It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. ~Mark Twain~
At some point in your life you have probably heard on the news of some scandal involving a politician where accusations, or actual charges, of criminal activity were brought against them. Numerous members of Congress, as well as others within the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been found guilty of evading taxes. Bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, are among the more common crimes found on the rap sheets of these honorable men and women we elect to represent us, and I use the term honorable in the purest of sarcastic sense.
Back in 1921 Justice Louis D. Brandies ruled, “At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.” In simple terms, the Court ruled that our elected representatives are not above the law, that they have to follow the same rules that we do.
But you see, there is one thing that many people fail to consider, these men and women who hold office in our government all have taken an oath, as required by the Constitution, to defend…THE CONSTITUTION. This is true for both state and federal officials. Article 6 of the Constitution states: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The current oath, which hasn’t changed since 1884, states, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Unless you have served in the military and have taken a similar oath there is no other job in the country which requires you to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. This oath is sacredly binding upon those who take it and those who violate it can be judged by both the people, whose faith they betray, and by God who they swear the oath to.
Why is it so important then that these men and women who represent us in office swear an oath to the Constitution? It’s just my common sense guess that it is because the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and no law written by man has any higher authority. This is clearly stated within the Constitution itself in Clause 2 of Article 6, “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, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
There is a vital fact regarding the obligation of our elected representatives to support and defend the Constitution that many Americans fail to consider; that being that although we elect them, and they are OUR representatives, they are bound by oath to only do what the Constitution authorizes them to do. Not only that, their honor, their integrity, their oath to the Constitution make them the front line defenders of our liberty and our rights. Not saying that too many of them have any honor and integrity, but the position they hold in government places them in the position of being the first in line to defend what makes/made America such a great nation. If they are the first defenders, then we the people are the last resort when our rights are being violated and our liberty threatened, but I’ll get to that concept later.
When George Washington stepped down from office as our nation’s first president under the new Constitution he delivered the first presidential farewell address. In it Washington stated, “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.”
Thirty years later, after he had also served as president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson would write a letter to an A. Stevenson wherein he stated, “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.”
You see, these men who were among the first to serve as presidents, realized that our Constitution, and the powers it grants government, were sacredly binding upon them. They realized that it was not to be tinkered with, or its provisions ignored by those whom the people elect to represent them in government. Therefore, no matter how strongly the people support an issue, if it is not within the powers granted government by the Constitution, or if it violates one of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights, it cannot legally be done by government…not without them violating the oath they take to support and defend the Constitution.
Asking those that represent you to enact a law which the Constitution prohibits them from doing is akin to asking your parents to rob a bank so that they can afford to buy you the toy you want for your birthday. You can ask, but if they do it they will be breaking the law. So it is with the laws that they pass on your behalf which the Constitution prohibits them from acting upon; they can pass them easily enough, but in doing so they are breaking the law and violating their oath of office.
Nowadays the scum who occupy the halls of power in both the state and federal government barely concern themselves with the limits the Constitution imposes upon their powers, if they even consider them at all. They pay lip service to the document, but that’s about as far as they go, their actions speak otherwise in regards to their intent.
Today in America the roles have been reversed. People think that government is this all powerful entity that can solve all their problems, provide for them the things they require in times of need, and protect them from all their greatest fears. They believe that just because the government says so, it must be written in stone and not argued with.
On the other hand, the government believes it is all powerful and knows better what is best for us than we do ourselves. It believes that its say is final and that anyone who disagrees with it is either unpatriotic, or a threat to its existence and must be dealt with accordingly.
Both views are wrong.
By writing the Constitution our Founders created the government out of nothing. It was an act of the people which built the government, and by an act of the people we could tear it down if we wanted to. The government itself would have no say in the matter. Honestly. Let’s say you hired someone to do a job for you, say maintain your yard in pristine condition. Say they do a good job for awhile but then begin slacking; the edges aren’t trimmed nicely and weeds are starting to pop up in your flower beds. You have the right to fire them and either maintain your garden yourself, or hire someone else who will do the job up to your standards.
Well that’s the same thing with government, they are our hired help, hired to do a certain number of tasks, and those tasks only. If they do them poorly we can fire them and not replace them, or get someone else to do the job better.
I’m betting you don’t know who Robert Houghwout Jackson is. Well he was a U.S. Solicitor General, a United States Attorney General, and a Supreme Court Justice. He is the ONLY man in history to hold all 3 positions during his life. Well he once said “It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.” Think about that.
Even Abraham Lincoln, whom I despise for his War of Northern Aggression and his assault upon States Rights, once said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Yet the average person in America today is so pathetically ignorant in regards to what the Constitution actually says that they couldn’t tell if the men and women they are electing to represent them are perverting the Constitution…even if the truth came up and bit them in the ass. As Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black once said, “The layman’s constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn’t like is unconstitutional.” That is simply substituting your own personal beliefs for fact…nothing more. There is no validity or justification for it.
For America to survive, at least as a free republic where the people enjoy the full exercise of their rights and liberty, the people must first understand what liberty means, then cherish and be willing to protect it against anyone who threatens it…even the government. Liberty, and I mean true liberty means you have the right to make your own choices about almost everything. BUT, as Friedrich von Hayek said in The Constitution of Liberty, “Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions… Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.”
Unfortunately people want to exercise their freedom of speech when it comes to thoughts regarding politics, but they are unaware, or disregard the truth regarding the issues they are discussing. It is like opening their mouth before putting their brains into gear. As Soren Kikerkegaard, whoever that is, once said, “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they never use.”
Getting back to the point under discussion, for America to survive as a free republic the people first must know their rights, then be willing to defend them. But, as Alexis de Tocqueville said in Democracy in America, “Another tendency, which is extremely natural to democratic nations and extremely dangerous, is that which leads them to despise and undervalue the rights of private persons. The attachment which men feel to a right, and the respect which they display for it, is generally proportioned to its importance, or to the length of time during which they have enjoyed it. The rights of private persons amongst democratic nations are commonly of small importance, of recent growth, and extremely precarious; the consequence is that they are often sacrificed without regret, and almost always violated without remorse.” Such is America today where the rights of the individual are of little concern, while the safety of society as a whole trumps all.
Unfortunately, even for you, those of us who speak the loudest about the infringements of our rights are viewed as nutcases, freaks of nature, or outright threats to society in general. You have not been taught to value your rights, your liberty, and the media and our government has gone about repeating the lie that government knows best and is all powerful. Therefore, as Carl Sagan writes, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
As our second president, John Adams, once said, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost, is lost forever.”
The point I’m trying to make here is that the whole country has been turned on its head. Those who stand for justice and liberty are now being labeled as criminals, and those who are the ones actually violating the law, (the Constitution) and the ones who say they are on the side of law and justice. It’s crazy, it truly is.
But you cannot deny the facts. The Constitution was written as an act of the people in general. It gave government certain powers and placed certain rights beyond its ability to touch. Each person in government swears a sacred oath to support the Constitution. So who is the criminal; those who violate the Constitution on an almost daily basis, or those who stand up for what it says and are willing to ignore unconstitutional laws, and fight for their rights?
That is why I no longer affiliate myself with political parties. The moment you begin following a party, regardless of the quality of candidates it produces, you have sacrificed your virtue and have placed party over principle. I do not compare Democrats against Republicans when I decide to vote for a candidate, I compare C A N D I D A T E S against the Constitution. If the candidate does not measure up then I refuse to vote for them. That is as it should be, but unfortunately it isn’t.
Just know this, the few remaining real patriots in America are growing very weary of seeing their governments increasing growth and its further tightening and restriction of our liberty. Another name you have probably never heard is the name Peter Muhlenberg. He was a Lutheran minister back in revolutionary America. Well soon something he said in a sermon he gave in January 1776 will bear repeating in America today, “There is a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight, and that time has come now.”
If that time arises again, just as Thomas Jefferson wrote in The Cause and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, our cause will be just. We will be defending liberty against tyrants. We may not win, but we WILL be on the side of right. As stated in the movie Robin Hood, “In times of tyranny and injustice the outlaw takes his place in history.” We may fight outside what the government says is the law, but as Jefferson so aptly said, “Law is often but the tyrants will.”
Just know this, should we lose, you will soon regret that we did not win. Maybe then you will realize who the true criminals are.