Do you want to know what really angers me? It is when I hear people talking about our DEMOCRACY; I hear our elected representatives say it, I hear news anchors say it, and I hear everyday people say it. It angers me because none of them know what the hell they are talking about. I’ll pay anyone $20 if they can find the word democracy in the Constitution. If actually take the time to look, you won’t find it because it’s not there…anywhere. If you want to know what our nation is you only have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which says, “…and to the republic for which it stands…”
People think we have a democracy because we use a democratic process to elect representatives, and that those representatives pass laws in a democratic manner. But that does not make America a democracy! In a pure democracy the majority rules. Here, let me give you an example. Let’s say a town has a population of 1,000 people, with 600 men and 400 women. A ballot measure is voted upon which proposes that the men can demand that the women allow the men to have sexual relations with them any time they wish, regardless of whether the women agree. The ballot measure passes with all 600 of the men voting in favor of it. In a democracy the women would then be forced to obey the new law. But that’s rape you say, there is a LAW prohibiting it. Now you’re beginning to get the picture.
You see in a democracy it does not matter, if a majority votes in favor of something it becomes law. But we are a republic, which is defined as : a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote for representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. We the people hold the power in this country, a fact that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court, “In the United States, sovereignty resides in the people who act through the organs established by the Constitution.” Perry v. United States (1935)
In 1791, Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense, wrote The Rights of Man. In his booklet Paine explains exactly what a Constitution is, “A Constitution is a Thing antecedent to Government, and a Government is only the Creature of a Constitution. The Constitution of a Country is not the act of its Government, but of the People constituting a Government. It is the Body of Elements to which you can refer and quote article by article; and which contains the principles upon which the Government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organized, the powers it shall have, the Mode of Elections, the Duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such Bodies may be called; the powers which the executive part of the Government shall have; and, in fine, every thing that relates to the compleat organization of a civil government, and the principles upon which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A Constitution, therefore, is to a Government what the laws made afterwards by that Government are to a Court of Judicature. The Court of Judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the Government is in like manner governed by the Constitution.”
The Constitution is the law which we the people imposed upon those whom we elect to represent us. It is what distinguishes us from a democracy, because those whom we elect cannot do whatever they choose in our behalf, nor can they do what a majority of the people wish them to do. They can ONLY do what the Constitution says they can do, and anything that goes beyond those specifically delegated powers is usurpation. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are a few out there who do not understand what usurpation means. To usurp something means to take and keep something without the right to do so. So when our government assumes powers which are not among those specifically granted them by the people, it has usurped powers, and since the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land, by usurping powers not delegated to it, our government has committed a crime against the people.
It does not matter that a majority of the people desire that their government overstep its authority so that it may do things which they believe serves the general welfare, or is for the common good, legally they cannot do so. In1866 the Supreme Court ruled that “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)
So, if our government is not one of unlimited power; if it enact laws because a majority of the people ask it to, is there any way of finding out what exactly is the purpose for which our government was established? In fact there is, and it is by simply be reading the preamble. I’m sure many people would recognize the preamble, but do they really know what purpose it serves? A preamble is defined as a preliminary statement, especially the introduction to a formal document that serves to explain its purpose.
Former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story said this about preambles, “The importance of examining the preamble, for the purpose of expounding the language of a statute, has been long felt, and universally conceded in all juridical discussions. It is an admitted maxim in the ordinary course of the administration of justice, that the preamble of a statute is a key to open the mind of the makers, as to the mischiefs, which are to be remedied, and the objects, which are to be accomplished by the provisions of the statute.”
However, Story goes on to say, “And, here, we must guard ourselves against an error, which is too often allowed to creep into the discussions upon this subject. The preamble never can be resorted to, to enlarge the powers confided to the general government, or any of its departments. It cannot confer any power per se; it can never amount, by implication, to an enlargement of any power expressly given. It can never be the legitimate source of any implied power, when otherwise withdrawn from the constitution. Its true office is to expound the nature, and extent, and application of the powers actually conferred by the constitution, and not substantively to create them.”
The preamble to our Constitution 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.”
Justice Story sums it up by saying, “The design is to establish a form of government. This, of itself, imports legal obligation, permanence, and uncontrollability by any, but the authorities authorized to alter, or abolish it. The object was to secure the blessings of liberty to the people, and to their posterity.”
In short, it was created by us and those who are employed by us to serve as our representatives are bound by its legal constraints, and the only people who can enlarge the powers granted government are authorities authorized to alter or abolish the Constitution…the people. As George Washington said, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”
So why have I just wasted two pages trying to re-explain something I have gone over before? It’s simple, because people simply don’t understand that by their government going beyond the powers that granted it by the Constitution the tables have turned and instead of the people being the sovereign which tells the government what it can and cannot do, it has become the sovereign telling us what we can and cannot do. Daniel Webster once said that “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” In our case, if those whom we elect cease being accountable to the people, if they cease upholding the law and instead pass laws which limits the very liberty the Constitution was written to protect, then they have become our masters. And if they are the masters it can only mean that WE are the slaves.
God gave us all brains and our Founders gave us all the information we would need to maintain our republic in a state of vigor. All we had to do was study the writings of those great men who established our republic, and apply those principles and America would remain the land of the free and the home of the brave.
In an 1830 letter to A. Stevenson, James Madison wrote, “As the people of the United States enjoy the great merit of having established a system of Government on the basis of human rights, and of giving it a form without example, which, as they believe, unites the greatest national strength with the best security for public order and individual liberty, they owe to themselves, to their posterity and to the world, a preservation of the system in its purity, its symmetry, and its authenticity.”
Madison, in his Memorial and Remonstrance, furthermore stated, “The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”
In his farewell address, our nation’s first president George Washington said, “Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts.”
Thomas Jefferson once said that “The government created by this compact 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.”
Unfortunately for our country to remain a republic the rule of law must remain as the most important thing in the hearts and minds of the people. Otherwise the government can, and will pass laws in accordance to the wishes and desires of the majority, plainly put, our nation will become a democracy…something our Founders feared and detested.
And as is attributed to a Scotsman named Tytler, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.” You tell me, with our current national debt hovering around $17.5 trillion, was Tytler right, or was he wrong?
On top of our government spending us into a black hole we may never climb out of, they have done irrevocable damage to the Bill of Rights which amended the Constitution to protect certain rights from governmental infringement.
Going back to James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance, Madison declared, “The preservation of a free government requires, not merely that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained, but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great barrier which defends the rights of the people.
The rulers who are guilty of such encroachment exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are tyrants. The people who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them and are slaves.”
In the 1943 case of West Virginia Board of Education vs. Barnette, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson ruled “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”
I mentioned a few moments ago that God gave us all brains. Could we all pause a moment and use them? What do you think Justice Jackson meant when he said that our rights are beyond the reach of majorities and officials? When he said that our rights cannot be submitted to a vote he meant it. As former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black said, “It is my belief that there are ‘absolutes’ in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant and meant their prohibitions to be ‘absolutes.'”
Our government, including the Courts are under solemn oath to protect our rights against all violations. Yet going back to the period following the ratification of the Constitution there were some who feared the power of the courts. Chief among them was Thomas Jefferson who said, “If [as the Federalists say] “the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government,” … , then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de so. … The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they may please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law …”
Years later Justice Hugo Black would say, “In my judgment the people of no nation can lose their liberty so long as a Bill of Rights like ours survives and its basic purposes are conscientiously interpreted, enforced and respected so as to afford continuous protection against old, as well as new, devices and practices which might thwart those purposes. I fear to see the consequences of the Court’s practice of substituting its own concepts of decency and fundamental justice for the language of the Bill of Rights as its point of departure in interpreting and enforcing that Bill of Rights.”
So when the First Amendment says that we have the right to freely exercise our religion then the courts cannot rule prayer unconstitutional simply because it offends someone. When the Second Amendment says that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, it means that no legislative body may enact any law which limits what type weapon we may own, what capacity magazine we might own, and demand that we obtain a permit to carry them or even to register them with the government. When the Fourth Amendment says that we have the right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects it meant that without a warrant the NSA cannot spy on us without a warrant, the TSA cannot subject us to searches without a warrant, and that DHS cannot look at our banking transactions or other personal affairs without a warrant. When the Fifth Amendment says that No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime without a presentment or indictment at a grand jury, then all people shall have the right to face their accuser and be presented an opportunity to hear the charges leveled against them. That means no indefinite detentions at Gitmo…And that also applies for the Sixth Amendment.
You see, our government, at all levels, is guilty of trampling all over rights that were supposed to beyond their reach. And aside from a few vocal patriots, we have sat back and let it happen because we are afraid. Afraid of crazy people owning guns and going on a wild shooting spree; afraid of the next terrorist attack. Well, Ben Franklin once said that “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” And James Madison said, “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”
Yet I see people all the time saying that their political party is better than the other one, or that if we could just get this one guy into office, or if we could prevent someone else from getting elected, that we could save our country and our Constitution. BULLSHIT!!!! Our Constitution has already been shredded. What we have now is just a circus sideshow designed to give us the illusion that we still have some say left in how things are run in this country.
In his dissenting opinion of Olmstead v. U.S., Justice Louis d. Brandeis said, “Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.”
In conclusion, we are, or we were at least, a government of laws, a republic where the people we elected were our servants, limited in their actions by the Constitution. Those days are long gone as both the people, and the government, no longer give a rats ass about what limits the Constitution imposes upon the government, and what rights said government was established to safeguard.
Our government has put itself above the law and in so doing has elevated itself from servant to master. We have become slaves to tyrants, and to the debt that they have created providing us all these benefits that we so eagerly sought from them. I hope your damned good and happy. As Samuel Adams said, “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 that hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”