Why “Posterity” Matters

Six years ago, I debated Col. Tom Kratman on the topic of what the word “posterity” means in the context of the U.S. Constitution, specifically, the preamble which declares to whom the Constitution and the Bill of Rights applies.

I was correct, of course, to point out that posterity meant only the American Revolutionaries and their descendants, which is why the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution do not apply to many U.S. residents and even citizens. If you are not a direct descendant of an American Revolutionary, then the Constitution does not apply to you, no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court might claim.

The importance of correct interpretation of historical legal terms can be seen in the recent protest by the Global Times against sovereign U.S. States passing laws against foreign entities buying up their land.

CNN reported on Monday that “a growing number of states are considering or have passed measures this legislative term to ban ‘foreign adversaries’ and foreign entities – specifically China – from buying farmland.” These bills could violate the US Constitution, and also fuel an atmosphere of racism and anti-China sentiment.

Against the backdrop of increasingly strong anti-China sentiment in the US, it seems the “land purchase ban” is an inevitable product. Regarding the “land purchase ban,” several US-China relations experts interviewed by CNN warned against knee-jerk responses and called for lawmakers to act on evidence, not suspicion. There are certainly some rational people in the US who can see that this approach violates the US Constitution. However, in the current political atmosphere in the US, all anti-China actions are politically correct domestically, those who are willing to come out and speak up are the minority and their voices are often ignored.

The Posterity for whom the Constitution is intended to defend the Blessings of Liberty consists solely of the genetic descendants of the People of the several and united States. Posterity does not include immigrants, descendants of immigrants, invaders, conquerors, tourists, students, Americans born in Portugal, or anyone else who happens to subsequently reside in the same geographic location, or share the same civic ideals, as the original We the People.

Nor does it include sovereign foreign governments.

But as you can see, once the definition of “posterity” is expanded past its true and proper meaning, there is no reason it cannot be further expanded into a universal principle. Which, of course, is complete nonsense, and thereby demonstrates the practical impossibility of every other interpretation.