Though de Tocqueville [and/or perhaps other American philosophers] came a few years after the Constitution was ratified, his insights are valuable in understanding that even this "more perfect" document, and the notions it represents, are still imperfect. Alexis de Tocqueville saw flaws that could be exploited by dishonest leaders often in concert with a dishonest public, and his writings warn US all about them.
We have documented de Tocqueville early in this essay. It is wise to keep de Tocqueville and others of his ilk, in our minds as we continue to examine our republic and where we are today.
Looking at these thoughts, we see that nothing in life worth having comes easy. Though nobody is perfect, there is no question among historical scholars that the founders had a deep desire not only to give America a fresh start; but one that would not need continual restarts over time.
The founders were men of means, but their fabrication of the US government proved that they were interested in much more than self-gain. The founders were made up of men of different religions; yet, all clearly wished to please their maker by giving to America far more than any received. Their work demonstrates their fervor and propensity to be fathers to a nation yet to be born.
Did they succeed in the American experiment to avoid restarts? We still do not know the answer. We do not know if a restart will be necessary, though America has already passed the 200-year life estimate for the nation. We'll have to check the history books periodically for a real answer. Will there be an America in 2050, or will it all be over? For now, we are in the decisive stage.
Our 2013 actions will determine our future. We did not do very well in 2012 as a nation. Reinserting a man who is committed intentionally or unintentionally to destroy our nation as president; put us far behind in the "hoping for the best" category. The fundamental transformation of America has already begun under Obama and the place where we are headed looks a lot more like the USSR than the USA. If you value liberty and freedom, take a good look while there is still some left. I heard Mark Levin today offer that when the USSR was dissolved in the 1990's their press took over our press. Amen! Obama is not complaining at all about these fine Pravda imports. They love him back.
Many of us believe the biggest threat we face today for the sustenance of our nation is a progressive president and senate. If Americans continue to vote with their stomachs instead of their minds, this experiment in rule of, by, and for the people will end poorly.
Is the Barack H. Obama redistributive America, the one that takes what you earn and gives it to the B. H. Obama designee du jour, your idea of the founders' America? It is not mine. Nor is any modification to the Constitution to permit the adored one to rule our country past his two terms.
So far in this essay, we have defined a constitution, and the notion of a constitutional democratic republic. Today's president does not like either of those notions when he is able, through executive fiat, run the country as a despot. What then makes our nation a constitutional democracy, and why is it that our president cannot accept the most fundamental laws of our country?
A constitutional democracy can be described accurately as a system of government in which the power of government is defined using the written word, and thus is limited in power to those words, and those words alone. It is distributed in a body of fundamental written law called a "Constitution."
In this way, we are innately a republic. And, it is up to our representatives to assure the people come first, and it is up to the people to pay attention so the government does not go astray. When Congress or the President chooses to adlib notions of law past those expressly provided in the Constitution, such as the 23 recent executive actions against the intentions specified in the second Amendment, the peoples' voices must be heard in protest and in unity. Writing this document is a form of my own personal protest. We the people must pay attention for our government to work for US? Our President would prefer that we take sleeping pills for all that ails us.
It is a fact that our current President and the Democrats in Congress today do not share the notion that the Constitution is a valid instrument for the government of our nation. They would prefer that President Obama were given power to ad lib the rules of the nation. We must be attentive that we do not permit this to happen.
The electorate (the general voting population within our political society) is given the effective means of controlling the elected representatives in the government and holding them accountable for their decisions and actions while in public office. Of course, all of this depends on the good will of a president and two houses of congress. These rulers of America have all agreed by oath to abide by the Constitution, so it is up to US, the people at large, to know when they violate their oaths. Again it is up to us to call them home if they do not serve US well. This is not a trivial matter unless having a USSR type government as a default is a favorable option for you.
Before we continue, let us remember a few of our past lessons. A constitutional democracy has two essential ingredients, (1) a constitutional ingredient and (2) a democratic ingredient. Let's examine these two ingredients:
The constitutional ingredient of a constitutional democracy is the "constitutional government." As noted previously, this means that the founding fathers wrote a Constitution so that the elected representatives of this nation could not just go ahead and do whatever they pleased with complete disregard to the most basic laws of this country as captured in the Constitution.
That is why many Americans are so upset that regulating bodies such as the EPA and the US Labor Department and countless others today appear immune to the restrictions emblazoned in our Constitution. It can be made more perfect, but when the chief executive has no real interest in what is right for Americans, it makes it really tough!
The democratic ingredient of a constitutional democracy is representative democracy and, as noted previously it has to do with who holds power and thus has the right to exercise authority on behalf of the governed. It also describes how such authority is acquired and retained (elections, impeachments etc.). Additionally it prescribes that the representatives of the people are accountable to the people, and through elections the people can change the face of the government by changing the face of its representatives—simply by throwing the bums out...
A Constitution as noted in previous sections of this essay is a very important piece in the puzzle in that it provides the opportunity to protect liberty and freedom beyond the lives of the founders of the government. For the United States of America, our Constitution is the supreme law of land. Thus, it is of higher importance and takes precedence over all other laws of society. In fact, all other laws, to be valid and enforceable, must be written in accordance with the superior law of the Constitution.
In recent years, a number of cases, in which laws at various levels of government were passed about matters of great importance, such as abortion and Obamacare, have been appealed to the Supreme Court of the U.S. The Supreme Court of the U.S. (a.k.a. SCOTUS), has become the court of last resort in the US today. Arguably this makes the court the most powerful of the three branches, though that was not the intent of the founders.
Nonetheless, the SCOTUS by current practice determines whether laws pass the constitutional sniff test. Even when it gets it wrong at times, its decisions stand. Unfortunately, in these instances, the people accede, rather than initiate major complaints, and so, without an active citizenry paying attention, an inept court can get by with bad decisions. A corrupt press often heralds a biased court's bad work as groundbreaking. If Americans pay no attention to the press, their untruths remain the final report and Americans lose.
Assuming the SCOTUS is unbiased and not corrupt, when the laws do not pass the sniff test or when the political makeup of the court sees things in a different light; good laws created by the states and by the federal legislature may not be upheld. Thus, laws not upheld, cannot be enforced.
On April 16, 2007, for example, the Supreme Court chose to uphold a law that banned a type of late-term abortion, a ruling that many believe portends enormous social, legal and political implications regarding this very divisive issue. An adverse ruling that would have occurred in a liberal progressive court would have permitted live babies to be sacrificed so their parents would not have the burden of raising a child. Those paying attention would surely have created a stink, but the point of this essay is that Americans do not pay enough attention to things that affect them, even when it is about our most precious gift from God, human life.
Considering that the nine members of the court itself were sharply divided (5-4) could prove historic. Political analysts suggested at the time that it sent a possible signal of the court's willingness, under Chief Justice John Roberts, to someday revisit the right to abortion which heretofore had been guaranteed in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Course decision.
We'll see! I predict, however that Democrats will unite against any idea that promotes the thought that more cute and cuddly babies might be permitted to be born in America. They complain each time a botched abortion creates a new life since each abortion survivor is another example of the war on women!
We are close in America unfortunately, to have laws that permit surgeons, whose botched abortions produce live and viable babies, to be able to kill the babies outside the womb, to complete the abortions. When Americans do not pay attention, people who may not be very nice are always paying attention and they do what they choose with impunity.
One might conclude they expect the doctor (abortionist) to stab the heart of the infant that is born red from the strong salt brine intended to kill it in the womb. If it were legal, as Obama voted in Chicago, a number of abortion "doctors" might kill surviving babies to show they performed their contractual obligation to the parents.
Why Republicans and conservatives do not highlight the "War on Babies" is a conundrum to me. In the "War on Women," as manufactured by the Democrats, women do not die. Unfortunately, few in America represent these little guys, who lived despite all attempts to kill them. They are left to die an ignominious death, often by starvation. Where is the outrage? Where are real human beings on this issue?
Since most government structural scholars cannot say that the Supreme Court dictates law in America though its decisions today are final, it surely appears that at this time, the Supreme Court can override anything that any of the other branches of government deems to be OK. For this to be a real republic, I would like to see both houses of the congress to be permitted with a simple majority to overrule the decisions of what some claim to be a few old people on the SCOTUS, who do not necessarily represent the people on all issues.
Right now, however, the SCOTUS is the boss. The founders did not intend this at all. The founders thought we all would be for the goodness of all, and that the people would never shed an opportunity for freedom or liberty. Bribery of the people is a powerful motivation.
Somebody must be the Supreme Ruler of the United States. I think it is God but the country has left Him behind! If it is not GOD, then it is still arguable. The only good news here is that even if the Supreme Court becomes corrupt, as the founders believed it would become, the founders built a remedy for the people into the Constitution.
Before we get into the way Justices can be removed, let us remind ourselves of one other fact. The Senate has its own history, and more than anything they mimic the old House of Lords. The US House is more akin to the old English House of Commons. The House in Britain and in America holds the power of the people's purse. Even when Britain was in control, we the people chose to fight a war because only the People's House could tax the colonists. When England chose to treat the colonists as subjects, they got a bit more than they expected in resistance.
When the British realized their cost to defend the colonies after the Seven Year War would be way too high, without asking the colonists, they chose to impose one tax after another to pay for their expenses and the troops that they had garrisoned in America to supposedly aid the colonists against the French and the Indians or whoever. Even many of the politicians in England did not like the idea of a tax imposition on anybody in the kingdom. They pointed out to fellow members of Parliament that levying taxes on the unrepresented colonies was against the rights of every Briton, but there weren't enough to overturn new tax legislation.
When Britain began to tax directly, with no representation from the people's treasury, the colonists put forth a revolution that eventually resulted in the USA. The moral of this story is that from day one, neither the Senate nor the President was permitted to spend the people's money without the approval of the people, who are to this day represented by the House. Thus, the House actually has the power to stop all Obama Executive Actions and in fact, all agencies of Obama, such as the EPA. It can do this if it chooses, simply by not funding them. But, the Republicans, including John Boehner, are afraid of their shadows, and Obama knows they will not do anything to hurt him in any way.
It is up to our representatives to be brave enough to take such bold action. Don't expect the RINOS we elect regularly to fight for US. So, it is time to get rid of all members of the House in 2014, who do not try to defund all of the programs that are bad for America. Let's see how Cocky President Obama is when a few conservatives have the intestinal fortitude to shut his excessive spending off at the pass.
Under normal circumstances, a Supreme Court justice is chosen to execute a lifetime commission. Typically, justices retire at a time that they choose rather than working to a certain age or until they die in office.
When a Supreme Court Justice becomes corrupt, he or she may be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office if convicted in a Senate trial. The types of offenses are the same that would trigger impeachment proceedings for any other top tier government official under Articles I and II of the Constitution.
In a direct democracy, a corrupt justice or a corrupt official anywhere in the elected government could be recalled, without all the pains of impeachment. Is that not an appealing notion? The introduction of Recall into the governmental system would help the people in dealing with any or all Supreme Court Justices, who choose to go bad.
No such proceedings would ever occur if all the people were not invigorated enough to force the issue. In other words, even if the court is corrupt, if the US citizenry is not paying attention enough to notice; a corrupt government, even in our constitutional republic, gets a pass. The message as always is to "pay attention!" If you want liberty and freedom, pay attention to what is happening, and take action as necessary.
The more our officials believe in a Supreme Being that is all good, and all powerful, the more likely they will complete their commissions or terms of office for the good of the nation. Since our founders trusted few people if any to be perfect, our system of government has many checks and balances to assure that corruption cannot stand over time. The most important of the checks and balances is that the people for whom the government operates must pay attention and do what is necessary to continue good and honest government.
No branch of government is exempt from following the Constitution. Many Americans who have watched our current President in action in his first term, however, do not think he got that message when he matriculated at Harvard Law School. Who knows what he taught his students when he was a Senior Lecturer at The University of Chicago Law School. Perhaps these schools teach a different version of the Constitution.
President Obama has been able to override the wishes of the legislature as expressed in American law. He simply does what he wants. This is not what the founders intended and it is not what the law permits. Yes, if our representatives had the guts, they could force even this President to follow the Constitution. But, they do not!
Perhaps because President Obama taught Constitutional Law, he feels he is excluded from it. But, he is not. Having a protective Attorney General, Eric Holder in the same political party as the President; seems to get in the way of having a countervailing power to assure the checks and balances in our democracy work for the people. Having more than half of Congress in lock step with the President's ambitions for a socialist government does not help curb the lawlessness either. Having a state run media instead of a free press makes it even worse.
What happens if the President goes so bad that he begins to operate in full view against the American people? Will Eric Holder call him on it? The Attorney General is the first countervailing power followed by the Congress. Having a loyal comrade as AG and a milquetoast Congress, including the milquetoast opposition party members, (let's call them RINOS) does not help the people at all.
In the U.S., every law enacted by a legislature and every decision or action of an executive office or agency must pass the constitutionality test. Not all laws that may be unconstitutional by definition if well examined, however, are challenged in court. Just because we choose to follow a law such as the one now preventing incandescent light bulbs, or the one limiting the size of soda pop containers in New York City, does not mean the law has passed the constitutionality test. When Obama outlaws the NFL because of concussions, perhaps we will exert some power, but more than likely the games will already be canceled before we notice.
In non-Obama times, for a law to be reversed it must be appealed and it can be appealed as many times as needed until it may reach the Supreme Court of the United States. If the governmental decision or law or action in question is found by the courts to be contrary to the Constitution, the court system will uphold the Constitution and set aside the unconstitutional decision or action of the legislature or of the executive branch.
As intimated in this essay, Presidents sometimes take actions that are unconstitutional. If the Justice Department chooses not to challenge a president in such cases, it does become more difficult to have a fair government. In such cases, the free press is supposed to help the people. Unfortunately, the press today is undeniably corrupt and in the tank for one of the political parties and it really does not seem to care that the country may explode from within, as long as its "man" survives. Check out my Conservative Action alerts article titled, "The day the free press died," for details on America's problems with the fourth estate.
Though apparently powerless, there are things the Congress can do to assure our Constitution is the winner, but they have no more visible power than the President. Thus, the courts are often the apparent definitive default remedy. The founders created the courts believing all men, who were elitist at a time when elitist was a positive idea, would never see a day in which individual off-the-wall ideology would govern the Supreme Court. Since they had a tough time considering that non-monarchs would hurt regular Americans, the founders gave court justices lifetime terms.
Of course, this is another flaw of our overall system that needs to be worked on when partisanship rules the day. Justices of recent times for example, often place their ideology over the intent of the Constitution as well as the good of the people of the United States. If we were all Americans instead of members of political parties, we would all do what is best for the country, and thus we would be helping ourselves at the same time. Perhaps those days can come again?
For your edification, a link to the text of the entire Constitution of these United States is included for your handy reference right here. Take this link when you have the opportunity.