“…if a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was & never will be.”
(January 6, 1816)
I often hear people, including family members, say that the government needs to pass a law to do something about this, or something about that. This is how I feel like responding to people who say that.
It would truly be interesting to learn how many people in this country, percentage wise, have ever sat down and actually read the constitution which outlines the shape of, and powers delegated to, our system of government. I’m guessing that the percentage would be in the single digits somewhere. Yet if you were to tell those that haven’t that they would not be allowed to vote until they had, I’m also guessing that they would cry that their rights were being violated.
Do you know how stupid that sounds to me? That almost sounds like you would trust your life to a surgeon who had never attended a single day of medical training. It just seems like common sense that if you are going to allow people to vote then you should first ensure that they have a thorough understanding of how their system of government was supposed to operate.
Maybe that’s the problem, there is no common sense left in America. Or maybe it’s the fact that those in charge of establishing the course curriculums in our schools do not want us to learn how our system of government was supposed to work; for if we did we’d learn that they were all a bunch of liars and crooks.
When I went through high school I was required to take a yearlong civics course, and I have since found that what I was taught was either incomplete or misleading. Three decades later my son went through high school and his civics course was only a single semester, and it was broken down into two sections; one on the government and another on microeconomics.
I remember vividly a conversation I had with his Civics Teacher during the high school’s Open House. I grilled the teacher, asking him if he was going to discuss the various checks and balances built into the Constitution; if he was going to have his students read any of the Federalist Papers; and if he was going to discuss the writing and ratification of the Constitution itself. He answered by saying that those things were not in the course curriculum, but he then said that it sounds like I should be teaching the class because I obviously knew more about the subject than he did.
That was 10 years ago, and I remember being floored by that statement. I can only imagine how that conversation would go if it were to happen today; seeing as how my knowledge has increased almost a hundredfold since then. Nevertheless we have teachers instructing our children on a subject that they aren’t even fully knowledgeable about. Now I’m not entirely blaming them, I’m blaming the system that allows teachers who don’t know the subject matter to instruct our children based upon a course curriculum established by a bunch of bureaucrats who may, or may not, have the agenda of producing mindless drones who do not know the first thing about how their system of government is supposed to work.
Maybe George Carlin was right when he said, “…they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. … You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.”
If that truly is the case, if you have been intentionally lied to and have had certain facts intentionally withheld from you, than those guilty of doing that ought to be charged with criminal negligence and the willful indoctrination of entire generations of our youth.
But Carlin was right, they don’t want people who can think critically; who can study facts and evidence and then come to the realization that their government is their enemy. If the people were capable of doing that then we would pose a serious threat to their power over us; for if our government rests on the premise of consent of the governed, what would happen if an overwhelming majority of the people in this country simply revoked their consent?
Their power and authority over us can only exist by two modes; either we willfully consent to it, or it can be imposed upon us through the use of force and coercion. In the first instance if the powers being exercised by the government serve the purpose of expanding and protecting the individual liberty of the governed, then government is just and serving good. If, on the other hand, government exercises power that limits that liberty, and has to use the threat of force, or penalties for disobedience, then that government cannot be anything but tyrannical.
Those in charge of establishing the curriculum by which our youth are taught do not want a fully informed public capable of critical thought who question the things their government is doing. They want an obedient worker class who believe in the system, but who are free to debate amongst each other over the issues and differing political ideologies, such as conservative versus liberal.
I think even the liberals, or Democrats, will admit that they seek to use the power of government to enact their version of social justice. Social Justice, in simple terms, is justice in the form of equality of wealth, opportunities and privileges in a society. They believe that it is the duty of those who have to have a portion of their wealth taken from them so that it can be given to those who have not. In essence they want to play Robin Hood; steal from the rich and give to the poor. The fact that someone may have worked hard all their life to acquire that wealth is of no concern to them; the only thing that matters is that they have wealth and it is a source of revenue they can tap into and give to their constituents.
For the liberal ideology to work they must have a working class that they can pillage to provide the funding for the myriad programs they enact to benefit those who support them. The higher the number of groups who feel that it is the duty of government to ensure social justice the stronger the liberal base grows. But there comes a time when those who consume outnumber those who produce and the entire belief system crumbles; either there simply aren’t enough producers anymore or the producers get tired of having their money stolen from them and they revolt. I can almost hear the thoughts of some who might be saying, “Yes, Neal understands the Republican viewpoint; how Democrats are evil and he will now begin supporting our party.”
Well not so damned fast; I’m not finished yet.
Do you really think your precious Republicans are any better? The Republicans are no better than the Democrats when it comes to taxing the people to fund things that government was not supposed to be doing. The only real difference between the two parties is who is in the receiving end of the wealth that is stolen from the taxpayers. The Republicans have those who benefit when they are in office and the Democrats have those who benefit when they are in control. That is why they fight so hard to gain power; not to preserve liberty or make America great again; they only want control of the taxing and spending power so that their supporters can benefit from government.
If the Republicans truly were conservative they would seek to revoke, or repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, the law establishing the DEA, the BATF, Homeland Security, the TSA, the NSA, and the CIA…just to name a few.
But they don’t, so the debt continues to climb while your freedom diminishes no matter which political party has control over the government. That should tell you something about the entire system; that it is easily corrupted by partisan influences and is incapable of restraining government to its few specifically enumerated powers, while at the same time securing the liberty our ancestors fought for in the American Revolution.
How do you think the people of 1788 would have reacted had those presenting this new constitution for the consideration told them, “Hey, were gonna create a system of government that provides you with no means of controlling it once it is established. This government is going to have the power to tax you at will for whatever purposes it pleases, and at the same time it will seek to deprive you of your rights while it tells you that it’s in your own best interest that you willingly surrender them to it.”
Of course they couldn’t say that, had they told the truth about their precious constitution it would never had been ratified. So they lied, they promised it would not threaten the sovereignty of the States, nor would it threaten the liberty of the people. But there were many wise and prominent men who saw through the lies and deception of the Federalists, and they wrote numerous essays expounding upon the dangers of adopting the system of government presented to them by the Convention of 1787.
One of these essayists, Robert Yates, writing under the pseudonym of Brutus, stated, “It is true this government is limited to certain objects, or to speak more properly, some small degree of power is still left to the states, but a little attention to the powers vested in the general government, will convince every candid man, that if it is capable of being executed, all that is reserved for the individual states must very soon be annihilated, except so far as they are barely necessary to the organization of the general government.”
Now that sounds like a harsh claim leveled against the constitution, yet in April of 1787 James Madison wrote something very similar in a letter to George Washington, “Conceiving that an individual independence of the States is utterly irreconcileable with their aggregate sovereignty; and that a consolidation of the whole into one simple republic would be as inexpedient as it is unattainable, I have sought for some middle ground, which may at once support a due supremacy of the national authority, and not exclude the local authorities wherever they can be subordinately useful.” (My emphasis)
There have been times I have asked people why they thought the convention of 1787 felt it was necessary to abolish the Articles of Confederation and replace them with a new Constitution. It is not very often that I can get anyone to answer that question with any degree of certainty; only that they believe it must have been necessary to do so otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.
Most don’t give it much thought but they already had a system of government in place, and all they needed to do was to amend the Articles of Confederation to expand the powers of Congress so that it could more effectively raise revenue and regulate trade. Why didn’t they do that, why did they just abandon the existing system of government, only to be replaced with a much stronger government that has led to the subjugation of the States under the authority of the government they created?
The Federalists tried to ensure the people that this would not happen, that the authority of the States would be secure under this new system of government. Madison’s Federalist 45 is a prime example of the arguments they used to calm the fears of those who felt that State sovereignty would be threatened, “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.”
Yet Yates saw through the lies of the Federalists, stating, “The first question that presents itself on the subject is, whether a confederated government be the best for the United States or not? Or in other words, whether the thirteen United States should be reduced to one great republic, governed by one legislature, and under the direction of one executive and judicial; or whether they should continue thirteen confederated republics, under the direction and controul of a supreme federal head for certain defined national purposes only?
This enquiry is important, because, although the government reported by the convention does not go to a perfect and entire consolidation, yet it approaches so near to it, that it must, if executed, certainly and infallibly terminate in it.”
They had to do away with the Confederation because under the Articles of Confederation there were two items that stood in the way of their obtaining absolute and total control over the States and the people. The first of these hindrances is found in Article II where it states, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
By including the word expressly the Articles of Confederation were saying, “The only powers granted Congress by the Articles of Confederation are those specifically mentioned. There can be no power exercised by assumption, implication, or usurpation.” That was a chain that bound the Congress to the few powers delegated to it by the people. Yet all they had to do was to loosen that chain a bit, add a few more links, giving Congress a few more powers so that it could raise revenue and regulate taxes. So why didn’t they?
Well they didn’t because of the other hindrance in the Articles of Confederation, Article XIII, where it says, “And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; 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.”
For something to become law under the Articles of Confederation each State would have to agree to it. While to some that may seem like an unnecessary burden to get something passed into law, I see it as a blessing. I’d rather the government be rendered incapable of passing any law than it be given a blank check to pass all manner of laws; especially when those laws limit or restrict my liberty.
They needed a government that would give them the power to enact law based upon a simple majority vote, a system that was subject to being influenced by local prejudices and sympathies, a system that could tyrannize and oppress one segment of the country to benefit another. To get that system of government they HAD to trash the Articles of Confederation and replace them with the Constitution; that was their only option if they wanted to dramatically increase their power and authority over the States and the people.
The Anti-Federalist tried to warn people about the dangers of the proposed system of government, but the people ultimately accepted it because of fear over what would happen if they didn’t, and the promise of the great and mighty American empire that would be established if they did.
In a lengthy speech given to the Virginia Ratifying Assembly, Patrick Henry told them to ignore the promise of an American Empire, saying, “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.”
Moments later Mr. Henry added, “Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? 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.”
I can almost feel the sorrow in his voice, thinking how quickly his fellow countrymen forgot the principles they fought for in the revolution.
Robert Yates, Patrick Henry, Samuel Bryan, Melancton Smith, and host of others tried to warn the people what would happen if they adopted this new system of government; but the people didn’t heed their warnings. Yet had you taken the time to study what they said, or more importantly, been taught what they predicted in school, you would NOT support this government in any way, shape, or form.
And that is why they don’t teach these things in school; so that they can control your thoughts and decision making process by teaching you that we have a democracy, that we have a two party system, that government has no real limits on its authority because almost anything can be done if it serves the general welfare of the people.
It is only because of sheer stubbornness that I don’t say, Screw it all, I give up. For one thing, the price for surrender is too great, and secondly, I am just too pig-headed and stubborn to know when I’m fighting a losing battle.
But I am not so blind that I cannot see that most people fall into one of three categories; those who do not speak the truth, those who do not hear the truth, and those who do not see the truth. The only question is, which category do you fit into?