Let’s Do Some Critical Thinking

Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have
perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a
distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.

~James Madison~

Is that what we have, and have had for quite some time; an illegitimate government? I think you already know how I would answer that question; the question is how would you answer it? People take for granted that government is there; regardless of whether they consider it to be a huge cancerous entity that destroys liberty, or a benevolent body which provides us with all these great benefits.

It wasn’t always like this you know; there was a time when this country had no government to destroy liberty or provide you all these benefits you take for granted. An inquisitive mind might ask; how then did government come into existence; what were the reasons men created our system of government and for what exact purposes did they do so. Again, that is if a person has an inquisitive mind.

To discover the who, what, when, where, why and how our government came into existence one must look to history; and not the sugar coated revised version you are taught in schools. If one wishes to begin this quest for the truth one must be willing to admit that everything they had been led to believe about the creation of their government, and the purposes for which it was created, may be a lie. It takes a unique mindset to be willing to accept that everything you thought you knew is untrue. But if you’re up to the task the truth can be quite liberating and enlightening.

The United States of America was conceived years before our Constitution was ever written. Its conception occurred when men who valued their rights as freemen decided that the actions of their government were harmful to their liberty and they actively resisted these violations of what they considered to be their Natural Rights. Its birth was when the Colonists united together to fight a common enemy, [their government], and wrote a universal declaration stating the reasons they were doing so. This country was not founded by the Constitution, it was founded by the Declaration of Independence; and you would do well to learn what that document says about the nature of government.

The Declaration of Independence states; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” It is upon these principles that any, and all, systems of government within the United States must rest.

The Constitution itself was an act of free and independent people constituting what some felt was a system of government to best meet their needs as free and independent States. It was no easy task for James Madison and his cohorts to get the Constitution ratified by the people; there was staunch opposition and it was not always certain that it would be accepted by the required number of States. Yet it finally was adopted and our system of government came into existence. Although, taking into consideration that it was an act of the people creating a system of government, and the Declaration of Independence states that government derives its just powers from the people, and that at any time it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, then one must keep in mind that government is not our master in all things; only our servant in regards to certain specific tasks.

Forty years after the Constitution went into effect James Madison wrote a letter to Andrew Stevenson in which he said, “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.”

Can you honestly say that the government we live under today reflects the government outlined in the Constitution? Can you say that our current government is pure and authentic? If you answer yes you are delusional. Yet the vast majority of the people of this country simply accept things as they are; and worse, they call people such as me, who decry the abuses of power and the loss of liberty, radicals and nutcases. It’s insane how far we’ve sunk as a people descended from those who fought to free themselves from tyranny.

Yet here we are, a nation of constitutionally functionally illiterate people going about voting and making decisions as to what laws we support, and which we oppose, without knowing the first thing about what the Constitution says are the powers granted our government. It has gotten so bad here in America that those who stand their ground and vote for principle are told that they are wasting their votes, or letting so and so win. I’m sure that the souls of our Founders are looking down upon the nation they helped establish with sadness and disgust.

Ya’ll know by now I love inserting movie quotes into my articles to use as analogies and metaphors; therefore I am reminded of the scene in the Matrix when Neo tells Morpheus that he knows what Morpheus is trying to do. Morpheus responds by saying, “I’m trying to free your mind.” That’s all I am doing by writing these little…well, sometimes long, rants; trying to free your minds from the lies you have been told. I’m not deliberately trying to piss you off; although there are times I become mighty frustrated with you and my frustration comes across in my writings.

In its purest form our system of government was established with 3 branches; each with distinct and separate powers. The Legislative Branch, or Congress, was to be the lawmaking body of our government and the power to enact laws was confined to the specific powers found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution; nothing more, nothing less.

Today our government’s power has expanded due to a bastardized interpretation of the phrase ‘general welfare’ and a loose interpretation of the Commerce and the Necessary and Proper Clauses of the Constitution.

On April 20, 1831 James Madison wrote yet another letter, this time to James Robertson, wherein he states, “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Years prior, in 1792 to be exact, a bill was introduced into Congress to provide bounties, [modern day subsidies] to Cod fisheries. In opposition to the bill a much younger James Madison said the following, “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress… Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”

I have numerous other examples of how, not only Madison, but other Founders believed the powers granted government were clearly defined and outlined within the Constitution; and to take a single step beyond them was to take a step down the pathway which led but one place…tyranny. Yet were I to include them all here this would end up being so long people would not read it. However, I believe I have made the case that the powers granted government by the Constitution are much more limited than people today believe them to be.

You have to realize the situation in America at the time our Constitution was being argued. The States were sovereign entities, joined together in a loose confederation for their mutual benefit. In some ways they were just like Europe with the countries of Spain, England, France, Germany, Italy, and others joined together to mutually benefit each other while still retaining their independence and sovereignty.

Therefore, for any system of government to be legitimate, whose powers would affect them, the States themselves would have to be represented in it and have some say in what laws were passed. That is the purpose for which the Congress was divided into two houses; the House of Representatives to give voice to the people, and the Senate to be the voice of the States. Each had a check on the power of the other to control and resist any impetuous acts or legislation introduced by either.

Madison wanted a much stronger government than the one he got. He wanted it to have an absolute veto over any and all laws enacted by the various State Legislatures but sounder minds prevailed and limited the federal government’s authority. In fact, years later both he and Jefferson would write the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions which declared that the States had the right to nullify laws enacted by the federal government; a reversal of his earlier position that the federal government be allowed to nullify State laws it did not agree with.

However, with the ratification of the 17th Amendment the States were effectively shut out of the operation of the federal government; being reduced to mere subordinates to it instead of co-equal sovereigns. And yet people still have the gall to say our system remains pure and authentic?

Then there is the Executive Branch, or Office of the President. The President has no lawmaking authority; he can only make recommendations for Congress to consider. This is quite the opposite of our current Executive Officer, who has said that if he cannot get Congress to do his bidding he has a pen and a phone. The job of the Executive is to…well…execute the laws. Sure, he can veto those laws which he disagrees with, but Congress can always override his veto with a large enough percentage of both houses of Congress. The job of the President is to run the nation, not make the laws. His job is to ensure that the revenue collected is spent wisely and effectively for the purpose of ensuring the legitimate acts of the government are followed by the nation’s constituent parts; the States and the people.

However, for the most part the acts of the federal government were not to affect the people directly; a fact stated by James Madison in Federalist 45, “The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government; whilst the latter is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the former…. 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. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Again Madison referenced the fact that the States themselves are essential parts in the pure and authentic operation of the federal government. Getting back to the powers given the president, nowhere among those powers is the power to decide whether to send our Armed Forces to fight; that power rests solely with Congress and there is an old legal maxim which states, delegata potestas non potest delegari, or a delegated power cannot be further delegated.

The Constitution itself is but a charter of specific powers delegated to the federal government; whether it by the people or the States leaves the question unanswered as to whether we have a federal or a national system of government. Yet once delegated to a specific branch of the federal government that branch cannot decide to further delegate that power; since in so doing it erases the boundaries between the branches of our government.

Therefore the President cannot declare war, or send troops hither to fight whomever he decrees to be our enemy. As George Washington once said, “The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”

Congress also has the power and authority to coin money and regulate the value thereof; yet nowhere is it within their authority, except by a loose interpretation of the Necessary and Proper Clause, that they can give the power of creating our nation’s money supply to a privately owned and operated bank. Yet they have done so…repeatedly; the most recent in 1913 with the creation of the FED.

Yet you still say our system is pure and authentic?

Then there is the Judiciary, the Supreme Court, or the Nine Black Robed Tyrants as I like to call them. The purpose of the Supreme Court, its reason for existence, was to settle disputes which arose under the Constitution. The Constitution was to be the law which they applied in cases in which they held jurisdiction. However, not only are they now settling disputes under the Constitution, they are determining what the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights mean.

Thirty short years after our Constitution went into effect Thomas Jefferson noticed the strides to which the Judiciary had taken to undermine the limited powers granted government. In a letter to Thomas Ritchie, Jefferson wrote the following, “The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working underground to undermine our Constitution from a co-ordinate of a general and special government to a general supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet. … I will say, that “against this every man should raise his voice,” and, more, should uplift his arm …”

Even Alexander Hamilton, the man who gave us our first national bank, said the following about the Judiciary, “In the first place, there is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State.” (Federalist 81)

Today the rulings passed down by the Supreme Court are deemed the final word on all matters of a Constitutional nature; higher even than the Constitution itself. It is through the Court’s loose interpretation, or construction, of the Commerce Clause that many an unconstitutional law has been given the Courts stamp of approval. It is by their construction that they have not declared the right of the people to keep and bear arms is final, that no law passed which violates this right is constitutional. More often than not the SCOTUS is swayed more than current mindset and beliefs than it is by the original intent of those who wrote the Constitution.

And STILL you have the nerve to say our system is pure and authentic!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” That was written over 180 years ago, but it may as well have been written today as it describes America to a T.

How this came about is multi-faceted and would take far more time and space than I care to devote to it; yet I can give you a few things to think about. The first is a decline in the virtue of the people of this country. In a speech given on the floor of the Virginia Ratification Assembly, James Madison declared, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

Our country was founded by men, and based upon principles held by those men. If the preceding generations begin to disregard those principles, and replace them with their own personal prejudices and predilections, then is it any wonder our system of government does not change as well? Is it any wonder that our system of government has gone from one with limited power over the lives of the people to one which regulates and controls nearly every aspect of our lives?

If the people of a country ignore the history of their country, and the basic principles upon which it was founded, it is inevitable that the rulers of that country will seek to expand their power over the people, until the people get to the point where their lives become so miserable that they resist and seek to restore their liberty. America has not yet reached that point…but we are getting close, very close.

The next is the emergence, and growth of, political parties. If you were to research the history of political parties you would come to the period of history when George Washington was president. There was a division in his cabinet between two men; Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton felt the Constitution was a loose outline of what government should be, with room for interpretation as to the powers granted government. Jefferson was of the mind that our Constitution was specific as to the powers granted government, and that government should not take one step beyond those powers.

If you look through history you will often see Democrats referred to as Jeffersonian Democrats, or later, Jacksonian Democrats. On the other hand the Republicans are often referred to as the Party of Lincoln; the man who destroyed State sovereignty and trashed the Declaration of Independence; placing the will of the federal government above the will of the people or the States once and for all.

John Adams once expressed his fears regarding political parties, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

In a letter to Francis Hopkinson, Thomas Jefferson writes regarding his not belonging to the Federalist Party thusly, “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in any thing else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Political parties serve to divide the people of a country along party lines, disregarding the very principles upon which our system of government was established. The party with the most followers wins; end of story. So instead of having a Republic; a system of government where representation takes place in lieu of the people themselves participating in making the laws, and where the rule of law is the first consideration in what laws the government enacts, we have become a democracy in which the majority gets what they want.

Even Madison, who originally favored a much stronger central government, despised democracy, “Democracy is the most vile form of government. … democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

Political parties have allowed for the funneling of money, and influence, into government by special interests. For the longest time the Republicans were the puppets of big business and Wall Street while the Democrats were the puppets of every special interest group such as the abortion rights movement, the gay rights movement, and others that catered to rights clamored for by individual groups. But today those lines have blurred and both parties are often guilty of playing both sides of the fence and taking money from whomever seeks to influence the votes of Congress, or the direction our government takes on things which concern them.

This allows the parties to decide who gets elected. In today’s world, unless you are independently wealthy, like Donald Trump, or have an extremely large grassroots following, like Ron Paul did, you do not stand a chance of getting elected. The party machinery is needed to support and coordinate a campaign for office; especially the presidency. Therefore anyone seeking to run for office must toe the party line, or be cut off from the necessary funds and support.

It is also why such weight is brought to bear against anyone from the outside who begins to gain traction and support among the people. The party’s cannot allow any outsider to get into a position to undo the damage they have done.

I could go into much more detail as to how there has been, since the very first day our government went into existence, a concerted plan to bring about our downfall. But this is already probably way too long to keep the attention of the average reader; so I’ll end it now.

All I’m basically saying is that if you want to know what’s wrong with America; if you want to fix what’s wrong with America, you are going to have to put down your cell phones, turn off your TV’s and use that grey matter between your ears.

I know of many people who spend a great deal of money to buy memberships in gyms so that they can build muscle, or get into shape. It takes effort to achieve those goals and they are worth it. But your mind is like a muscle too; if you don’t use it then it will atrophy and wither. Critical thinking is not easy; but with practice it BECOMES EASY. I suggest you start doing some critical thinking before they make it illegal as they have done to the rest of your rights.
And there you have it, the short and sweet version of what’s wrong in America today. I know this may not seem short to some of you whose attention spans run the length of time between commercial breaks between TV shows, but believe me when I say, I could have made this MUCH longer.

But don’t fret; what I skipped today I can always write about tomorrow…

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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