“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they
think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
The above quote has been attributed to Thomas Alva Edison, although no record of him ever saying that exists. There is also another version of it attributed to Bernard Shaw in which the percentages are slightly different, but the sentiment remains the same. Whether or not either of them actually made that statement is irrelevant; someone at some point in time did. I actually wish I was the originator of that quote, for I think it is a pretty accurate representation of the people of this country.
Nowhere is the sentiment expressed by that quote in more evidence than in what people think are the things the constitution authorizes their government to do on their behalf. It doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum you align yourself with, you most likely support the things your party does while it holds a political majority that are blatantly unconstitutional.
I constantly see and hear people make comments about how the Democrats, or liberals in general, violate the Constitution and are eroding the principles this country was founded upon. While their claims are true, these people are unwilling to take a deep look at what their party stands for and how IT is equally guilty of eroding the principles America was founded upon.
Either the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, or it isn’t; either you care about what it says are the powers given our government, or you don’t. You cannot justify your party’s repeated violations of the Constitution simply because it is YOUR PARTY doing the violating!
The problem is getting people to actually think about whether or not what the government is doing is constitutional or not; and you can’t hope to achieve that if the people themselves don’t know what the intent of the Constitution was when it was first ratified in 1789.
People have this ridiculous belief that because they attended a 36 week civics course in high school, (if it’s even that long), that they have a thorough understanding of our Constitution. I’ve been studying the damned thing for the past 20 years and I’m still learning things about it that shatter previously held illusions.
The thing about the truth is that it is often buried under layer upon layer of lies, and to get to it you have to uncover one lie, only to find that you’ve encountered another lie. You keep peeling away at the lies like you peel away the layers of an onion; until finally you arrive at the illusive entity known as THE TRUTH. But just as peeling an onion can be uncomfortable, and make you cry, seeking out the truth can also cause you a certain degree of discomfort as you find your entire belief system rocked to its core.
I honestly believe it is the measure of a person’s integrity whether or not they allow their beliefs to get in the way of the truth; whether or not, when presented with incontrovertible evidence which shatters their beliefs, they go on believing the lies anyway. I also find it a measure of the character of a person how much value they attach to knowledge. I can’t count the people I know who place more value upon sporting events than they do knowledge; and as James Madison said, “And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
The more knowledge one acquires the less ignorant they become. People have this mistaken belief that when someone calls them ignorant they are calling them stupid. To me, stupidity is knowing that you’re ignorant, but not doing anything about it. Then again, I also believe it is stupid to continue to hold on to beliefs when the facts prove those beliefs to be based upon lies.
Had you taken the time to actually sit down and read the Constitution, you would find that there are only around 17 powers given to our government. (See Article 1, Section 8) Is it just me, or have you ever stopped to think that after almost 230 years of existence our government may have pretty much passed just about every possible law the Constitution authorizes them to? Of course the answer to that question is based upon whether or not you believe the Constitution to be a law which clearly defines what our government can, and cannot do.
In Federalist 45 James Madison wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” I can’t speak for you, but that sounds awfully straightforward to me. To me that sounds like Madison was saying, “The federal government doesn’t have a whole lot of power, and what power it does have is clearly identified.” But then again that whole precept is based upon whether or not Madison was lying; that he sought to deceive those he was trying to convince into accepting a Constitution which held hidden, implied powers.
If that is actually the case, Madison wouldn’t be the only one who said whatever was convenient to get people to accept what he was proposing. Alexander Hamilton switched positions numerous times to support certain measures and proposals. During the Constitutional Convention Hamilton said that “The general power whatever be its form if it preserves itself, must swallow up the State powers.” Then during the Ratification Assembly for the State of New York he did an about face and declared, “I insist that it can never be in the interest or desire of the national legislature to destroy the state governments.” But then when Hamilton became Secretary of the Treasury for George Washington, he reverted back to his original beliefs, and everything he did was designed to undermine State Sovereignty.
During the administration of President Washington the question of whether Congress should charter a national bank came under discussion. The question of whether Congress had the power to create corporations became a focal point of the discussions; with one side saying it was within the authority of Congress to do so, and the other side saying it wasn’t.
It was during these debates that James Madison laid down what would become the concept of original intent, or originalism. From notes on the debates over a national bank we read, “After some general remarks on the limitations of all political power, he [Madison] took notice of the peculiar manner in which the Federal Government is limited. It is not a general grant, out of which particular powers are expected; it is a grant of particular powers only, leaving the general mass in other hands. So it had been understood by its friends and foes, and so it was to be interpreted.” (Emphasis added)
If the Constitution is, in fact, a law, then it means the same thing today as it did when it was first put into operation in 1789. The only way by which the powers exercised by our federal government can legally be expanded are by the amendment process found in Article 5.
I used to think George Washington was one of the best Presidents America had ever produced; that is until I began digging into some of the things he did while President. While he is, by no means, as bad as some of the more recent presidents we’ve had, he certainly has dropped down a notch or two in my own opinion of him.
Nonetheless, in his Farewell Address to the people of America he did say something I fully agree with, “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.”
In January 1918 enough States had voted in favor of a Constitutional Amendment to ban the production and sale of intoxicating liquors. Although the 18th Amendment was repealed in 1936, that was the proper way by which more power can be bestowed upon the federal government. Now, I ask you to find a copy of the Constitution, and all of the ratified amendments, and find the one which gives government the power to criminalize the possession or use of marijuana.
I could save you the trouble and tell you that there is no amendment giving the federal government that authority; but that hasn’t stopped them from doing just that. That, my friends, is usurpation; exactly what Washington warned was the means by which free governments are destroyed.
Aided and abetted by the 9 black robed tyrants of the Supreme Court our government has amassed a whole list of powers which are not ‘few and defined.’ Mandatory health insurance, no problem, the SCOTUS calls a penalty for not having it a tax; twisting the meaning of taxation to justify another assumption of federal control and authority.
How many other laws has our government passed because of its refusal to adhere strictly to those ‘few and defined’ powers found in Article 1, Section 8? I can pretty much tell you that almost every law passed over the course of my 60 yrs of existence have exceeded the ‘few and defined’ powers given our government by the framers of our Constitution.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m picking on Republicans, because the Democrats aren’t really any better, but at least they don’t go around masquerading as conservatives; they are open about what they stand for. Yet the Republicans go around espousing their so-called conservative platform, and the party faithful get in line behind them and cast their votes for candidates who couldn’t tell the difference between the Constitution and a roll of toilet paper.
That same goes for those of you who continue to stand behind Donald Trump. While he may truly have America’s best interests in mind that should not be the standard by which his actions as President are judged. Rather his actions should be judged based solely upon whether the Constitution authorized him or the government in general, to do these things.
I’m not a huge fan of the statesman Daniel Webster; in fact I pretty much despise the man. Yet he did say something that I find to be quite true, “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.”
Yet because an overwhelming majority of the people of this country don’t know, or don’t care, what the Constitution says, they allow their government to violate it at will; assuming all manner of power that it was never intended it possess. All the justification the need is that it is in the general welfare, or the Supreme Court has given it their stamp of approval; as if the Court cannot also be guilty of twisting and perverting the original intent of the framers!
In 1816, speaking for the Court, Justice Joseph Story took Madison’s originalism and deposited it in the trash can, to be replaced by the belief that the Constitution is a living breathing thing which can be interpreted at will by the people of any given generation. In his ruling in the case of Martin v Hunter’s Lessee, Justice Story states, “Hence its powers are expressed in general terms, leaving to the legislature, from time to time, to adopt its own means to effectuate legitimate objects, and to mould and model the exercise of its powers, as its own wisdom, and the public interests, should require.”
Mould and model the exercise of its powers? Whatever power our government has is because it was delegated to them by those who ratified the Constitution, and they are not to be increased by the entity created by the Constitution without the grossest of violations of our trust.
Story’s ruling goes against everything Madison stood for when he argued against the chartering of a national bank, and what Jefferson argued against in opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts, “…that the government created by this compact [the Constitution for the United States] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers…”
Yet it seems that no matter how hard I try, I can’t get people to stop playing the two party paradigm or casting their votes for the lesser of two evils. If you cannot admit that your political party is just as corrupt as the other one then you’ll never free your mind enough so that you can see the depth of the corruption that pervades every nook and cranny of our entire government.
If you can’t see that, then honestly, I’m wasting my time talking to you; go bury your head back in the sand and everything will be just hunky dory…after all, isn’t that what your party says; that if you trust them and their policies, then everything will be just fine.
You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what caused the problem in the first place; and if you keep on trying the same solutions that have already proven to be failures in the past, then the problem is gonna be there when you wake up again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…
But that’s okay, your party is right and the other party is wrong, and eventually your party will figure it out and fix all of America’s problems. Well, here, I dug a hole just for you; place your head in it and all will be well in America…trust me.