This speech, previously posted in this blog, although undelivered, was written to be delivered to the Legislature to apprise the members of their duties and make them aware of the tyranny confronting them. Although all Legislators have sworn an oath, (“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of (“our State,”) and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of (“my office”) according to the best of my ability.”) few have read the Constitutions and fewer still have taken the time to understand them. We, who are fighting this fight understand that we are in an existential battle to save our republic … most Legislators are unaware of this fight and if they are, they are resigned to the premise that we can do nothing about it. We know that we can fight and win. Our duty is to convince the Legislature to act.
Mr. Speaker and Honorable members of the House … I arise today, at the beginning of this session of the Legislature to speak to you about our mission here in the Legislature … to urge you to think about our place in the destiny of this the greatest experiment in human freedom; about our place in the genius of the American system; about that Republic called the United States of America.
Surely, our primary job here is to provide for the protection of the persons and property of the citizens of our great state. To provide a legal environment of mobility, safety, tranquility, and sense of hope and optimism for the future for our children … and a haven of comfort and satisfaction for our elderly and disadvantaged … but we also have a higher duty that has been sorely neglected, that duty of protecting the gift of human freedom bequeathed to us long ago by our Revolutionary Forefathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.
Today the States of our Federal Republic are being attacked from Washington, DC in seemingly the same arbitrary manner that King George III was attacking our forefathers from London in the mid 18th century. King George would not tolerate self government in the colonies and we are now confronted in a similar manner by an incomprehensibly enormous bureaucracy in that far away place, Washington, DC … a government that is clearly, day by day, year by year usurping the Constitutional rights of this state and its people to itself.
We are all familiar with the opening lines of the Declaration which states its intention … “When in the Course of Human Events it becomes necessary”… but how many of us can recall the reasons given for the separation? Let us review some of those reasons … the Declaration states:
- In one place, “We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us” … Have you ever given thought to the fact that the US Constitution grants the Federal Government 17 enumerated powers and only those powers alone.
- It states in another, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it” … You should be cognizant that most of the Federal Government and its intrusive bureaucracy is not authorized by the Constitution, but has been created by unauthorized laws or by fiat judicial decisions.
- In another it states, “When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, It is their duty, to throw off such Government” … Our nation is a Federation of small self governing Republics; when a central government erected to promote peace and harmony among equals and to protect the whole from foreign aggression itself becomes the aggressor of our freedom, it is our right … our duty to stand up to that aggression.
- Further it states, “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance” … The bureaucracy to which we are subjected is so large as to be unknowable and is motivated by forces alien to, unresponsive to and uninformed of the exigencies of our State. Is our State subordinate to the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the case of the introduced wolves? Or to the US Department of the Interior in the case of managing the Sage Grouse?
- And further, “He has combined with others (*I would say the 3 branches) to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws” … Where in the US Constitution does it say that the Federal Courts have the right to nullify an article in our State Constitution defining marriage?
- And finally, “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent” … The socialistic Obamacare outrage was sold to the Congress and us as providing for our healthcare, when in fact, when the 2000 plus unread pages of the bill were finally deciphered, we, as does the US Supreme Court, find it to be a tax.
All in all, the abuses by King George that propelled our forefathers to revolution and the abuses of the Constitution by the present Federal government toward the states are compellingly similar. We certainly do not want to overthrow the Federal government, but as free men, elected representatives in a federated Republic, sworn by solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution, we are honor bound to do as Jefferson so eloquently proclaimed: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter.. it” … We must alter any unConstitutional infringements on our freedom!
So what does the Constitution say about it? First it is of fundamental importance to understand that our Federal government is not a Democracy, nor are the States Democracies. You will find no reference to democracy in either the Declaration or the Constitution. Our forefathers were uncommonly expert in comparative government. They, to a man, knew that democracies always fail; they fail because the masses cannot understand the issues and are therefore at the mercy of the demagogues… or more insidiously, compelled by the human failings of avarice and greed, they vote themselves largess from the public treasury until the polity is bankrupt. The forefathers also understood that there is a tyranny of the majority that will prove fatal to general government. Can the massive population majority of New York City efficiently govern Rhode Island, Vermont or New Hampshire or for that matter the rest of New York state? Shouldn’t those entities have the final say in their fate? The Revolutionary War had been about human freedom … the freedom of the individual. The writers of the Constitution understood that only a representative form of government would work to preserve human freedom. A government where the individual voter picked from among his peers a person who was an exemplar of his particular ideals with the integrity to represent his views in the next level of government. They understood that democracy only worked where people of good will met face to face and presented their solutions to problems of mutual concern to the judgment of their gathered peers. They knew that this face to face discourse worked in villages, townships, precincts, and legislatures and would work in the new Congress. Small bodies where men of good will meeting face to face solving their problems with their peers. The Constitution compartmentalized American government, giving due deference to the diversity of the States and to the general populace. That is why the Constitution plainly states in Article 4 Section 4 that the States are guaranteed a “Republican Form of Government.”
James Madison, the father of the Constitution, a scholar of comparative government, initially believed that the Federal government could be given a limited list of duties to circumscribe its powers and because of the propensity of men with power to strive to always take more power, to have it administered by three separate branches of government each with checks upon the other. He believed the bare Constitution to be sufficient in itself, we did not need a “Bill of Rights.” But when Madison took this beautiful handiwork back to his home in Virginia for ratification, he was met with a firestorm of opposition, most aptly personified in the thinking and eloquence of Patrick Henry. Henry objected to the Constitution because he was sure that the “unalienable Rights of Man” were not properly protected in the document from the caprices of those who would run the government. He insisted that Rights of Man already codified in the Constitutions of the States be re-articulated in the Federal Constitution. A vehicle was needed to block any attempt by Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary or the bureaucracy to modify the inherent rights of the Individual so recently won by the blood and toil of the Revolution. Additionally, and the reason why Henry finally supported the Constitution, was that the States had to have the final say as to the validity of Federal law should any or all of the three branches attempt to overstep their Constitutional mandate. His insistence on this point was met by the inclusion of the first ten amendments, the “Bill of Rights,” into the Constitution. Henry’s amendment was the Tenth Amendment … “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” This powerful amendment allows the States to nullify or disregard actions of the Federal Government that are not granted in the enumerated powers. It may be, in the final analysis, the most important of the “Bill of Rights.” Patrick Henry certainly thought so!
We as Legislators can disregard the mandate of the Tenth Amendment at the peril of our Federal Republic or we can re-affirm our oath to the people of our State by standing against the usurpations of the Federal government. As we watch the creeping tyranny descending upon our nation, we in the our Legislature can, we must, take action to preserve our sacred Republic. We must make it clear to the Federal Government, “This far and no further!” This Legislature must provide a vehicle to monitor and act upon the usurpations of the Federal behemoth.