The addendum to this post are my own references and notes.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The economic anxiety, spiritual malaise, and geopolitical unease gripping America these days has nothing to do with Donald Trump and his hostile takeover of the Republican Party.
Nor, amazingly, does it have anything to do with Hillary Clinton, whose mug has been in our faces since 1992 and who shows no signs of willingly departing absent death, deportation to St. Helena, or forcible retirement.
Nor does it have anything to do with the collapse of the GOP, brought low by its misrule by the Bush family, and done in by the wasted lives and money in the misbegotten Iraq and Afghanistan adventures — “wars” that have dragged on three times longer than World War II and are unlikely to abate… ever.
Nor is it the result of the Obama administration, a kind of practical joke on the part of David Axelrod that was visited upon a good-hearted and unsuspecting American public, sold as “historic” solely by reason of the candidate’s skin color (how racist is that?), and which has done its level best to effect the “fundamental transformation” of a nation that didn’t need it in the first place.
Don’t think that electing a new president is going to ameliorate matters.
The country is run neither by the president (whose principal jobs are to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress and to act as commander-in-chief) nor the Congress, which at least since the FDR administration has abdicated its authority as the “sole legislative power” mentioned in the Constitution, and has ceded lawmaking power to agencies it created but has placed under the authority of the executive branch.
And don’t even think about what should be the last and least branch of the federal government, the courts.
The Supreme Court — the only court mentioned in the Constitution — has given us all manner of unconstitutional excrescences, including Obamacare and gay marriage, and soon enough will likely rule that any distinctions between (or among?) the sexes are “discriminatory.”
And the lower courts — which, just like the federal agencies, Congress could eliminate overnight — act as feeders, serving up case after case to a body that seized power in Marbury v. Madison and has never relinquished it.
Nor should we look to the several states for succor.
The Civil War, for both better and worse, put paid to the Tenth Amendment and the notion of states’ rights (now viewed as code words for racism), and the federal doctrine of “incorporation” has inexorably blurred the line between the feds and the states.
What, at this juncture, is the point of even having 50 different states, other than to keep pettifogging, power-mad unemployables on the state payroll?
Well, that is precisely the point: the Left would like nothing better than the elimination of the states and the establishment of a single nation ruled down to the smallest detail by the leviathan in Washington.
In the name of “one man, one vote” they would eliminate both the Senate (unfair that Wyoming gets as many senators as California) and the Electoral College (see Civility and Citizenship Today section), secure in the knowledge that in an America rapidly heading to “minority-majority” status, time is on their side.
The Democrats’ numerical advantages in the big cities would quickly crush rural America, and that would be that.
Similarly, the rest of the Bill of Rights has been subjected to constant second-guessing from academe, a hyper-partisan media, and activist courts whose justices are just itching to make their mark on American history.
What part of “no law” or “shall not be infringed” don’t they understand?
All of it as it turns out. Even the more obscure amendments, such as the Third, which forbids quartering of soldiers in civilian homes, have been violated, as in the search for the Marathon bombers in Boston, when cops briefly commandeered private homes as command posts in their hunt for a badly wounded teenager.
And who even understands what the Ninth Amendment — “the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” — even means any more?
The fault, as it turns out, lies in ourselves.
Since the Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson administrations, the “progressives” have held the upper hand, both at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion.
A return to the pre-1905 America, which somehow managed to make do without an income tax, direct election of senators or female suffrage, may be impossible (women are highly unlikely to give up the franchise!) but in spirit it ought to be at least considered.
The Progressive Era amendments, taken collectively, did great damage to the country as founded, serving to expand the reach and scope of the federal government and diminish personal freedom across the board.
Not to mention, pick your pockets.
So what would happen if there were a Constitutionalist Party (not to be confused with the currently existing Constitution Party), whose platform was to adhere to the Constitution as closely as possible, especially in crucial matters of governance?
Cast off relicts such as the three-fifths clause (written in order get the document ratified in the first place, and rendered moot by Abolition), which the dishonest Left always shrieks and points to whenever the subject of constitutionalism comes up.
Don’t get bogged down in letters of marque and reprisal, the original details of financial compensation for services, and other historical oddities.
Instead, concentrate on the principles enshrined in the founding document, not the transient specifics.
And they are:
- a powerful but limited federal government whose scope of action is entirely constrained by those principles articulated in the Preamble.
- a Supreme Court stripped by Congress of its constitutional-review authority, which it arrogated unto itself in Marbury, and its original and appellate jurisdictions limited to its enumerated powers according to Article 3, Section 2.
- a restoration of Congress’s primacy in legislative matters; no more signing statements or executive orders from the White House, or 50-state edicts conjured from the recesses of Justice Kennedy’s emotions.
- a President strictly limited to his constitutional duties, which are clearly spelled out, including faithful execution of the laws, protection of the Constitution, commanding the armed forces and state militias when called to the service of the nation, and negotiating treaties with the advice and consent (two-thirds concurring) of the Senate.
- a restoration of the Fourth Amendment regarding search and seizure, an end to police confiscation of personal goods except in adjudicated criminal matters.
- a restoration of the Seventh Amendment (trial by jury) to make clear that double jeopardy is double jeopardy; the vengeful loophole of letting the feds overturn, say, a not-guilty verdict by filing civil-rights charges must be stopped.
- an end to the constant, sophomoric re-litigation of the Eight Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment), and arguments over whether capital punishment is “cruel and unusual” (it isn’t).
- and, finally, a full-fledged, non-negotiable restoration of the Tenth Amendment, returning all non-enumerated federal powers back to the states.
There could be other elements as well, including rules against instant self-enrichment by leveraging political experience or connections, a reduction in the budgets of the all the branches (if it was good enough for Truman, it’s good enough for Obama), and a drastic cutback in federal and state pensions — serve your country, go home, and get a job.
Lifetime “public service” should be a thing of the past.
Such a program would not only make America a better and freer country, and one more closely resembling the Founders’ vision.
It would also make ours a fairer and more efficient country, eliminating at a single stroke the need for fleets of self-enriching lawyers paid to game the system; battalions of useless bureaucrats, whose jobs could be eliminated overnight without having to worry about the Civil Service, since the departments themselves would vanish; and career politicians and familial political dynasties.
True, there would be tremendous opposition from the Enrichment Party of lifers, lobbyists and think-tank poo-bahs, all of whom have vested interests in keeping the money flowing into the Imperial City and the devil take the Heartland.
But, short of hanging them all, cutting the legs out from underneath them is the best way to save the nation.
So forget Republicans (weak, disgraced descendants of the Party of Lincoln); the Democrats (a criminal organization masquerading as a political party); the Libertarians (dope-smoking pacifist crackpots, mostly) and the various other barnacles on the body politic.
The time is right and the time is now for a restoration of American principles, effected by Americans, for Americans.
Economic and personal freedom under a Constitutional framework — no matter whose ox is gored — is the real path to Making America Great Again; to continue on the path we’re currently on is not only the road to serfdom but to slavery.
You know that you fight for the lost causes harder than any other. Yes, you even die for them.
For those interested in renewing or becoming familiar for the first time with our Constitution, Hillsdale College has a growing list of free courses on our Constitution as well as the Federalist Papers, the Presidency, Economics and several more categories.
To discover more of what they offer, just click here
In what is now named his Farewell Address (original | digital), George Washington had many concerns in our Congress as well as We the People remaining focused for what he and the other Founding Fathers worked and fought so diligently and sacrificially, even warning of the spirit of revenge that is inherent in having political party systems…
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight) the common & continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise People to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the Public Councils and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill founded Jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot & insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence & corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy and will of another.
With his words ringing ever true today, without a doubt Washington knew that where we focus is where we end up.
Yet our Constitution is only the content of what they fought to bring to our new nation.
We need to remember the context of it all as well…
And the ONLY way to do that is to know our history and not as the current school textbooks say the way it was but through our own pursuit of the words and documents of our Founding Fathers.
All this is possible, in part, through our National Archives who maintains every document they can obtain and receive.
Seeking authors who write about the Founding Fathers using their words directly and without injecting their opinions is another direction to pursue as well (thoughts are one thing, opinions are another).
And while we are learning all this, converse with family and friends on what you have discovered.
You will be amazed at their reactions…
As well as your own.