“It changes things, that knowledge, doesn’t it?”
Jason Bourne-The Bourne Supremacy
For many years I believed that if I could just educate enough people as to the intricacies of our Constitution, and if they would just apply what I was trying to share with them, we could reign in an out of control government and return to one based upon the Constitution. I thought if I delved into the thoughts of those who drafted the Constitution, and the arguments they presented during the State Ratification Conventions, I could get a clearer understanding of how the Constitution was supposed to work. The funny thing is, what I learned is that the Constitution is working exactly as some of the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention hoped it would … so in essence we actually do have a Constitutional form of government.
Maybe it was just an internal struggle to overcome my own Cognitive Dissonance that caused me to take so long to come to this conclusion, but I believe it was the intent of those who drafted the Constitution to eradicate State authority, consolidate the States into one indivisible nation, and eventually do away with individual liberty by placing the rights of the people under the subjective will of the central government.
It wasn’t just one simple fact that led me to this conclusion, rather it was a lot of small facts that led to one inevitable conclusion. For instance, even before the Constitutional Convention convened James Madison sent a letter to George Washington outlining his ideas for an entirely new system of government. In his letter he states, “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.”
A couple paragraphs later he adds, “Over and above this positive power, a negative in all cases whatsoever on the legislative acts of the States, as heretofore exercised by the Kingly prerogative, appears to me to be absolutely necessary, and to be the least possible encroachment on the State jurisdictions.”
I could go on and on with these tiny little glimpses into the mindset of the delegates to the convention, but let it be enough to say that they paint a picture of a few men who sought to do away with the authority of the States and create an all powerful centralized government whose authority reached the lives and liberty of every inhabitant of this country.
To truly understand the transformation that took place once the Constitution was ratified one has to understand the status of and relationship between the States of the Confederacy prior to the adoption of the Constitution.
Imagine a group of settlers arriving in a previously unoccupied territory and establishing homes for themselves. Each family would be distinct and separate from the others, each with the patriarch of the family deciding the rules by which his family lived. In a way that is the way the Colonies were prior to the Revolution; and even afterwards up until the Constitution was ratified.
But imagine also that these families knew of the dangers that self-reliance might pose to them, so they came to an agreement to help each other should trouble arise – sort of like a neighborhood watch program in our local communities today. In coming to such an agreement each family still retained the right to decide for themselves the rules that would apply within their individual homes. This is how the States were under the Articles of Confederation.
Now imagine that there began to be disputes between the various families and that they decided that some form of arbitrator was needed to settle these disputes; or possibly some administrator to manage the affairs of the community. So let’s say they were told that possibly they needed a mayor, or maybe even a sheriff, to act as the law making authority within their community. Sounds good on the surface, and that’s exactly the way the Constitution was presented to the people in 1787, “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.” (James Madison-Federalist 45)
Now let’s say this governing authority, be it a mayor or a sheriff, begins telling the families that if they just accept this law or that law that it will improve their lives or benefit the entire community. So they began to allow this governing authority to expand its powers far beyond those they were originally promised it would exercise. Well that’s what happened almost from the moment our Constitution went into effect; the government began stretching the limits of its authority, finding hidden or implied powers between the lines of the specifically enumerated powers delegated them. The people, for awhile, went along with it; until one part of the country decided that they were footing the bill for the cost of operating this government, yet weren’t seeing the government spend any of that money to improve their State. On top of all that, some of their neighbors began butting their noses into how things ran in their states; such as the attempts to end the institution of slaver; although it was perfectly legal under the Constitution.
Instead of an armed rebellion they simply told the government, “Hey, we entered into this compact voluntarily, and for the purposes promised us during the ratifying conventions. You are no longer serving those purposes; rather you are attempting to subjugate us and deprive us of the right to govern our own internal affairs; not to mention you are plundering our wealth for improvements to the Northern States. So we, as sovereign states, do hereby revoke our consent and withdraw from the Union.”
The Government said, “Not so fast there buddy, this Union is permanent and irrevocable. If you try to leave, we will send in men with guns and force you to stay a part of it.” And that, in a nutshell, is why we had the Civil War.
The Civil War forever altered the relationship between the sovereign states and the central government. Prior to the Civil War, at least on paper, the States were considered to be separate and individual entities, with their ability to manage their own internal affairs according to their own dictates. After the Civil War the central government assumed the position of master over both the States, and the people living within them – you question the authority of the federal government and you are committing treason.
If people would just read the Notes from the Constitutional Convention, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and the Federalist Papers, they would come to see that during the convention there were those who wanted the exact type of government we have now, one with nearly unlimited power.
They would also see that there were those among the general public who saw the danger to the States and the liberty of the people, and tried to warn others of those dangers – these were the Anti-Federalists. Then there were those who sought to calm the fears and suspicions by promising that this new form of government would not threaten State authority or the liberty of the people – these were the Federalists.
After examining what was said during the convention by some of the delegates, and the fears of others as to what would happen if this constitution were to be adapted, I can’t help but think that the document itself was intentionally written with so many loopholes, so many flaws, so as to establish a government that could not be restrained by those it was created to represent.
And that is why I say we have a Constitutional form of government today, because THIS is what they wanted all along; it just took longer than they originally hoped it would. But the end result was the same; an all powerful central government with diminishes and very limited State authority; not to mention our rights have been reduced to privileges that we must obtain permits for if we want to exercise; or can be revoked at will if the government believes it to be for the general good of the people or the security of the nation.
And that is also why I no longer vote, I believe that voting is only feeding the monster that subjugates and controls me and my life. I cannot resist it’s authority no more than I can avoid paying the taxes it steals from me…but I damn sure am not going to support it by choosing which tyrant gets to run my life!!!
It’s possible that this could all have been avoided if the Constitution had not been ratified; if it had instead been soundly rejected by the States. In any case the Constitution is responsible for creating the government we have today, and that is why I agree with Lysander Spooner, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
Say what you will about me; call me batshit crazy, call me unpatriotic, call me seditious or treasonous even; I’ll let the facts speak for themselves. Our Founders, at least those who fought for their independence, did so to oppose a tyrant who taxed them far less than our government taxes us today, and which was far less intrusive into their lives than our current government is.
We call them patriots because they won the revolution, but had they lost they would have gone down in the history books as rebels and traitors. I’m only standing for the same principles they did; and that means that if YOU oppose me and my beliefs, you are just like those who, in 1776, called themselves British Loyalists; those who would rather submit to a tyrant’s will than fight for their liberty.
I don’t know that we will ever restore liberty to the land of the free and the home of the brave. But whether or not we can, I refuse to bow down and worship at the feet of a cruel and uncaring master that only seeks to subjugate and enslave me. Just don’t ask why no one ever told you that your freedom was in danger when it becomes impossible to see what your ignorance and apathy has allowed to transpire; for we’ve been trying to warn you for a very long time, but you chose entertainment, comfort and security over freedom; and one of these days either you or your children will pay the price for it.