyranny worse than the one we declared independence from in 1776. The Founders would surely work to abolish the Constitution and the government it created.
I would like to imagine that they would see (better than we do) that it isn't just the Constitution that failed, but it's the entire concept of "the government." Having abolished the Constitution and the federal government, they would not seek to replace it.
I don't think libertarians are going to make any real progress toward "political prosperity" (an old-fashioned term) unless we arouse Americans to Abolish the Federal Government entirely, and move to a state of "anarchism" (with a more marketable name).
It's like we're trapped in a spider web. We can struggle against the web, and "Reform" movements stretch the web temporarily in one direction or another, but we're still stuck -- until we achieve a collective will to break free of the web entirely.
That collective will won't develop without someone advocating for it.
Limited reforms -- like "making the Bush tax cuts permanent" -- make tyranny permanent.
And limited reforms and efforts to "shrink the size of government" continually fail. I have the Center for Small Government pledge on my website. It's just a "tactic." But Cloud and Howell failed to end the Income Tax in Massachusetts. I think it's because too many people feel that such efforts -- and all efforts to achieve "smaller" government -- will "lead to anarchy."
Most Americans don't want to go down that road.
We have to convince Americans to go down that road all the way, or the journey will never start.
(But I'm probably venting on the wrong blog. Apologies and thanks!)