I had not planned on writing anything today; instead I had hoped to wash clothes, cook supper, and spend a few hours immersed in the writings of Luther Martin; but alas someone posted something on Facebook that got the creative juices flowing – so here I am again behind the keyboard trying to purge my mind of all these random thoughts floating around inside it.
What got this all started was a meme my friend Misty Graham posted, so I’ll begin by sharing it with you…
The conversation immediately went sideways when someone commented, “So, your advice to make the government accountable is to not vote? Please explain the logic.” Gladly, but first I’d like to ask a question of my own, “How has voting held the government accountable to the people?”
Let us first define the word accountable, shall we. Accountable means, basically, answerable or responsible to someone, or something. If we elect people to government, then they are answerable to us – the voters who put them into positions of trust where they were supposed to perform certain acts in accordance with the specific powers delegated to government by a written constitution.
Therefore, if those in power do things that the people do not like, how does voting hold them accountable? I hear people talking about getting rid of a sitting president and replacing them with one of their liking; but if they understood the balance of power between the branches of government they would realize that the president is, in all actuality, nothing more than a figurehead; someone to ensure that the laws that have been enacted in accordance with the constitution are faithfully executed; hence the term EXECUTIVE branch.
The president has no lawmaking authority; that belongs to Congress. Yet the re-election rate of Congressmen sits at an astonishing 98%; meaning only 2% of them are voted out of office during an election cycle. Please explain how voting is holding our Legislators accountable, if you can.
If someone breaks into your house and steals something, then later is caught, that person can face criminal charges for their crime. Yet those you elect face no such consequences when they violate the trust granted them by the voters. Sure, they can be voted out of office, but that is not punishment, that is no different than being fired from a job after embezzling millions of dollars.
You see, accountable also means that there is the suggestion of imminent retribution for an unfulfilled trust or violated obligation. Where is the accountability in our system; how can you impose actual punishment upon those you elect to office if they violate your trust? Can you dial 911 and send law enforcement to have them arrested? Even if you could, do you think you would find a prosecuting attorney to try the case, or a judge who would hear it in their court? Good luck is all I have to say about your chances of success with that mode of holding them accountable.
Numerous times Patrick Henry railed against the actual lack of accountability in the system of government being proposed in 1787:
– The Honorable Gentleman who presides, told us, that to prevent abuses in our Government, we will assemble in Convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. Oh, Sir, we should have fine times indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical; no longer democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?
– Shew me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty? I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.
– Where is the responsibility — that leading principle in the British government? In that government a punishment, certain and inevitable, is provided: But in this, there is no real actual punishment for the grossest maladministration. 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?
So let me ask you, especially if you think my not voting is a futile effort to hold government accountable, using the definition I have provided, how effective has your vote been at holding those you elect accountable?
What most voters fail to take into consideration is that their vote may prevent a certain candidate, with a certain agenda, from getting elected, it does absolutely nothing to stop the programs and agencies that have already been established from continuing on as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened. So, at best, all your vote does is put off the implementation of the policies you opposed; for sooner or later those you oppose will assume a majority control of the government, and they will implement the programs you sought to prevent when you voted for the ‘other’ candidate.
So what good does voting do when it comes to downsizing government, abolishing programs that have been in existence for years, or decreasing our government’s dependency upon borrowed money to keep its doors open for business?
As an example, we’ve been at war against global terrorism for close to two decades now; how effective has our efforts been at eradicating terror across the globe? We may, or may not have prevented terrorist attacks against the United States, but as for eradicating terror; that’s another story altogether. Yet the war perpetuates, just as the war on crime, the war on drugs, the war on poverty have all been waged for years, if not decades.
So how effective has government been in solving these issues? Yet each election cycle we hear the candidates give us their thoughts on how they are going to solve these ‘important’ issues that face America; when all they do is rehash and reword the same tired old ideas that have proven to be ineffective…and the voters fall for that bullshit in droves.
All voting does is put people into office whose ideas and beliefs sound more in line with your own personal thoughts and beliefs than their opponents thoughts and ideas do; but it does nothing to solve our problems, make us any freer, or reduce our nation’s debt.
Yet people have this idiotic belief, even after government has proven time and time again that it cannot solve the problems society faces, that the answer rests in giving government more power; passing more laws; taking away more of our freedom. It rarely, if ever, crosses people’s minds that maybe the answer is to reverse course, start taking away some of the power held by government and give that power back to the people so that they can provide for their own needs, their own comfort, and their own security.
You see, regardless of whether government is currently populated by a majority of Democrats or a majority of Republicans, it is a system; and that system thrives on expanding its power and diminishing ours. By casting your vote you are giving your consent to the system; saying that even if you disagree with what the opposing party does, you recognize the legitimacy of those who hold the power to enact, and enforce law upon you.
I, and those like me, who do not vote, do not recognize the legitimacy of the system, and we have decided that we will not participate in choosing who gets to sit in the seats of power within that system and pass laws which we must obey.
Are we any freer than you are? Of course not, although we often sometimes choose to ignore laws that we believe violate our most basic rights. Sometimes we get away with it, sometimes we don’t; but we never willingly comply with them because we think it is our patriotic duty to obey the law, or support those in power over us. Physically we may be just as enslaved as everyone else, but in our minds we still retain a love for liberty; while those who vote have forsaken liberty for the opportunity to choose who will be their masters.
When I began writing these commentaries I began noticing that people would come up and ask me my thoughts on a specific problem that America faced; how I would handle it, so to speak. More recently people have begun asking me how I’d solve the problem of a government that did not adhere to the oaths of offices taken by those within it. My answer is simple, yet I find that no one, or at least very few want to consider it; tear down the system itself.
This is why a study of history is so crucially important; because it provides you with the facts needed to point out that the system was established by men who sought to create a system with no real checks on its ability to expand its own powers beyond those which were specifically delegated to it. Any system that can do that, unchecked by those whose consent their authority is based upon, does not deserve to exist; at least that’s how I feel about it. The best solution would be to take the position taken by Clyde Sheldon in the film Law Abiding Citizen, “I’m gonna pull the whole thing down. I’m gonna bring the whole fucking diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It’s gonna be biblical.”
You see, there were men, brave men with more integrity and virtue in their pinkie toes than I could ever hope to muster, who sought to prevent the establishment of this system of government; this diseased corrupt temple voters worship at the altar of. One of them you are already aware of if you’ve read any of my articles; Patrick Henry.
Did you know that Henry was asked to attend the convention that produced the Constitution, but he refused to attend, smelling a rat leaning towards monarchy in Philadelphia? Did you know the fact that he refused to attend was of such concern to James Madison that he wrote to Edmund Randolph, stating, “… the refusal of Mr. Henry to join in the task of revising the Confederation is ominous.” Madison said that because he knew that Henry was a staunch defender of liberty, and that he had a large following in Virginia that could possibly halt Madison’s plans to establish a more energetic government; a government that would, as he said in a letter to George Washington in the Spring of 1787, “…not exclude the local authorities wherever they can be subordinately useful.” You see, Madison and his cohorts wanted to reduce the States to a subordinate status to an entity, (the federal government), that they would create/establish; and Henry stood in their way.
But Henry wasn’t alone in his opposition to the proposed constitution, and although he did not attend the proceedings that produced it, some did; and they spoke out openly against it. Ever hear of John Lansing, Robert Yates or Luther Martin? Of course you didn’t, your educators did not want you to know that prominent men opposed the precious document that sits enshrined behind glass at the National Archives.
Yates and Lansing were delegates from the State of New York who left the convention when they saw that it was overstepping its delegated authority to simply amend the Articles of Confederation. They wrote to, then governor of New York, George Clinton, (no relation to Bill and Hillary), to notify him of what was happening behind the closed doors of the convention, and to begin mounting an opposition to whatever finalized document that convention might produce.
Martin’s story is even sadder. Martin attended the convention, as much as his own personal affairs would allow, until the very end. Often he proposed changes, or offered suggestions to strengthen the safeguards for our liberty and the rights of the States; often to be shot down, or derided for his concern over such petty issues when the fate of the nation depended upon establishing a much more powerful form of government than the one which was then in existence.
Martin wrote extensively after the Constitution was finally unveiled to the public for its consideration; all in opposition to it. His essays and articles provide a treasure trove of information into the mindset of those who sought to establish our current system of government, as well as the flaws he found within that system. But of course you’ve never heard of Luther Martin, or read anything he wrote; and even if you had, your education would probably not allow you to comprehend what you would be reading.
The saddest part of Martin’s story is that, during his arguments in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland, Martin suffered a stroke, and eventually died; to be buried in an unmarked grave, which was forgotten to the extent that it now rests somewhere beneath the pavement in New York City.
Is that how America treats those who fought to the end for their rights and liberty, to be tossed aside, buried in unmarked graves and forgotten by those who worship at the altar of big government? Is that who and what you cast your votes for? If it is, then I’m ashamed to call you my fellow countrymen; Samuel Adams once wrote something that should serve as your epitaph, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
So, I do not vote; and not because I think the choice of candidates sucks. I don’t vote because I do not believe in the system, a system that has the right to impose taxes upon me, or pass laws that I must obey for fear of violence against my person should I refuse to comply; yet those within that system go unpunished for the grossest maladministration and unjust infringements upon my rights and liberty. You think you can fix the system by voting for new members to it; I believe the system is corrupt and rotten to the core, and the only solution is to bring the whole diseased temple down.
But that would bring about anarchy Neal. Yes, yes it would, and it would be glorious. You see, you confuse anarchy with chaos. Chaos is the loss of order, or compliance with any law. Anarchy is derived from the ancient Greek words an; which means without, and archon; which means master or ruler. So anarchy simply means without masters or rulers; it does not mean chaos and confusion. A true anarchist has the rule of Natural Law to guide their existence; that law being, “But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…”
But that concept frightens people; for they fear accepting complete and total responsibility for ALL their needs; their sustenance, their comfort, and yes, their own personal security. They would rather give up all their rights for the promise that some elected authority will take care of them so that they don’t have to worry about it. All they do is bicker amongst each other as to who has the better plan for doing so. Unfortunately, both sides depend upon giving government more power to accomplish that goal; with a subsequent loss of liberty for those who vote them into office.
If you vote I would like to ask you a question. How would you feel if I proposed the following, “If any considerable number of the people believe the Constitution to be good, why do they not sign it themselves, and make laws for, and administer them upon, each other; leaving all other persons (who do not interfere with them) in peace?” How would you feel about those who do not support this system being allowed to live in a perfect state of freedom from its authority and jurisdiction; so long as we harm no one else, or deprive anyone of their life, property or liberty?
Under those circumstances, what danger would we pose to you; those who chose to stay under the authority and jurisdiction of our current system of government? The answer is, absolutely none; so long as we did not harm you in your life, your property, or your liberty, we would pose you NO DANGER at all. So why do you insist that we remain under its authority and control unless it is to impose your will upon us by electing people we do not consent to, to a system we do not consent to its authority. Or could it be that the system requires our servitude to it to exist; it thrives off the plundering of our income through taxation, and our servile obedience to the laws it enacts?
Government, and this is true not only in our country, will not willingly relinquish its hold upon those it has amassed power over; it must be wrested from them by those who seek to regain the liberty government has deprived them of; often violently wrested away. Voting is an exercise in futility, because once elected those criminals do pretty much whatever they want, without regards to you, or the limitations imposed upon them by some document written well over 200 years ago.
And as Spooner said, “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.” And if the constitution is unfit to exist, then so is the government it established…and now you know why I refuse to participate in electing people to a system that was corrupt from the very moment of its inception.