What is the Matter?

Socialistic ideas were not new when the Constitution was written.  The Forefathers undoubtedly looked at them, and so soundly rejected the notion that none at the Convention even suggested it.   Alexander Hamilton, born in the West Indies, rose in the Convention to propose another type of tyranny, an American Parliament, with its attendant Monarchy.  He received absolutely no support, to the point of embarrassment, and was absent, going home to New York, for over half the meetings.  The fact is that all government with strong central power, be it a strong man or benevolent committee, tends toward the tyrannical.  It has to manufacture reasons for its existence.

The ploy is always a demagogic appeal.  We (or I) will make you safe.  We (or I) must protect you from approaching peril.  We (or I) must protect the children; provide better education; a better postal system, always employing “them,” meaning the bureaucracy, to do it.  We (or I) will protect you from the vagaries of nature and economics.  We (or I) will stop the evildoers from exploiting you.  You will be rewarded and taken care of.  And all else failing, We (or I) must take our army and force those foreign evildoers to our will.  Invariably this is paid for by taxing the individual, which imposes a great burden on the citizenry in blood or sweat, or both.   That is why taxes on individuals were specifically prohibited in the Constitution.  Our forefathers had, “been there, done that.”  They already had the answers of how to meet any societal challenges, answers that had been handed down from antiquity, God’s Law, the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, and another set of nearly divine principles, the Common Law.  They knew that, taken together, these gifts were sufficient to govern the well being of the individual and to allow him to stand equally with his peers.  In order to have a society of free individuals, they understood that the only valid role of a strong central government was to promote harmony amongst the States and to protect them from foreign intervention, both in times of war and peace.  A strong central government, with powers reaching the individual and into his home was, then and now, an entity to invoke concern, if not fear … they knew it first hand, but we nowadays seem to have forgotten it.

The mission of the Delegates was to institute a non-intrusive government that would protect the common man.  As we have seen, large democracies, even ones of moderate size do not work.  An example that shows how un-democratic that our “democracy” really is would be the 2008 Democratic primary election.  This exceedingly engaging and closely run contest between a progressive woman and a charismatic black demagogue was essentially a tie.  15 million votes to the woman and 15 million one + going to the man.  This means that 5% of the most politically (and socialistically) motivated people in America picked the person who would be President.

The individual person can have no effect in a large crowd.  Common sense tells us this is so and our individual experience confirms it.  It didn’t work in the comparatively tiny 6000-person crowd in ancient Athens and it can’t work in modern America with its 300 million souls.  The situation now is the same as then, the eloquent liars, the demagogues, ruled then and they rule now.   The only place where a man calling BS to a governmental proposition can or will be heard is a small meeting, like a town hall meeting or in a ward or precinct meeting.  That is where the common man can have his say and where his vote counts.

The forefathers recognized if there was to be a working democracy it had to be founded in local politics.  After all, who is more important to your everyday political life, your US Senator or Congressman, your Governor or State Senators and Representatives, or your County Commissioner, Sheriff, Highway district commissioners, Court House staff, P & Z or School board?  They also understood that on a national scale, in addition to the People, due deference had to be given to the individuality of the States … a Connecticut solution is not necessarily a solution for Wyoming.  And finally, like the ancient Spartans, the knew, as Lord Acton was quoted as saying, that, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”  The Americans, like the Spartans before them, tried to limit tenure in office for the elected officials, by making them stand for election often.  Conversely, they sought to protect the members of the judiciary from the interference of partisan politics by lifetime appointments (the jury is still out on this.)  They envisioned a citizen Congress where the members spent a brief time in public service and then returned to their real occupations. In tyrannies, politics is a career; it was not intended to be so for the American Republic.

Most of us are familiar with the delegated powers and most of the checks on the exercise of them given by the States to all parts of the government, but were never taught or probably have never even discussed the mechanism for participatory democracy that was crafted into the Constitution.  Reflect for a moment on the provision for the election of Senators by state legislatures.  An epiphany came to me as I read the Lincoln-Douglas debates on the Kansas-Nebraska act that Douglas, the Democrat majority leader of the Senate, had introduced into the Congress, extending slavery into those then two territories.  The debates were held all over Illinois because the two men were trying to convince local electors to support them for the Senate.  The debates were conducted with civility; Lincoln and Douglas became steadfast friends, afterwards.  They were transcribed verbatim and telegraphed nation-wide, the subject being of huge general interest.  Lincoln won hands down.  Nevertheless, when the campaign was over, Douglas returned to the Senate and Lincoln stayed in Springfield.  “How could that have happen?” I asked myself.  The answer is simple.  These men had been campaigning in order to get the grass-roots electorate to send representatives to the state legislature that would support them and their views.  When the legislative session convened, the Legislature would then make the winner of the statewide contest the Senator and send him to Washington.  Obviously, the Democrats retained control of the Legislature.  The Chicago political machine even then, as today, might have pulled the rabbit from the hat for the Democrats.    … But reflect on the genius of this system.  The interests of the State are represented by the action of its most venerated politicians, the Legislature.  The Legislature was elected, county-by-county, district-by-district, based upon local campaigns.  The candidates had to appeal directly to the people, face to face, in as direct a manner as in any system ever conceived.  The People probably could not personally know the men who would be Senators well, other than hearing them speak at large public gatherings, but most likely, their representatives, the local Legislators, did know the men seeking this high office.  The electors could ask their representatives about these men and, being convinced of the merit of the candidate, obtain a voting pledge for their candidacy.  And if the representatives reneged, they would have to personally face the consequences in their own re-elections.  Further, think of the impact on local communities.  There was a real reason to organize and participate in politics, because your personal support and vote for your legislators was the avenue whereby you could have a real impact on the national government.

There has always been a self appointed intellectual elite quite often from a wealthy background, or on the other end of the spectrum, those who have risen from abject poverty to high position.  These people, disdainful of the common person, consider themselves superior in experience, manners, culture, education, morality and ethics to the common man.  Any person can see that there are societal shortcomings in America that need addressing.  Many of these elites, strongly influenced by writings of the socialist thinkers of 19th and early 20th centuries that their professors had them study in school, believe that the proximate cause of the ills of society are caused by capitalism and its allies, the free market and individual freedom.  The most radical of these people have for over 150 years been attempting to institute some form of socialistic government to replace our Republic or any other government elsewhere around the world where capitalism exists.  In the 19th century, the socialists tried several times to overthrow governments in Europe violently, but for the most part, were viciously suppressed.  Attempts were tried to unite industrial workers in this country into their cause, mostly in the mines and manufacturing mills.  There were small successes, but they generally failed, especially amongst the small businessmen and farmers.  Something different had to be done.  The socialists were at a crossroads; either take over violently, as was eventually done in Russia, Italy and Germany, or peaceably as was eventually done in Britain, and eventually in most of Western Europe.  In the United States, the socialist progressives opted for a peaceable incremental way.  First, those committed to this course got rid of the name “socialism,” they instead began calling themselves “Progressives,” and they joined the Republican and Democratic parties.  Second, instead of advocating violent overthrow or sweeping changes, they opted to follow the methods of people of the ilk of George Bernard Shaw who was instrumental in the British “Fabian Society.”  The Roman General Quintus Fabius Maximus was the man who had finally defeated Hannibal’s invasion of Rome.  Every time that the Roman army had confronted Hannibal in open battle, it was resoundingly humiliated by disastrous military defeat.  Fabius hit upon a strategy of non-confrontation, hitting outlying units and using general attrition that finally gave him victory.  The British Fabians (and their American cousins) formulated a political policy of asking, in seeming good faith, for more than they intended; a bushel, and settling for more than they had, a peck; then a hundredweight and settling for a bushel.  They created crises and then rode in wearing shining armor on a white horse and “solved the problem.”  The first American successes by the Fabian Progressives came from Theodore Roosevelt’s tinkering with the Federal lands and tilting with the big banks, labor relations, railroads and the trusts.  But the real coup came at the end of Teddy’s years when Woodrow Wilson was handed the Presidency by his protagonist, Roosevelt’s progressive “Bull Moose Party.”   The “Bull Moose Party” split the vote so that not only was it defeated, but the Republicans were too.

In the first year of Wilson’s Presidency the US Constitution was amended with the 16th Amendment, giving the Federal government the power to tax the incomes of the common man for the first time; the 17th Amendment, providing for the popular election of US Senators and finally the Federal Reserve System.  Proponents of the 16th Amendment needed the huge increase in revenue to allow America to expand its forces and presence enough to become a player on the world stage.  They gained its passage through the Senate by promising that the marginal tax rate would never go over 2%.  The sponsors of the 17th Amendment accomplished its passage by insisting that the direct election would stop bribery in Senatorial elections preventing repeats of the then recent scandal in, where else … the Illinois Legislature. (I wonder if they had anticipated the AFL-CIO’s COPE committee whose huge infusions of money bought and paid for fully half of the western Senators in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s?)  And the Federal Reserve?  A supposedly private banking entity, never audited, with the total authority to print and regulate the supply of money in the United States.  For the first 20 years of its existence all printed money in the US was redeemable in gold or silver.  Then the ownership of gold was outlawed.  Until the 1970’s your money could be redeemed in silver, then the silver coins were recalled and the right to redeem was withdrawn.  Do we see a pattern of Fabian gradualism emerging here?

During the 1930’s the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution was re-defined.  As we have seen, the clause was included to give the Federal government the power to prevent the States from warring over inter-state commerce by imposing restrictions or taxes on goods and trade between one-another.  In its decision, the Supreme Court found that a wheat farmer’s hog was in interstate commerce.  He had grown the hog on his mid-western farm, fed it wheat produced on his farm, taken it to a town in his state to be butchered, then brought it back home and eaten it.  The Court ruled that the wheat could have been grown outside the state and the hog or the meat could have been sold into interstate commerce, therefore it was in interstate commerce and subject to Federal regulation.  From this simple trumped up decision comes the unwarranted and tyrannical notion that everything produced in the US is in interstate commerce and subject to Federal regulation.  Feel creeping socialism yet?

The President as the chief administrative officer certainly has the right and duty to issue rules and orders to the executive agencies that he is responsible for.  Obviously, he must be given latitude to act by issuing orders, with the force of law, in cases of emergency.  However, since 1862, Presidents have issued over 13,000 “Executive Orders” which have the full force and effect of law, laws that have not and in many cases would not be enacted by Congress.  The catch here is that if the Congress disagrees with a particular Order, its recourse is to enact a new law rescinding the disputed Order.  What would happen?  Well, of course, the President would veto the Bill, which then only could become a law of rescission by 2/3 vote both Houses, The Presidential “Executive Order” is a neat trick to pass an un-popular (or un-American) agenda.  The practice only awaits a person who would be dictator.

Some States have Constitutions that prohibit substantial debt.  Maybe a reasonable idea for the Federal Government?

Earmarks on legislation?  The rules of many legislatures prohibit amendments to Bills that are not germane to the subject of the Bill.  An Amendment proposing a bridge to nowhere attached to the Defense Appropriations Bill, as the OSHA Bill was, would be, if challenged, deleted.  Can earmarks be eliminated?  You bet!

When the States ratified the 14th Amendment, did they intend to rescind Article IV Section 4 that guarantees them “ a Republican Form of Government?”  Did they intend for the Federal Courts to dictate the composition of their Legislatures, over-riding the several State Constitutions?

These problems with the Constitution were never intended.  Most reasonable people reading the Constitution would not interpret their reading to come to the same conclusions.  But evil people, or uniformed people doing evil, supported by their sycophants, be they either fellow travelers or simply ignorant, can read almost anything into the simplest statements.  It is apparent that, be it conscious or un-conscious, that these interpretations and use of the Constitution are a present day pervasion of the Republic and contrary to the intent of the founders.

Read on to see what we can do.

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