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The seal of approval

It’s funny how some things just sound old or out of date, and for that reason alone become objects of scorn.

Take “Good Housekeeping Magazine.” Have you heard of this old-school periodical of yesteryear, once read by dutiful wives who vacuumed the house wearing pearls, and took time from baking fresh apple pie to sit at the kitchen table to peruse its recipes and recommended ways of doing laundry?

This old-fashioned periodical still exists! Still going strong after 135 years, “Good Housekeeping Magazine” features human interest stories and best hacks for cleaning, cooking and making your house a home. But somewhere along the way it found another niche known as the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

In 1900 the founders of “Good Housekeeping Magazine” formed the Good Housekeeping Institute, testing products for safety, breakability, reliability, and pricing. Everything from lipstick to baby strollers to toasters is run through the Institute’s tests in an 18,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Manhattan. Only after passing a barrage of tests can a product be given the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,” providing some evidence that a standard exists holding the product manufacturer to a measure of accountability.

It doesn’t sound so old fashioned now, does it? What sounds old, dusty, and from days of yore may still bear usefulness today. Its absence would even cause a diminishment in quality of life.

The same is true of the U.S. Constitution.

There’s a lot of talk from today’s left wing about that archaic document our founding fathers spent so much time on. Even President Biden, in the wake of the recent horrible events at The Covenant School in Nashville, launched another assault on the U.S. Constitution and its Second Amendment, stating, “no amendment to the Constitution is absolute!”

Technically he is right. But historically, legally, and practically, he has no standing for his hollow rhetoric.

Between the original Constitution and its first 10 Amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, that old piece of paper has preserved the ability of people in this country to remain free of the tyranny that the founders knew firsthand.

Taken as a whole, the Constitution established that the ability of individuals to have rights was the most important thing in a free society. Actual rights to keep them free, not just from other people, but from their own government as well. Free to express themselves independently. Free to know that they can worship as they see fit. Free to not just survive, but thrive. That dusty archaic document written in lofty language has long been the standard that any encroachments on those freedoms are held to.

But the progressive left wants you to believe that the Constitution is a document that is easily manipulated or interpreted by today’s whims, subject to enforcement based on the notions of whomever is in charge. “It was written for a different time!” they argue. “Why should the living be bound by the notions of those who are dead?”

But freedoms are enacted by a process and cannot be voided merely because one side finds them inconvenient to their agenda. The U.S. Constitution is not like the leisure suits of the ’70s or tail fins on a ’50s automobile that go out of fashion and disappear.

The Constitution is about freedom, and Joe Biden of all people knows that the means to amend the Constitution is difficult by design. There have only been 27 amendments in 230 years. Six amendment attempts failed. Generally, a two-thirds majority of Congress must approve an amendment, which must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Freedom should never be based on political expediency, cultural whims or fads. This document from days gone by should be narrowly construed with a sense of originalism in its application. Courts should use judicial restraint in reviewing constitutional questions with a high degree of scrutiny based on the text of the document itself. Politicians and pundits would do well to recall that upholding the Constitution is the sworn duty of those who hold office.

Standards matter. It is good to know that if you want to buy a brand of appliance, or know which TV has the best quality, you can look for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. The seal provides protection, reassurance, and confidence, because someone else went before you and put it to the test and it stood up under their scrutiny.

The Constitution is our free society’s seal of approval. If something passes constitutional muster, then we can be more assured that we are protected and able to confidently move forward. It is the standard for measuring freedom.

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