Over the course of the past couple decades I’ve noticed a couple of interesting traits in people; and when I say people I’m speaking collectively, not individually. The first of these traits is, the closer you get to the truth, the more uncomfortable people become. The second, and possibly more unfortunate one, is that people do not like to admit that they were wrong; that they had been hoodwinked, bamboozled. I think these two traits are interconnected; because subconsciously people know that if they get too close to the truth they will be forced to admit that they had fallen for lies; and that bothers them at some deep level; so they try to avoid the truth at all costs.
There is a scientific, or at least, psychiatric term to describe this phenomenon; it’s called Cognitive Dissonance. In 1957 Dr. Leon Festinger wrote a book entitled A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance in which he explained that humans strive for internal psychological consistancy in their minds and that when people experience internal inconsistency it makes them uncomfortable. When this happens they tend to make changes to whatever is causing this internal stress, for lack of a better word. One of the ways they do this is to add new parts to the cognition that is causing the dissonance, or they avoid circumstances where contradictory information might induce this dissonance.
Now this may sound insulting, but if you ask me, that is cowardice; pure mental, or intellectual cowardice. I was raised to respect the truth and to speak it always; and I have little patience for those who are willing to do neither. I tend to live my life by the words of Patrick Henry, “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” (Speech of March 23, 1775) If you can’t do that, if you’re unwilling to do that, then I see no reason for us to be friends; because as far as I’m concerned, the truth is all that matters.
On the pathway that led me to where I am today I was faced with times when I could have chosen to reject the truth; moments when a big bright light was shone upon the lies I had once believed. I chose the logical way to overcome my own cognitive dissonance; I weighed this new evidence against what I had been taught, and when I found one position lacking, I rejected it and replaced it with one that could be supported by facts. The more I was forced to do that, the easier it became. In fact, I am still forced to do it all the time; as new facts are being discovered on an almost weekly basis.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accept is that our system of government, and the document that established it, is not compatible with a country, or a people, who seek to enjoy the full benefits of liberty. Liberty and our system of government cannot coexist side by side without one destroying the other. The sad thing is, we were warned of this over 200 years ago, and we did not listen; or at least our ancestors did not listen. In fact, one of the men who tried to warn of the dangers of the proposed Constitution lamented, “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.” (Patrick Henry, Speech to Virginia Ratifying Assembly, June 5, 1788)
You have been scammed America; from the moment you’re old enough to understand basic English you have been taught that our government possesses all these benevolent powers to do all these wonderful things for you, and that it is the greatest system of government the world has ever seen; created by men who were ‘inspired by God.’ It has all been a huge lie, and having to admit that to myself was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But remember what Patrick Henry said; he’d rather know the truth whatever anguish of spirit it cost him; could I do no less?
If you are not a student of history, such as I have become; therefore you probably don’t know much about the period between when the Constitution was written and when it was ratified and our system of government went into effect. To me, there are 3 fascinating periods of American history; the period that saw our founders go from servitude under a tyrant to freemen; the period that saw them draft and ratify the Constitution; and the last dying gasp of liberty in America – the misnamed Civil War.
I hate to sound belittling, but I think that many people think the Constitutional Convention went off without any real disagreements, or arguments; that the finished document was slipped into an overnight bag and Fed Ex delivered it to the States; whereupon they read it and said, “Yeah, this looks cool; let’s adopt this new plan of government.” I’m here to tell you, it wasn’t that easy, and it certainly wasn’t that smooth a transition from our old system of government to the new one proposed in 1787.
I’d be willing to bet that unless you were home schooled by someone knowledgeable about American History, the names Robert Yates, John Lansing Jr; Melancton Smith; George Mason; Luther Martin; and Samuel Bryan probably mean very little to you; if anything at all. Yet all those men were well known and well respected; and they had one other thing in common; they opposed ratification of the Constitution. These men, and others, wrote essays and participated in debates opposing the ratification of the Constitution; and they became known as the Anti-Federalists.
I was not aware of this when I first began reading what they had written or said, but for nearly a century after the debates over ratification ended, the writings and speeches of these men were next to impossible to find; unless you undertook an extensive search of the National Archives or Library of Congress. I could be wrong, but I believe their writings were intentionally hidden away while the people became accustomed to this new system of government; before they were given the chance to read that there was, in fact, serious opposition to this new system of government.
There is something else you need to know about the writings of these men; they are disappearing once again. When I first began collecting, and studying, the writings of the Anti-Federalists, they were easily located by a simple Google search. Not anymore. The essays of Centinel, of Brutus, and other Anti-Federalists are disappearing at an alarming rate; as if they are trying to hide history from anyone seeking the truth. I have most of them, although not all of them, and I’ve been studying them extensively, and there is something I’ve discovered; almost every fear they had about the proposed Constitution has proven to be valid; the things they feared would happen, have happened.
I could spend days discussing the fears the Anti-Federalists had over this new system of government, but I won’t. What I want to do though is provide a few quick examples of how they were right, and those who supported ratification of the Constitution were wrong; or flat out liars; you choose after reading what I’m about to share with you.
Now before I proceed with my point, counter point discussion, I need to address something else. There are many people, with some of them claiming to be lovers of liberty; or Constitutionalists, who claim that the authoritative explanation of the Constitution is found in the Federalist Papers; essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.
I don’t believe that to be the case; I believe the Federalist Papers were written in an effort to generate support for the Constitution when doubts about it had been given life by the writings of the Anti-Federalists. In that regard, the Federalist Papers were an ad campaign designed to induce support for the document they were trying to adopt. As a friend of mine often reminds me; if you want to learn the truth you have to examine both sides of an argument; and the Federalist Papers are only one side of the argument over whether to adopt, or reject the proposed Constitution.
My position on the Federalist Papers is supported by something I read in a book written by Abel Upshur in 1840; A Brief Enquiry Into the True Nature and Character of Our Federal Government. Upshur was a brilliant legal mind and in his book he stated, “The first commentary upon the Constitution, the Federalist, is decidedly the best, which has yet appeared. The writers of that book were actors in all the interesting scenes of the period, and two of them were members of the convention which formed the Constitution. Added to this, their extensive information, their commanding talents, and their experience in great public affairs, qualified them, in a peculiar degree, for the task which they undertook. Nevertheless, their great object was to recommend the Constitution to the people, at a time when it was very uncertain whether they would adopt it or not; and hence their work, although it contains a very full and philosophical analysis of the subject, comes to us as a mere argument in support of a favorite measure, and, for that reason, does not always command our entire confidence.”
Even if the Federalist Papers had been written with the best of intentions, (which I don’t believe they were), one must look at what the authors said, and then compare that against what those who opposed ratification of the Constitution, and then ask yourself; Who was right, those who supported or those who opposed the Constitution.
One big concern the Anti-Federalist had with this new system was the power of taxation that it gave to this new system of government. Luther Martin laid out a lengthy argument opposing this new power of taxation:
By the power to lay and collect imposts, they may impose duties on any or every article of commerce imported into these States to what amount they please. By the power to lay excises, a power very odious in its nature, since it authorises officers to go into your houses, your kitchens, your cellars, and to examine into your private concerns:the Congress may impose duties on every article of use or consumption, on the food that we eat, on the liquors we drink, on the clothes that we wear, the glass which enlighten our houses, or the hearths necessary for our warmth and comfort. By the power to lay and collect taxes, they may proceed to direct taxation on every individual either by a capitation tax on their heads, or an assessment on their property. By this part of the section therefore, the government has a power to lay what duties they please on goods imported; to lay what duties they please afterwards on whatever we use or consume; to impose stamp duties to what amount they please, and in whatever case they please: afterwards to impose on the people direct taxes, by capitation tax, or by assessment, to what amount they choose, and thus to sluice them at every vein as long as they have a drop of blood, without any controul, limitation, or restraint; while all the officers for collecting these taxes, stamp duties, imposts, and excises, are to be appointed by the general government, under its directions, not accountable to the States; nor is there even a security that they shall be citizens of the respective States, in which they are to exercise their offices; at the same time the construction of every law imposing any and all these taxes and duties, and directing the collection of them, and every question arising thereon, and on the conduct of the officers appointed to execute these laws, and to collect these taxes and duties so various in their kinds, are taken away from the courts of justice of the different States, and confined to the courts of the general government, there is to be heard and determined by judges holding their offices under the appointment not of the States, but of the general government.
Then there is this, spoken by George Mason during the Virginia Ratifying Debates, “I mean that clause which gives the first hint of the general government laying direct taxes. The assumption of this power of laying direct taxes does, of itself, entirely change the confederation of the states into one consolidated government. This power, being at discretion, unconfined, and without any kind of control, must carry every thing before it.” Mason then went on to make an accurate prediction of our current predicament, “Will the people of this great community submit to be individually taxed by two different and distinct powers? Will they suffer themselves to be doubly harassed?” Are we not taxed by both the State and federal government; making us ‘doubly harassed’? I would propose that is an accurate description of our situation, wouldn’t you? There are other passages I could have shared, but that was long enough and I didn’t want to overtax your mind; no pun intended.
That was the Anti-Federalist position; so what did the Federalists say? Well, in Federalist 12 Alexander Hamilton wrote, “It is evident from the state of the country, from the habits of the people, from the experience we have had on the point itself, that it is impracticable to raise any very considerable sums by direct taxation.”
Now direct taxation is a tax levied by government which is payable directly to the government by the person the tax is levied against. Property tax is a good example of a direct tax; the government sends you a bill, and you send government a check for payment. Another kind of direct tax is the income tax, and last year the government collected $2.7 trillion from income taxes alone. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like Hamilton was wrong and Luther Martin was right; for $2.7 is a considerable sum; at least it is for me.
Then there are all the ‘other’ taxes you pay; licenses, fees, permits, registration, so on and so forth; all of which are forms of taxation; not to mention infringements upon your rights. So I’d say, put a check mark in the column supporting the Anti-Federalist position. Shall we move on?
Another flaw the Anti-Federalist saw was in the representation of the people; they didn’t believe it was enough. Since I ended my thoughts on taxation with a George Mason quote, I’ll begin my discussion on representation with another quote from Mr. Mason, “It is ascertained, by history, that there never was a government over a very extensive country without destroying the liberties of the people: history also, supported by the opinions of the best writers, shows us that monarchy may suit a large territory, and despotic governments ever so extensive a country, but that popular governments can only exist in small territories. Is there a single example, on the face of the earth, to support a contrary opinion? Where is there one exception to this general rule?” Mason would then say, “It would be impossible to have a full and adequate representation in the general government; it would be too expensive and too unwieldy. We are, then, under the necessity of having this a very inadequate representation.”
Mason was not alone in fearing this aspect of the new Constitution, Patrick Henry also spoke out against it, saying, “I mean, when it says that there shall not be more Representatives than one for every 30,000. Now, Sir, how easy is it to evade this privilege? “The number shall not exceed one for every 30,000.” This may be satisfied by one Representative from each State. Let our numbers be ever so great, this immense continent, may, by this artful expression, be reduced to have but 13 Representatives.”
Then of course there was the words of Brutus; the pseudonym used by Robert Yates when writing against ratification, “In every free government, the people must give their assent to the laws by which they are governed. This is the true criterion between a free government and an arbitrary one. The former are ruled by the will of the whole, expressed in any manner they may agree upon; the latter by the will of one, or a few. If the people are to give their assent to the laws, by persons chosen and appointed by them, the manner of the choice and the number chosen, must be such, as to possess, be disposed, and consequently qualified to declare the sentiments of the people; for if they do not know, or are not disposed to speak the sentiments of the people, the people do not govern, but the sovereignty is in a few. Now, in a large extended country, it is impossible to have a representation, possessing the sentiments, and of integrity, to declare the minds of the people, without having it so numerous and unwieldly, as to be subject in great measure to the inconveniency of a democratic government.”
In response, Madison sidestepped the issue in Federalist 51 when he said, “In general it may be remarked on this subject, that no political problem is less susceptible of a precise solution, than that which relates to the number most convenient for a representative legislature: Nor is there any point on which the policy of the several states is more at variance; whether we compare their legislative assemblies directly with each other, or consider the proportions which they respectively bear to the number of their constituents.”
Ever have someone tell you that you’re comparing apples to oranges when making comparisons? Well that’s what Madison did right there. The Constitution, the document they were arguing about, states that there shall not be more than 1 representative in the House per every 30,000 inhabitants. They weren’t discussing the State governments they were discussing a possible new federal system of government, (if you could call it that). To be truly representative of the people of an entire country those who would be sent to represent them should be knowledgeable about their conditions in life, their needs, and all the other various circumstances surrounding their existence. Those who drafted the Constitution felt that 1 representative for every 30,000 people met that need.
Let me ask you something, do you know how many people your representative in the House actually represents? I do. I live in the 3rd Congressional district in the State of California. My representative is John Garamendi, a democrat. The total population of my congressional district is 748,104. You think Mr. Garamendi is familiar with what 3/4 million people want, need, feel? I don’t; especially considering the son of a bitch has NEVER responded to any of the e mails and letters I’ve sent him!
If we had adhered to the ratio of 1 representative for every 30,000 people, my district alone would have 24 representatives in the House; making it exactly what Mason had said, “… too expensive and too unwieldy.” So, looks to me like we need to add another checkmark in the Anti-Federalist column.
The final topic I’d like to discuss is Article 3 of the Constitution, or the establishment of a federal Judiciary; the Supreme Court. Returning to Robert Yates, writing as Brutus, we read, “It is easy to see, that in the common course of things, these courts will eclipse the dignity, and take away from the respectability, of the state courts. These courts will be, in themselves, totally independent of the states, deriving their authority from the United States, and receiving from them fixed salaries; and in the course of human events it is to be expected, that they will swallow up all the powers of the courts in the respective states.”
In Brutus 14 Yates also laid out a lengthy, and well thought out argument as to why the Courts under this Constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and beyond their control.
In an essay written by A Farmer, published in the Maryland Gazette, we read, “The judiciary power, has generally been considered as a branchof the executive, because these two powers, have been so frequent-ly united; – but where united, there is no liberty. In every free State, the judiciary is kept separate, independent, and considered as an intermediate power. . . . Without then the check of the democraticbranch – the jury, to ascertain those facts, to which the judge is to apply the law, and even in many cases to determine the cause by a general verdict – the latitude of judicial power, combined with the various and uncertain nature of evidence, will render it impossible to convict a judge of corruption, and ascertain his guilt. Remove the fear of punishment, give hopes of impunity, and vice and tyran-ny come scowling from their dark abodes in the human heart.”
In response Alexander Hamilton simply wrote, “This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks.” (Federalist 78)
Maybe it was weak, as it was outlined in the Constitution they were arguing; but one of the very first things this new government did once it was up and running was pass the Judiciary Act of 1789; which basically rewrote Article III of the Constitution; establishing District and Circuit Courts in all the States.
The Supreme Court has a long history of handing down decisions that granted itself, and the federal government more power; much of it due to either their interpretation of the document they were expounding upon, or due to a loose construction of the Commerce, Necessary and Proper, and General Welfare Clauses.
I know this is a bit off course, but I think it ties in to what I’m discussing now. In Federalist 45 James Madison wrote, “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.” (My emphasis)
Read that section in bold again. The federal government has no authority, according to Madison, to interfere in the internal operations, policing, or other concerns of the individual states. Yet here we are with federal agents coming into the States and policing people for violations of federal law; and the Supreme Court; as well as the lower courts, hand down decisions that predominantly fall on the side of federal authority.
So, tell me was Hamilton right; did the Judiciary turn out to be the weakest branch of the government? Thirty years after the Constitution was ratified Thomas Jefferson would write, “The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, ‘boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem’ [good judges have ample jurisdiction]. . . . A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.” (Source: Letter to Thomas Ritchie, Dec 25, 1820)
It looks like we need to add another checkmark into the Anti-Federalist column; making the final score; Anti-Federalists 3, Federalists 0. Seems like the Anti-Federalists were right, and the Federalists either lied, or did not understand the dangers of the system they supported. My bet is on the former; I think they lied through their teeth and shoved this system down our throats; and now we’re stuck with it.
Those are just 3 topics out of many; you could read the writings of the Anti-Federalists and you would find that almost everything bad they said would happen if the Constitution were adopted, has happened.
Yet today you can’t even convince Republicans and Democrats that what their party proposes to do if elected violates the Constitution; let alone convince them that the Constitution is a piece of shit and should never have been ratified.
Like I said at the beginning, people hide from the truth because it is too painful to admit that they have lived their lives believing a lie. Yet the facts are there, if you have the courage to seek them out. Lysander Spooner was right, “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.”
The Constitution has been unable to prevent us from stopping government from amassing far more power than what was promised during the debates for ratification. Not only that, as Patrick Henry so eloquently warned, “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? ”
Where in the Constitution do you find our power to punish those we elect to represent us? I’ll wait while you search for it; or I could ask you to trust me when I say that the Constitution gives us no power to punish them. Yet they can send men with guns to fine, arrest, imprison, and kill us if we disobey the laws they enact.
Boy, if that does not sound like tyranny to you, then you need to have your cranium examined; for it sure sounds like tyranny to me. Just wait till this Covid vaccine comes out, then you’ll find out how tyrannical your government is; when you won’t be able to shop, travel, get a job, vote, or even get your money out of the bank unless you can provide proof you’ve been vaccinated.
Wait and see, it’s coming. But no matter, you’ll vote harder next time, or maybe Trump honestly will make America great again. If you believe any of that will restore your liberty, I have two words for you…DREAM ON.