Before I begin there are a few words that are essential you understand the meaning of it you are to understand the things I am about to say; a prerequisite of sorts. Therefore, as an introduction I would like to provide you with a short list of these words which are crucial that you understand.
Cede: (verb) To give control of (something) to another person, group, government, etc.
Infringe: (verb) To do something that does not obey or follow (a rule, law, etc.): to wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person’s rights)
Inherent: (adjective) Belonging to the basic nature of someone or something
Oppression: (noun) unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power: something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power.
Sovereignty: (noun) Supreme power especially over a body politic: freedom from external control.
Tyranny: (noun) Cruel and oppressive government rule: cruel, unreasonable or arbitrary use of power or control.
Unalienable: (adjective) Impossible to take away or give up.
Now that you have an understanding of these words, let’s begin at the beginning.
In the beginning there was man and man was free of any power and authority. Man could do whatever he wanted with the only limitation on his ability to do so being the ability of another man to use force to stop him. Man was also 100% responsible for his own survival. If he did not forage or hunt; he died. If he did not seek out, or build shelter, he suffered the severity of the weather.
Under these conditions man’s existence was unsure and unpredictable. That is why man entered into civil societies; with the first civil societies being simple tribes of men banded together. These men would hunt of forage together and would fight against those who sought to take from them the things they had which the others did not.
Although man now enjoyed the strength of numbers, his life was still uncertain. Eventually rudimentary governments came into existence; typically a tribal leader who settled disputes and established certain codes by which the tribe lived by.
Over the course of man’s existence government has taken many shapes and has undergone many changes. Then in the year 1776 something miraculous happened. A group of men decided to apply revolutionary new ideas towards their rights and the purposes for which governments should exist to their situation in life. These men, living under the rule of a monarch, decided to severe the ties which bound them to their system of government and become completely free and independent. Of course government was not so ready to let them go; especially considering it was profitable for government to keep them under its rule. So a war was fought to determine whether man had the right to decide for himself what form of government they would produce for themselves.
Upon obtaining their independence these men, these 13 Colonies, became, for all intents and purposes, free and independent nations. However, the absolute or sovereign power was where it rightfully belonged; with the people who inhabited these 13 nation/states. This was later reaffirmed in a Supreme Court ruling, “At the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects and have none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.” Chisholm v. Georgia (1793)
The first attempt at self-governance was a confederation; a loose band of sovereign states, joined together for their mutual benefit. A Congress was created to be the lawmaking body for all; but any and all laws passed by the Congress would also have to be agreed upon unanimously by all 13 States before it would go into effect.
There were some who felt that this form of government was weak and ineffective; that a stronger central government was needed to manage the affairs of a nation. Those who felt a stronger central government was needed called for a convention to amend the Articles of Confederation, but their real intent was to produce a completely new system of government.
Whether their intent was honorable and in the best interest of the nation is irrelevant; the fact is that they misled those who came to attend this convention, and they misled the States who selected the representatives to send to this convention. Also, in creating this new system of government, and the manner in which it was sent out to be approved or rejected by the States, they violated existing law found in Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation; wherein it states, “… nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.”
When the Constitution was written, a preamble was included which begins with, “We the People…” It was felt that since this new Constitution was to be the act of a people constituting a system of government, that the acceptance or rejection of the proposed system should be made by the people. This violated existing law as mentioned above.
Also it brought another point to the limelight; that being was this new system of government a national, or a federal system? In both systems the sovereignty remained with the people, but in a federal form of government the people had ceded a certain portion of their sovereignty to State governments to manage the affairs of their State. Therefore, any action which altered the shape a central government would take, and affect the relationship between the States and that central government would have to be made by the representatives of the people.
In a national form, however, a consolidation of the parts into one single entity occurs, bypassing the State governments and going directly to the people for their authority. Patrick Henry, a staunch lover of liberty, argued this point until he was blue in the face; to no avail. Although those supporting this Constitution did have to agree to the inclusion of a Bill of Rights, the Constitution was finally adopted by the people of this country.
Regardless of whatever form this new system of government took; national or federal, it came into existence by the will of the people, and it derives its authority only because the people continue to consent to being governed by the entity the Constitution creates. At any time, should the people withdraw their consent, and by simply making a declaration stating their reasons, they could withdraw from the union established by the Constitution; as government still, according to the Declaration of Independence, derives its just authority from the consent of the people. If that consent is withdrawn, so is the authority granted government.
But the point of this article is not to discuss the right of a State, or a group of States, to withdraw from the Union; it is to discuss what this Constitution actually created; what form it took, what purpose it was created for, and the powers given it.
The purpose for which this new system of government was created is found in the Preamble, wherein it 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 defence, 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.” That’s all the Preamble is, a declaration of intent, or a statement declaring the purpose for which the document was written. It is not a grant of any power or authority and cannot be used to justify the exercise of any power or authority by the government the Constitution establishes.
The government created by this Constitution was both simple and complex. It was simple in that it created 3 distinct branches; the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial; each with their own specific reason for existing. Yet it was complex in the intricacies of the checks and balances put into place to prevent any single branch from becoming too powerful.
The Congress was to be the lawmaking body; those who wrote the laws which would apply to the nation. Yet it was divided into two houses; a Senate and a House of Representatives. The members of the Senate were to be chosen by the States and be their voice in the say of what laws would be passed by this central government. The members of the House were to be chosen by the people and be their voice in the say of what laws would be passed. No law could go into effect without being approved by both houses of Congress.
In creating a centralized form of government it was realized that the States would be required to cede a portion of their sovereignty to this central government; the question was how much was required to be surrendered for this new form of government to be effective.
It was feared by many within the various States that this new form of government might seek to usurp the sovereignty of the States, so in the creation of the Bill of Rights they insisted that an amendment be included which would further ensure that the central government not exceed its specifically listed powers. This amendment is what we now know as the 10th Amendment, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Although this became part of the Constitution once ratified, it was altered by the omission of a single word by the man whose goal it was to create this new stronger central government; James Madison. The task of selecting from the various amendments which were submitted to Congress for consideration was undertaken by Madison. He also produced the final wording which was to be submitted to all the States for their approval. When the States submitted their suggestions, they almost unanimously declared “The powers not specifically delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” By the omission of that one word, specifically, Madison created a loophole by which implied powers could be construed from the intent of the specific powers.
But the basic point I’m trying to get across is that Congress was to be the body which wrote the laws which governed this nation. It’s no surprise that since Congress was to be the lawmaking body that the Article of the Constitution which covers Congress is the longest and most complicated of the Constitution. The specific powers which were granted to government are found within this Article in Section 8; and you’d be quite surprised to see how limited they truly are in comparison to all the things our government does today; and which the people take for granted.
The Executive is the next branch the Constitution discusses, and it is the job of this branch to see that the laws be faithfully executed. However, the Executive has a check on the lawmaking body in the form of a veto. Should the Executive believe that a law sent to his desk by Congress exceeds the authority granted Congress by the Constitution, he can reject it and send it back to Congress with his reasons for doing so. However, should Congress feel strongly enough that the legislation become law, by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress, they can override a presidential veto.
Yet the primary job of the Executive, in times of peace, is to manage the affairs of the nation. Much like a CEO manages a company, the president manages the nation. It is the job of the Executive to utilize the tools, or agencies at his disposal, to see that the laws passed by government be enforced and upheld. He, or she should Hillary get elected, cannot pick and choose which laws they decide our government should enforce; as has many a president when it comes to our existing immigration law. If a law has been lawfully passed by a past session of Congress, and signed by a sitting president, it is binding upon all future presidents to enforce that law until a new law is written which supersedes or revokes it. To refuse to enforce an existing law simply because a sitting president disagrees with it is a violation of his duty to see that the law be faithfully upheld.
The president, in all honesty, is nothing more than a glorified manager. For the life of me I cannot understand why so many people argue so vehemently over the proposed plans for this country offered by candidates seeking the presidency when the president cannot do a damned thing without the Congress first taking action on it. If the people of this country, and those who sought the office of president, truly understood the structure and powers given our government, they would only seek a president who would declare something along the lines of, “I promise to keep Congress within the specific powers granted it, and I will seek to faithfully execute the laws of the land.” But no, the people do not understand the division of powers and therefore believe these promises made by those seeking the office of president of these States united.
Then there are the 9 black robed tyrants which form the Judicial Branch, or the Supreme Court. The Constitution says this about their function, “The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution…” Their power is not to decide what the law says, but to apply it in all cases which they have jurisdiction.
However, it wasn’t long before the SCOTUS issued a single ruling which forever altered the powers held by them; that ruling being Marbury v Madison which created the concept of Judicial Review; the ability of the Court to determine whether or not a law is Constitutional.
This power already existed in the form of nullification by the States. If a State believed that a law passed by the central government exceeded the specific powers granted government, then they could simply choose to ignore it. This point was made clear when President John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts and Vice President Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions, wherein he states, “Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government … and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force…”
You see, although the Senate may have been composed of members chosen by the States, there could conceivably come a time when a majority of States could obtain control of Congress, and therefore pass laws which were not in the best interests of the minority. The right of States to nullify laws passed by the central government was another form of a check upon the usurpation of tyrannical and oppressive powers.
The period leading up to our Second War of Independence, or the Civil War as you know it, is rife with times the States, primarily South Carolina, sought to nullify laws, or specifically taxes, levied against them. This back and forth fight over tariffs, and our governments continued efforts to block the expansion of slavery into newly admitted States, is what caused the South to secede, a principal which was universally accepted as a States right by a majority of the people of the country at the time.
The Civil War was more than just a war for independence by a portion of the country; it was more than the misguided belief that it was fought to free the slaves, and it was more than just the belief that it was fought to save the Union; the Civil War was a war fought to determine that same question Patrick Henry asked on June 5, 1788, “I rose yesterday to ask a question which arose in my own mind. When I asked that question, I thought the meaning of my interrogation was obvious: The fate of this question and of America may depend on this: Have they said, we, the States? Have they made a proposal of a compact between states? If they had, this would be a confederation: It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government.”
By the federal government, under the orders of the president, (and it doesn’t matter if it was Abraham Lincoln, or if it had been George Bush), telling the States that they must adhere to the will of the government, he was declaring that the government created by the Constitution was in fact a national form, and that the States, although component parts of the government, could not seek to free themselves from tyranny and that the government created by the Constitution had assumed all sovereignty.
The 17th Amendment which took away the States right to choose Senators and gave it to the people was just the final nail in the coffin as States rights died with the loss of the Confederacy in the Civil War. This forever altered the balance of power in our government and left it up to the people as a whole to remain informed and keep government within the specific powers granted it.
However, had the people been capable of exercising that kind of judgment the Northern States would have done just as Virginia did when Lincoln called for troops to invade the South; seceded from the Union and told Abraham Lincoln to take his precious Union, his government, and go to hell.
It’s all been downhill ever since. The federal government has grown by leaps and bounds and our rights have been infringed to the extent where they are basically nonexistent. Freedom of speech; Yeah right! The right to keep and bear arms; Only those arms the government decides you have a right to own. Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures and the right to be secure in our homes and with our possessions; tell the TSA, the NSA, or ask Edward Snowden. The list goes on and on; and people still say this is the land of the free. What a joke!
Our country has drifted so far from the principles upon which it was established that I barely recognize it any more. People today don’t understand the fact that government is limited as to what it can and cannot do. They do not realize that their rights are inherent and unalienable; and that no matter how big a majority call for them to be infringed upon for the public safety, government cannot do so without the grossest of violations upon the people they were elected to represent.
Although I am not as big a fan of Ronald Reagan since I began researching on my own, there is still something he said which bears consideration, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Freedom is ours and we the people, although we choose not to exercise it, remain the true sovereigns in this country. It is within our right to exercise that sovereignty by telling the federal government that its unconstitutional violations do not apply within our States. If we would just rise up and stop worrying about who we elect to a corrupted central government, and start electing honest virtuous members to our State governments, then the States could severely weaken the unconstitutional control and exercise of unjust power currently wielded by Washington D.C.
But nothing will change as long as the people continue to give their consent to both the existence of, and the exercise of unconstitutional powers by, the federal government. You give this consent by voting for those who will represent you within government. I know it is hard, sitting back knowing that if you don’t vote someone like Hillary could become our next president; but the truth is that by voting you accept that no matter who is elected you agree to the principle that government is government, and that you are required to obey the laws it passes.
I have gone on strike, I no longer grant my consent for government to make unlawful decisions, then tell me that they are upholding their oaths of office. I know I am among the few who feel that way, but I know that if more had the courage to stand up for government in this fashion, government would wither and die…and would that be a bad thing considering all the harm it has done?
In a way it is like the movie Clash of the Titans were the Gods Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, and all the others draw their strength from the prayers of humanity. In a sense government derives all its power from our consenting to participate in choosing members to it. If we were to simply stop voting then who would be chosen to run government and what power would it have over our lives?
You say I have no right to bitch because I am not voting for someone to make it better. I could reverse that and say that you don’t have the right to bitch because it is the people you vote for who have caused all the problems in this country. Why should I vote for anyone when I know it won’t make a damned bit of difference; it’s only a matter of degrees as to how much worse it will get?
The problem in this country is not government; it is the people. People are born with all the inherent and unalienable rights as were the first men who walked the Earth. It is only by our ignorance of the principles upon which this great nation was founded; by our complacency when government oversteps the limits imposed upon their powers, and our cowardice to not stand up to these tyrannical abuses of power, that government draws is life sustaining sustenance. If we were to become informed, and stop taking these abuses of powers lying down, we could stop government and begin limiting the power it holds over our lives.
But that would mean that each of us must first accept complete responsibility for our own lives. No more asking government for benefits if we fall on hard times; no more federal aid to the States when Nature unleashes her fury upon us; no more asking the government to protect us from crime and at the same time denying us the right to do so.
If you want to be free you have to first start acting free; and I don’t see a whole lot of people who are willing to do that. It’s like Mark Twain once said, “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
How many of you reading this could repeat the immortal words of Patrick Henry with the same courage and conviction he held? How many of you could stand up and tell your government, “Give me liberty or give me death”?
That’s what I thought….