“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President.”
The quote above was originally circulated on the internet as having originated in a Czech newspaper. This has proven to be untrue, no one knows where it came from or who said it.
Does that matter?
You could have said it, I could have said it, hell, the guy who drives the truck who picks up your garbage could have said it. I’T DOESN’T MATTER WHO SAID IT! The important thing is that it is true.
French diplomat Joseph de Maistre once wrote that in a democracy the people get the government they deserve. That is so true. In a country where the people are allowed to vote for their leaders the government they get is simply a reflection of the attitudes and desires of a majority of the people.
Years ago, when our country was first getting established, a group of very wise and knowledgeable men were responsible for establishing they system of government we now live under. They did not always see eye to eye on things, but they worked together and compromised to create our nation’s Constitution.
The resulting document was a careful balance of powers with a legislative branch which provided the people, (via the House of Representatives), and the States, (via the Senate) a say in which laws would be passed. It established an executive to see that the laws were faithfully executed, and a judiciary to settle all disputes under this Constitution.
The Constitution is a law which we all must obey. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times, but the earliest ruling by the Court on the matter came in Ex Parte Milligan in 1866 where the court ruled, “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.”
What do you think would happen if there were no laws whatsoever in this country? Why there would be anarchy and chaos. People could rob, rape, and kill you without any fear of punishment.
The very first governments were simply tribal councils or elders who settled disputes among the people. But in forming a government that would govern over 13 States whose people held differing beliefs, economies, and ideologies, it was crucial that those creating said government put down in writing the purpose, the structure, and the limitations upon said government.
That is how our Constitution came into existence. Constitution is merely a derivative of the word constitute, which means, “to make up or form something; to establish or create.” The people of this country created the government which governs them. That is clearly stated in the Preamble to the Constitution, which is merely a declarative statement of purpose, nothing more. The Preamble grants no powers, it merely states intent.
Therefore, 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 defense, 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.”
Included in the Constitution was a Bill of Rights, a set of provisions which restricted government from enacting any laws which violated the rights defined within the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
If you recall from a moment ago I asked what would happen if there were no laws? Well what do you think would happen if everyone simply ignored the law? Again, anarchy and chaos would reign…there would be no justice.
Such is the state in American politics today. The Supreme Law of the Land is not adhered to by the people, nor by those they elect to represent them in the government it established.
Regardless of what you have been told, America was not established as a democracy. Democracies were despised by the men who drafted our Constitution and acted as our first Chief Executives…i.e. presidents. To a man, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison hated democracies; they realized that they were nothing more than pure mob rule and there were no safeguards for our rights and liberty under them.
As our Pledge of Allegiance clearly states, this nation is a Republic. A republic is defined as: “a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.”
Our Founders knew that a democracy was untenable for our nation. The people were scattered too far and wide to allow them to gather together to pass and execute the law. Also they knew that with the disparity in beliefs and economies that the people would probably never be able to come to any kind of agreement on which laws should be passed and which ones rejected. Therefore they created a Republic in which elected representatives governed on our behalf. These representatives were to be accountable to the people and were bound by the constraints of the Constitution as to what they could enact laws upon. The Bill of Rights placed further restrictions upon government, ensuring that our rights would remain safe and secure.
Our very first president, in his very first Inaugural Address, stated, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” You see, it was an experiment, an experiment to see if men could govern themselves while at the same time preserving “…the sacred fire of liberty…”, and we have failed.
You see, for our system to work as intended there are three things that must occur. First the system must remain pure. Any modifications, or alterations to the balance of power and the system would eventually fail. That occurred with the passage of the 17th Amendment and the subsequent loss of the States say in government.
Secondly, the people must know their system of government, and by that I mean a complete understanding of the Constitution, and the reasons why it was established the way it was. That has not happened as the general public is woefully ignorant as to what the Constitution says. Go ahead, just ask anyone to tell you what any of the Articles of the Constitution concern and see if they can tell you.
And finally, for our system to endure there must be a respect for the law, or in this case, the Constitution. This is reliant upon the people first knowing what the law says, and then adhering to it. Again, this has not happened.
So what we get is the government we have today, a government that cares little for the constraints placed upon it by a 200 yr old parchment. Government today no longer represents the people of this country, nor cares about preserving their liberty.
And whose fault is this? Why ours of course. We elect these people and we are supposed to hold them accountable for upholding their oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution. This we have not done.
In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.”
So we come almost full circle to my opening quote about fools electing Barack Obama. You can flip flop back and forth between Republican candidates and Democrats as much as you like and nothing is going to change for the better until you begin comparing what ALL candidates say against what the Constitution says. That should be the true measure of a candidates worth, not how many promises they make for you.
But there is one final quote I’d like to leave you with. It is said that a man named Alexander Fraser Tytler said it, although that has been disputed. Nonetheless the quote bears consideration, “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.”
Well we’ve passed the 200 yr mark, and although we still exist as a country we are far from the land of the free and the home of the brave established by our Founders in 1789.
To conclude I would like to leave you with the remainder of Tytler’s quote and see if you can determine where on the timeline he writes you feel America is today. I’ll leave that determination up to you, but my own personal opinion is that we are much farther along than most of you are willing to admit.
Tytler concluded his quote by saying, “Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”