C’mon Neal, Tell Us How You Really Feel

As a preface, this article is the consolidation of three or four different ideas that have been running around inside my head for few days. It wasn’t until yesterday though that I got an e-mail which provided the thread to tie them all together. So without further ado…

Yesterday I read an article which stated that Sirius XM, the satellite, commercial free, radio station had dropped the Glenn Beck show from their listings. While I’m no fan of Glenn Beck, (I think he is just another lackey who found a niche and is making a fortune spouting his views of conservatism), I believe we all have the right to speak what is on our mind without fear of censorship.

The funny thing is though that it was not something Beck said which caused Sirius to drop his show; it was something stated by one of his guests. From what I’ve read, fiction author Brad Thor was on the Glenn Beck show awhile back and it was something Thor said which caused Sirius to drop Beck’s radio show.

I’m a fan of Thor’s books but that does not mean I agree totally with everything he says. You should know me well enough by now that if someone says something I don’t agree with, I will make my opposition known. You should also know by now that I have no intention of voting for president in the upcoming election; if not you have not been paying attention to what I’ve been saying. That said, do not for a minute think that because I do not intend to vote I am not paying attention to what the candidates for president are doing and saying.

So, what did Brad Thor say that caused Sirius to drop the Glenn Beck show from their lineup? I will have to paraphrase what Mr. Thor said so as not to take up too much space, but he posed a hypothetical question which asked; What could be done if Trump were elected and he were to overstep his authority as president? Thor continued by saying that with a spineless Congress what patriot would come forward to remove Trump from office. Remember, those aren’t Thor’s exact words.

Some took Thor’s comments to mean, “Who would step up and assassinate Trump if he overstepped his authority as president?” I don’t see what he said in that light; I think he was asking what options would the people have to remove a sitting president if Congress lacked the courage to impeach him?

Thor has been rather outspoken in his comments opposing Trump. While he and I may not agree with who would be a better choice for president, I think we are on the same page when it comes to our concerns over a Trump presidency.

I think deep down Trump is somewhat of a bully who likes to push his weight around. That might be acceptable as a businessman, but not as a president. I don’t think Trump would take too kindly to Congress opposing his plans for America and would seek to do an end run around them; assuming undelegated powers of an almost dictatorial nature.

I have heard many an argument in favor of Trump which says something along the lines that Obama is just as guilty of exercising unconstitutional powers as president; frequently stating that he doesn’t need Congress, he has a pen and a phone. Whatever happened to the old saying, two wrongs don’t make a right? You have to remember, as much as I despise Barack Obama, he came across with a lot more finesse than Donald Trump does. Obama wooed the voters with his promises of Hope and Change like a man seducing a woman. Trump comes across like a bull in a china shop and it is my belief that he could be just as, if not more dangerous than, Obama.

I gotta give Trump credit, he knows how to read the sentiments of this nation and he has played to them like a virtuoso playing to a sold out audience. Many in the ranks of the GOP are tired of their party condescending to the Democrats and abandoning what they believe to be traditional conservative values. Trump has picked up on these sentiments and run with them; taking him all the way to the presumed Republican nominee for president; that is if they don’t pull some shenanigans in the Republican Convention and try to shut him out.

Unfortunately, and this goes for both sides of the political spectrum, the Constitution places boundaries between the powers given the president and the powers given Congress. Nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE in the Constitution does the power to write law rest with the office of the president; that power belongs solely to Congress.

The president may make suggestions to Congress, and he may veto laws sent to him by Congress, but he cannot do a single thing when it comes to enacting any of the promises he campaigned upon without legislation being sent to him by Congress.

Obama has been guilty of stretching that boundary which separates the power given the office which he holds and the power given Congress; it is my fear, and apparently that of Mr. Thor, that Trump would obliterate that boundary and assume almost dictatorial powers to get what he wanted. Mr. Thor simply asked what recourse would the people have if that happened.

Impeachment is always an option, but as Thor said, Congress is feckless and spineless. I don’t think most people even realize how impeachment proceedings work in this country. Do they know that the House has to first vote to bring charges against someone, then the Senate hears the evidence and delivers a verdict? Do they realize that only twice in our nation’s history has an indictment of impeachment been brought against a sitting president; and both times they were acquitted by the Senate.

Once was in 1868 against president Andrew Johnson, and the other was against Bill Clinton in 1998. Yet both times the Senate did not convict the president of the charges brought against them; so the odds of them impeaching Trump were he to overstep his authority are slim to nonexistent. Then again you never know; with all the opposition Trump faces from both sides of the political spectrum he might be the first president to actually be removed from office by impeachment. But what if that does not happen; what options are left to the people to remove a sitting president who violates the authority granted the office which he, or she for that matter, holds?

This is a question that I have been asking myself; although on a much larger scale. Instead of limiting my concerns to what we might do to remove a president who oversteps his authority, I have been asking what can a country do when government as a whole oversteps its authority?

I have been writing, and researching, for long enough that I have seen and heard various proposals tossed around. I have heard talk of the 10th Amendment movement in which the States simply refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws within their borders. I have heard talk about jury nullification and how the people can nullify the actions of government by simply refusing to render a guilty verdict in cases in which a person is charged with what jurors believe to be unconstitutional laws.

I have heard talk of an Article 5 Convention, or a Con Con as it is commonly called. This option is one in which Constitutional Amendments are proposed which could range from a balanced budget amendment to further limits upon the powers granted government. There are many categories of Article 5 conventions; ranging from limiting the convention to specific tasks all the way to giving them unlimited authority to propose any amendment the convention deems necessary.

I do not like the idea of an Article 5 convention; even if it is promised that they will act only in regards to specific issues. After all, wasn’t that the same thing the convention which produced our Constitution was supposed to do; simply amend the Articles of Confederation? I believe that with, a) the ignorance of many people regarding the purpose for which government should exist, and b) the steadfast adherence to party over principle, having a convention to amend the Constitution would be like opening Pandora’s Box.

Then, just the other day, someone said the answer has been there all along, and it is found in the Declaration of Independence, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Have people forgotten that option was already tried? After all, was that not what the Civil War was, regardless of what the reasons for it where; a group of States deciding to throw off their government and establish one which provided new guards for their future security? That didn’t end well for those who attempted it, did it?

You have to realize what government is; it is power. Whether that power be delegated, as it is in our case, or assumed, as in when a dictator takes control of a nation, it all boils down to power over others. Lord Acton supposedly said that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” While that may be true, I think power also tends to draws those who are easily corruptible. I also believe that power, once gained, is never relinquished without a fight.

Didn’t Ronald Reagan, the darling of the conservatives, once say, “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” There is a lot of truth to that regardless of my feelings concerning the former president.

Honestly though, it all boils down to what people want/expect from government. If you want government to create jobs, provide benefits, keep you safe and secure from any threats, then you are going to get government that exceeds the powers granted it.

Patrick Henry once said, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.” If liberty is not the sole guiding force behind every decision you make when it comes to whom you will vote for and which legislation you support, then government will continue to amass more power; further reducing your liberty until one day awake to find that you have no rights whatsoever.

People always ask me what we can do to fix this country. How many times have I been tempted to scream at them, “WE CAN’T DO A THING UNTIL YOU STOP ASKING GOVERNMENT TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THE CONSTITUTION AUTHORIZES IT TO DO!”

In 1944 Judge Billings Learned Hand delivered a speech in which he said, “What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.”

On the surface we have a Constitutional Republic in which our government represents the people and the States with certain specific powers. Underneath we have a cross between an Oligarchy and a Democracy. The Oligarchy part is the government by a few who exercise whatever power they feel the country needs. The Democracy part is where regardless of whether something our government does violates the law, if the majority approves of it then it is accepted and obeyed.

When liberty is no longer the driving force in people’s lives there is little that we can do to fix anything. That is why I do not support Trump, Hillary, Bernie or any of the other candidates; because each and every one of them seeks to broaden the powers given government and also which overstep the authority granted the office they seek.

Until you get that point through your thick skulls, stop asking me what can be done to fix America; because in truth, YOU are the problem. As long as we remain divided along party lines, along this side of an issue over that, and we put liberty on the back burner as something of little consequence, nothing will change.

To quote Patrick Henry one more time, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else: But I am fearful I have lived long enough to become an fellow: Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man, may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old fashioned: If so, I am contented to be so: I say, the time has been when every pore of my heart beat for American liberty, and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American…”

And finally, nowhere is the following quote by Samuel Adams more fitting than right here, “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 the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

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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