“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” ~Alexis de Tocqueville
I know some people must be thinking “Doesn’t Neal talk about anything else?” It must get on your nerves that I am always harping on the same subject over and over and over again. But like George W. Bush said, “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in…” I guess it just takes a lot longer for the truth to get through to some people, so I just keep hammering away at it until everyone gets it.
The thing is the things I discuss in my commentaries isn’t rocket science, it doesn’t take a PhD to understand it, it’s pretty simple. Nevertheless, let me try one more time to run through it quickly from a slightly different approach.
In 1776 a group of American Colonists got together and, after years of being mistreated by their King, wrote a document telling the King to go take a hike, that they could handle things on their own without his help, or his troops. The document that they created is called the Declaration of Independence. Of course the King didn’t like it that these petulant little colonies thought they could survive without the grace and power of the British Empire to protect them, so they fought hard to retain control over the colonies. But in the end, with help from the French, we became an independent nation. Actually we became 13 independent nation/states. Instead of one huge land mass of a United States we were 13 colonies/states, each with independent governments to run things within the confines of each state.
This led to problems as each state sought to pass laws which benefitted the inhabitants of that particular state, often imposing sanctions on trade for neighboring states that sought to sell, or transport, their goods within the borders of their neighbors. Something had to be done to regulate commerce so that it would flow smoothly throughout the young United States of America.
So, in 1787 another group of men got together in Philadelphia and debated over how to create a government which would serve as a central authority over the conglomerate of states which were the United States of America. Their charter was to reform the weak and ineffective Articles of Confederation, but they trashed those and started from scrap to create an entirely new system of government, one which would be able to regulate commerce, provide for the defense of the nation as a whole, and which would best secure the rights and liberty of all the inhabitants living within ALL the states.
What they came up with is nothing short of brilliant; the Constitution. The Constitution created a legislative body which would provide representation for both the people AND the states themselves so that both would have an equal say in the laws this government would be passing. They then created an executive, [President], to ensure the laws were faithfully enforced, and who could, upon finding fault with the laws agreed upon by Congress, veto them and send them back with his reasons for doing so.
They then created a Supreme Court whose sole job was to settle any disputes which may arise under the Constitution.
This Constitution was to be the Supreme Law of the Land, that is that is was above all other laws and treaties, it superseded them and was supreme over them. No law could be written anywhere within the United States which would go against what the Constitution says.
Of course there were those who thought the Constitution didn’t give the government ENOUGH power and there were those who thought it gave the government TOO MUCH power. To settle disputes and see that the Constitution was accepted by those who thought it gave the government too much power a Bill of Rights was one of the first things the newly created Congress did. They sent out a list of 12 Amendments to the Constitution for the consideration of the states. Ten of them were accepted by the requisite number of states and now comprise the Bill of Rights. These rights are just as binding as the powers granted within the Constitution, i.e. no one, and I mean no legislative authority can violate them.
But you see, there is one important point here that people fail to consider, that being that the people came first. THEY wrote the Constitution, they CREATED the government. The ultimate power and authority in this country does not belong to the government, as many of you believe, it rests with us, the people. As George Mason clearly stated, “In all our associations; in all our agreements let us never lose sight of this fundamental maxim – that all power was originally lodged in, and consequently is derived from, the people.”
If you think of our nation as a living entity then our Declaration of Independence is its birth certificate. And within the Declaration of Independence is one statement that EVERYONE needs to understand. As our Founders wrote that document to assert their right to sever the ties which bound them to England, they ALSO stated that “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it…”
The simple truth is that government IS NOT our master, it is our servant. We created it, we gave it certain powers, and when it oversteps those powers, or violates our rights, we have the sovereign authority to pull back on the reins or to abolish the government altogether. Government itself has no say in the matter; it is/was a creature created by the people and it can be abolished by the people with, or without, its consent.
The thing is, once government gets its hands on power it has but two goals in life. One is the increase in how much power it wields, and the second is its self-preservation. We have seen both. Government has grown in both size and scope of its powers and it has fought to retain its control over the people, [the Civil War]. Don’t fool yourself by thinking it won’t fight should we ever grow weary of it and try to dismantle it. It would gladly kill a few million of us citizens to ensure that its powers are not limited or taken from it.
So, if you were to examine what powers the people gave government, you might actually be shocked at how few powers it was given. As I said, it was given the power to raise revenue via taxation and tariffs, and that is found in the opening of Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, which states, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States…”
That is it’s power of taxation, but it is not authorized to raise, or expend for that matter, funds for anything other than the SPECIFIC powers granted the government by the people. And what are these SPECIFIC powers you ask? Glad you did, because I’m more than willing to answer. Here all the ONLY things our government is authorized to enact laws about:
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish post offices and post roads;
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;
To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
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;
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, dockyards, and other needful buildings.
And then Article 1 Section 8 closes with the following clause, “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.”
So, let’s use a simple little analogy to help you understand how government might enact law and upon what it can enact laws upon. Let’s say you want to build a house. You find a contractor who is willing to build you hour dream home and you sign a contract for the house to be built. The contract lays out all the details of the house, from the window designs to the interior layout. The contractor must be able to make purchases; lumber, wiring, paint, drywall, etc. etc. if they are to build the house to your plans. That is the purpose for the final clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It is not a grant of added power, it only grants government the power to hire, create agencies, or purchase materials to perform the SPECIFIC tasks assigned to it.
However, for the whole ball of wax to work it must not be tweaked with, and the people must care enough to keep government within the limits imposed upon it. You see, government was created to represent the will of the people, within the limits of law, and the will of the states, also within the limits of law. Nothing else. It was not designed to be a whorehouse whose members sold their souls to corporate and banking interests whose only concern was to increase their own wealth and power. Yet that is what it has become.
Whenever anyone tries to warn YOU about the abuses of power, the violation of YOUR rights, the corruption and illusion that you have any say in how government operates, they are attacked viciously as being conspiracy theorists, or as some sort of threat to the American way of life. When what we are actually doing is DEFENDING the American Way of Life. You have just been brainwashed into believing that what is going on in government today is what is SUPPOSED to be happening. If you would only take a few minutes to read the Constitution for yourself, then read the Bill of Rights, and then try to compare the two to what you see happening all around you, then you might just realize that people such as myself are not your enemies; we are the defenders of your liberty.
James Wilson, both signer to the Declaration of Independence AND the Constitution, once said, “The enemies of liberty are artful and insidious…liberty herself is treated as a traitor and an usurper…Against these enemies of liberty, who act in concert…the patriot citizen will keep a watchful guard.”
That’s what we are, the watchmen who stand guard over your liberty and we have been screaming bloody murder for a very long time, only to have our warnings fall upon deaf ears. YOU, the American people could care less; you are too busy being E N T E R T A I N E D to worry about something as trivial as whether or not your rights are being violated or the national debt is so large it threatens to bring about the complete collapse of society. You could care less that banking and corporate interests control government, tell it what laws to pass and which ones not to pass. In short, YOU COULD CARE LESS ABOUT AMERICA!
I grow so weary of repeating myself to people who are either too blind to see the truth that is right in front of their eyes, or too apathetic to care. Yet persevere I must because it is MY LIBERTY that is at stake as well, and that is not something I intend to give up without a fight.
I will leave you now with two final quotes to consider.
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.
You may not care, but I do. As did many of those I consider friends, we all swore an oath to defend the Constitution and, unlike many of you reading this, defending our Constitution and our rights still mean something to us. So I will go on repeating myself until I’m blue in the face if I must. I will go on writing these commentaries even if NO ONE is reading them. AND I will take up arms to defend my liberty, and yours as well, (even if you don’t care enough about it to do it yourself). For what good is life if you have not the freedom to enjoy it. As the old saying declares, I’d rather live free or die.