When I hear people discuss government I hear all kinds of words used to describe those who hold positions within the government. Among the titles used to describe them I have heard, politicians, leaders, rulers, and yes, sometimes even crooks and thieves. While the last two are the only accurate description of them, they are the correct title for those whom we elect to fill the positions of authority within our government. The correct term is: Elected Representative.
You would think that people would at least have a rudimentary understanding of how their government was designed, and what powers were delegated to each branch; but from the discussions I’ve overheard that obviously is not the case.
Our government consists of 3 branches: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Each branch has its own sphere of authority, and while they sometimes overlap, such as in the treaty making power where the President and the Senate work together, they typically are stand alone entities with their own spheres of authority.
With all the focus, attention, and hoopla surrounding the election of a new president you would think that the election of a President is second only to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in importance; and in some instances choosing a president is probably more important to some people than the return of Christ to the Earth.
If the President were so gosh darn important, why does the part of the Constitution outlining the Executive Branch come second; after the part outlining the Legislative Branch? There is a reason for that you know. The idea of having a government implies the idea of enacting law, and that is the sphere of the Legislative Branch, not the President. The President can make suggestions to Congress, but Congress is under no obligation to act upon those suggestions.
If you want my honest opinion, the President is nothing more than a glorified CEO, Chief Executive Officer; just like Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon.com. The job of the President is to effectively manage the government and to provide a public face to the government in both foreign and domestic theaters.
I recall how horrified I was when Barack Obama was running for president. It wasn’t Obama per se that had me horrified, it was the throngs of supporters who attended his campaign rallies with tears streaming down their face as if they were in the presence of the Messiah Himself. Of course, at the opposite end of the spectrum we currently have Donald Trump, who posts whatever inane and ridiculous thought that crosses his mind to Twitter like an immature 16 yr old.
Getting back to the structure of our government, the Legislative Branch consists of a bicameral Congress; meaning a legislative body consisting of two houses. As originally ratified the Constitution provided the people with a representative body to act as their voice in deciding what laws should be passed, while it also provided the individual States with a voice for the same purpose.
Nothing could become law unless both Houses of Congress passed it and it was then signed by the President. This splitting of the Legislative into two distinct and separate bodies was supposedly designed so that each of them could act as a check upon the other. If the Senate were to introduce a law that the people felt violated their rights, or was not in the public good, their representatives in the House could choose not to pass it; killing the legislation dead in its tracks…and vice versa. On top of all that, the President could choose to veto a bill that had been sent to him because he felt it was unconstitutional; providing yet another supposed check upon the ability of Congress to enact unconstitutional and arbitrary laws.
With all that being said, let me ask you a simple question. Do you think there are any limits as to what laws government should be allowed to enact? If so, where are those limitations found, and more importantly, how are we, or the States, to enforce them?
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution lists the specific powers delegated to Congress, and Article 1, Section 9 lists the limitations imposed upon them. Yet suspiciously absent are any penalties attached to the violation of those two Articles of the Constitution, or any means by which the States and the people can punish their representatives if they violate them.
Yet every law our government enacts has a penalty, or punishment attached to it. For instance, a if you are caught speeding you will be issued a ticket and then be forced to pay a fine. If you are caught stealing from someone you can be arrested, tried, and sentenced to prison for your crime. Yet as Patrick Henry so accurately declared, “They may go without punishment, though they commit the most outrageous violation on our immunities. That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, by what law? They must make the law — for there is no existing law to do it. What — will they make a law to punish themselves? ”
I truly believe that most people get so worked up over the election of a President because deep down inside they realize that if they were to focus their attention upon the actions of the Congress it would require a great deal of time and effort on their part; and people are fundamentally lazy. So they focus on the president; who is actually not much more than a figurehead without any legislative authority.
Another problem of our system is that it was designed in such a manner that required those who were represented by the two branches of Congress to utilize the Constitution as their guide in deciding what laws their representatives could and could not enact. Unfortunately, and I think this was intentional by the framers of the Constitution, the restrictions upon the ability of Congress to enact certain types of laws were not concrete enough, while at the same time the delegation of those specific powers found in Article 1, Section 8 were so loosely written as to open the doorway for all manner of interpretation; or construction as our Founders would say.
Construction is the interpretation of the Constitution to fit certain beliefs rather than a literal word for word adherence to the spirit by which the document was created and ratified. In 1823 Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to William Johnson in which he said, “On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was past.” (And in today’s modern English past would be replaced with passed)
Yet from the moment our government went into operation after the Constitution had been ratified two trains of thought sprung up within our government. There were those who argued for a strict interpretation of the powers delegated to the government, and there were those who felt the Constitution was but a loose guideline for our system of government; that there were hidden, or implied powers written between the lines of the specific powers.
This led to the establishment of political parties in America, and it heralded the eventual failure of the entire system. Had our lawmakers stuck to a strict interpretation of their delegated powers we wouldn’t be in half the mess we are today. Had we demanded that they stick to those specifically enumerated powers, and nothing more, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are today.
Unfortunately, neither of those two things happened; and the few who still understood that their government was supposed to be limited in its power over their lives have been powerless to prevent the government from assuming more and more power; with a subsequent loss of liberty.
I think it was Juvenal, the Roman poet, who said, “Give the people bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” Listen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aside, our elected representatives are not stupid. They may be corrupt, but they know how to manipulate and pacify the masses.
While I can’t prove this, I believe that the fact that people, overall, are generally stupid, ignorant, and apathetic is the reason they amended the Constitution so that Senators were chosen by a popular vote of the people rather than selected by the State Legislatures. They knew how easy it was to control the masses, so they wanted to have both houses of Congress chosen by the people; plus it effectively shut the States out of any say in what laws would be passed.
I think that was the intent all along. I think those who drafted the Constitution knew that an entire consolidation of the States into a single Republic under a strong centralized government would not be accepted by the people living in 1787. So they wooed them; promising that the States would retain their sovereignty; that only those specific powers would be exercised by the central government, while all others would be retained by the States.
Yet many, including Patrick Henry, Robert Yates, and Samuel Bryan, saw through their deception. In Brutus #1 Robert Yates writes, “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 if you’re honest with your answer, isn’t that exactly what has happened?
When the National Archives opened up its new display for our Founding Documents, President Harry S. Truman delivered a speech in which he said, “We find it hard to believe that liberty could be lost in this country. But it can be lost, and will be, if the time ever comes when these documents are regarded not as the supreme expression of our profound belief, but merely as curiosities in glass cases.”
I find that somewhat ironic, for by the time Harry S. Truman became president we were already well on our way to losing our liberty. In the early years of our country’s existence under the government established by the Constitution we saw periods where we had those who sought a limited and responsible government; such as when Jefferson was President. Even so, during his administration there were Northerners who despised Jefferson because he was hindering the government from protecting and benefitting Northern business interests. Their animosity was so intense that they even considered seceding from the Union just to get out from under the control of the Jefferson administration.
But eventually those who followed the political philosophy of Alexander Hamilton, gained control of the government, and in 1860 a disciple of the Hamiltonian philosophy, Abraham Lincoln, was elected to the presidency. It really doesn’t matter what reasons they gave for doing so, what matters is that the South felt that it had reached ropes end; meaning they were faced with the choice of either remaining in the Union and seeing themselves subjugated and oppressed by a government that didn’t represent them, or to secede and form a system of government that more accurately and effectively represented their beliefs. They chose Option B.
The South did not want war, they did not want to become enemies to their brethren to the North; they only wanted to be left in peace and allowed to govern themselves as they saw fit. Abraham Lincoln, for whatever reasons he may have given, refused to allow them to do so. So the country went to war; North against South, and when the South surrendered at Appomattox in 1865 the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence died.
That is why it takes all my willpower to not bitch slap people when they say that Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or whoever, was the worst president we have ever had. Abraham Lincoln was the worst president, for he tore down the very foundation upon which America was established; that governments exist by consent of the governed. Abraham Lincoln denied the South their right to choose the form of government they would consent to; instead saying comply with THIS government or be conquered.
I don’t know how anyone in their right mind can say that Lincoln supported and defended the principles this country was established upon when he denied the South the right to choose their own system of governance. If there is any justice, Lincoln has a seat in hell reserved for him for the damage he did to the very fabric our country was founded upon.
You can pick and choose which issues today you choose to place at the top of your list of priorities, but the fact is that in 1865 the Republic, as we knew it, died. The idea that the government is the servant of the people, or the States, and that it is limited in its authority is a thing of the past; to be replaced with the idea that government is next only to God Almighty in its power and authority; and to question that authority is worthy of severe punishment and ostracization.
One look at our country today and a person must accept the fact that the government cares little about defending our rights and liberty. All it cares about is keeping us in line and controlling us like a herd of cattle or sheep. We are free range slaves whose only purpose in life is to keep the machine operating and pay taxes so that government can fund its unconstitutional and tyrannical operation.
As long as you don’t cross the line, rock the boat, or question authority too much, you will be left alone. But the moment you begin asserting anything close to real liberty you will quickly learn how tyrannical your government is; for they will come after you with everything they have.
If you don’t believe me, ask the surviving members of Waco what happens when you try to be free from government’s control and authority.
That’s why I am constantly torn between humor and anger when I hear most people discuss politics in America today. On the one hand, most people have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. On the other hand, they think that their government is doing the job it was designed to do and that they are free.
You think you’re free, try driving a motor vehicle without the permission of government. If you think you’re free, strap a gun to your hip and leave your home without the proper paperwork allowing you to do so. If you think you’re free, open a business and tell all the government inspectors to go to hell when they come to inspect your business.
You don’t have freedom in this country, hardly anyone does. You have a few measly privileges; breadcrumbs tossed from the table to give the people the illusion of freedom. All the while you are told that you have the right to vote; to change out those who represent you – American democracy in action. What good does voting do when they are either all corrupt, or the system is so broken that the good ones we elect cannot make a difference?
At the same time we are given all manner of entertainment to keep our minds off the fact that our system is utterly, and irrevocably broken. Just turn on your TV and you have hundreds of channels of garbage to keep you entertained, from Reality TV to sporting events. If that’s not enough, there’s the internet; where one could get something of an education if they would just try. Instead they follow Twitter, Facebook, or some ridiculous YouTube video that is getting thousands of views.
And the sad thing about it all is, if you try to shine a light on the ignorance of most people, you’re the bad guy; you find yourself coming under attack for attempting to spread the truth. Well if there is one thing I have found, it is that people don’t want or care about the truth. All they care about is whatever they believe is the truth; whatever makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Yet if you ask them to back their opinions up with facts and evidence and you will find that they cannot do so; they will attack and insult you for trying to have an open and honest debate.
And that, above all other things, is what is really wrong in this country; the truth no longer matters…