We are a nation that has a government―not the other way around.
(Jan. 20, 1981)
I know that there are some who would disagree with me; but I do not consider myself to be that smart of an individual. What I am is tenacious; I get a hold of an idea and I don’t let go until I get to the bottom of it. To best describe me, I often quote from Alexander Hamilton, who said, “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”
When I graduated from high school in 1976 about the only thing I knew about the Constitution for the United States of America was that it created our system of government with 3 branches, and that each had certain checks upon the power held by the other branches. I had never actually read the document itself, nor had I read any of the writings of those who supported it and those who opposed it.
Yet as soon as I graduated and turned 18 my parents took me down and had me register to vote; saying it was my civic duty to participate in choosing who would represent me in the government created by a document I knew next to nothing about. Later in life, when I found myself unemployed I decided to enlist in the United States Air Force, whereupon I was required to take an oath to support and defend that same document; although my understanding of it had not increased in the slightest.
In the year 1999 I decided to remedy that fault. I not only read the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I began to read everything I could find from the era which saw our nation gain its independence and then go on to create our system of government. To this date I have accumulated a file containing over 200 documents from the history of this country; and I am adding to that file on a weekly basis. My thirst for knowledge about the true history of America is almost insatiable.
Some of the things I have learned on this journey of mine has shaken me to my core; caused me to question everything I once believed to be true. But the driving force behind my searches has always been the truth; and I was willing to accept whatever truth the facts provided me.
As I progressed in my own knowledge I mistakenly thought that others would be just as enthused about learning the truth as I was; that my newfound knowledge would be graciously accepted and embraced. However, what I found is that most people are unready to accept any truth which contradicts their existing beliefs. In fact, I found that those who speak the truth when lies are the norm are ridiculed and denigrated by those who are unwilling accept the possibility that their core beliefs regarding government and certain historical events are based upon lies.
This discovery has in no way diminished my desire to learn more; although it has caused me to become frustrated and disgusted with a majority of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. Their willingness to remain ignorant, the whole time espousing ideas and beliefs that have absolutely no basis in fact, astounds me. I liken it to me attempting to explain my views on particle beam accelerators to a physicist when I know absolutely nothing about physics, and then demanding that they accept my views as valid.
It was years into my studies that I ran across a quote by author Isaac Asimov that I feel perfectly describes the average American voter, “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
I got into an argument the other day on Facebook with some folks who were supporters of outgoing president Barack Obama. When I mentioned that Obama has never been proven to be eligible to hold the office of President the fireworks began to fly. First they said he provided a birth certificate saying he was born in Hawaii; which makes him eligible.
I responded by saying my son was born in California but he is ineligible to be president because he is not a Natural Born Citizen as required by the Constitution. I then went on to explain how when Ben Franklin went to the convention that produced our Constitution he brought with him a copy of the book, Law of Nations by Emerich de Vattel. This book was referred to often by Doctor Franklin over the course of that convention; and its significance is even more important as it is Vattel’s definition of a Natural Born Citizen that disqualifies Barack Obama for the office of president.
My son is a citizen of the United States of America, (and I won’t even go into the illegality of the position of citizen of the United States created by the 14th Amendment), but he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen; and there is a difference between the two. Vattel states, “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”
At the time of my son’s birth my wife was still a citizen of the Philippines, having not yet been naturalized. This means my son, although he may be a citizen, is NOT a Natural Born Citizen according to the definition found in The Law of Nations. Using that same description of what a Natural Born Citizen is, neither is Barack Obama; as his father was a citizen of Kenya, (which by the way was not even called Kenya in the year Obama was born, but was called British East Africa Protectorate). So although Obama may be a citizen, he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen because only his mother was a US citizen.
It was at this point that these people began calling me names; like buffoon and birther. Yet when I told them that names and insults will not bother me, and I asked them to provide any evidence to support their claim that Obama is/was in fact eligible to hold the office of president, the only response I got was, “Hold on, let me Google it.” To this date I have yet to hear back from any of them; deathly silence is the only thing I get when I ask people to back up their beliefs with cold, hard facts.
What good is a Constitution when nobody knows what it says, or they don’t care that the government it creates routinely violates it? It is a legitimate question; and one I have yet to have answered to my satisfaction.
The closest I’ve come to getting an answer is that our Founders could not have foreseen all the changes in society, and that the Constitution must be a living document that can change with the times.
While I’ll give them credit for trying, in his Farewell Address to the nation, George Washington stated something that refutes that claim, “If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
I have yet to find any mention of an amendment granting government any of the powers it routinely exercises today. So the only thing I can conclude is that government has usurped those powers for itself; and has Washington said, that is how free governments are destroyed.
While I do not expect people to do the same amount of research that I have, I would have hoped that they would at least have a basic understanding of what it says and the process by which it came into existence. But since they don’t, I feel it is my duty to provide that for them.
When our country got its start the people who lived here were subject under the King of England; with all power and governing authority held by him. After the American Revolution, when the States became free and independent that authority, or sovereignty as it is also called, reverted back to the people.
This was upheld by one of the very first cases heard by the Supreme Court, Chisholm v Georgia, wherein the Court declared, “…at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects...”
Therefore, any system of government established must come from the will of the people. Yet the people had already established various State governments to govern the affairs of the people. So the question remained; when our federal government was established, under whose authority should its powers flow from?
When a convention was called to amend the Articles of Confederation those in attendance overstepped the authority granted them and decided to write an entirely new document; outlining an entirely new system of government.
This document declared that the power held by the government it established came from the people, not the various States. This is confirmed by the Preamble, which states, “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.”
I could go on and discuss whether this new system is not a federal one, but rather a national one, but that would only muddy the waters and confuse you at this time. Perhaps that is a subject for a later discussion.
Anyway, upon the remaining members of the convention having approved of the final document, it was then sent to the States for their consideration. The States then called for conventions to be held, made up of delegates from the States to decide the fate of this proposed Constitution. The one thing that was made clear from the onset of this process was that no modifications were to be made to the document by these assemblies; either they accept it in total, or they reject it in total. As we all know, or at least I hope we do, the document was accepted and the government it outlined came into existence on March 4, 1789.
This Constitution is not a list of suggestions on how our government should operate; it is the law which restricts its actions, and the things the people can ask it to do on their behalf. This was also upheld by the Supreme Court in 1866, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of men than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.” (Ex parte Milligan)
The Constitution outlines not only the form our government shall take; with its 3 branches, but the specific powers given to each branch. Article 1 created a bicameral Congress; which was the actual lawmaking body of our government, “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Article 2 created, for the first time in this country, the office of the Executive, or President, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”
The job of Congress, as representative of both the people and the States, was to create the laws under this Constitution. The job of the Executive was to…well, execute the laws.
Article 6 of this Constitution declares it to be the Supreme law of the land, but only when the laws passed by the government it creates are in pursuance of the specific powers granted the government it established, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
So, what are the powers given this government? To answer, we go to Article 1, Section 8, which declares the powers given Congress to be as follows:
1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And
18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
That’s it; those are the ONLY powers given our government. Anything else our government does is a violation of the Constitution. If that wasn’t clear enough, then there is always the 10th Amendment, which states, “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.”
James Madison is known as the Father of our Constitution, although he himself did not like, or accept the title. Prior to being ratified Madison, as well as John Jay and Alexander Hamilton wrote a series of articles in an effort to sway the minds of those living in the State of New York towards ratification of the Constitution. We know these articles today as The Federalist Papers.
In Federalist 45, published on January 26, 1788, Madison states, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
Then, when Madison stood on the floor of the Virginia Ratifying Assembly, in an attempt to convince his fellow Virginians to support the Constitution, (which by the way the staunch defender of liberty Patrick Henry vehemently opposed), stated, “[T]he powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.”
I don’t know about you, but those two quotes, along with everything else I have provided, seem to make a pretty clear case that the things our government does today far exceed the powers originally granted it.
Yet most people don’t even bother to look past the charade that is the presidential elections to see the corruption of principles that is the entity we call our federal government. They believe that as long as we have free and open elections, (and even that is a joke as all the candidates are vetted to ensure they toe the party line), then all is well in America.
How many government agencies exist that pass rules and regulations which we are bound to obey, or face the punishments imposed by them; hundreds…thousands? And what happens if we stand up to federal authority? Well I suppose one could ask the Branch Davidians, or the Weaver family, or the family of Lavoy Finicum.
In response to one of the first egregious exercises of power by the government, then Vice-President Thomas Jefferson responded by writing, “Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government . . . . and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. . . . that the government created by this compact [the Constitution for the United States] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; . . . . that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority…”
We created our system of government. We gave it certain powers. We choose those who represent us in that government. All power flows from us, and it is only because we remain ignorant, apathetic and complacent that our government has all these powers which do IN FACT violate the specific grant of powers found in the Constitution.
When are Americans going to wake up to the fact that if they do not wake up and attempt to halt the further expansion of governmental power that it will not end well for them? For years now I have been trying to get people to understand the basic facts I have presented here; but I would probably have better luck shoving a blade of grass through a steel plate than in getting people to care that their government is their enemy; and that by voting for whomever fills the seats of power within it is only granting your consent to be under its arbitrary will.
Two quotes, both of which you have read before, and then I will close. The first comes from Winston Churchill, and states, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
And my final thoughts come from Samuel Adams, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”