My country ‘tis of thee: Time for Americans to pay attention. Part VII of VII
Neither you nor I would want this definition of America left to folklore or to memory alone as it is far too important. Thus, it was written into the Constitution by the founders. Yul Brynner (as Ramses), when he was honcho of Egypt, would have said: “So let it be written; so let it be law!” Obama has yet to decide which side he is on.
The U.S. Constitution is in fact, a single document consisting of the seven original articles drafted by the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787, which were eventually ratified by the 13 original colonies (states). Additionally, the Constitution includes the 27 amendments that have been added to the document during the 200+ years that have elapsed since ratification and adoption of the Constitution. The first ten of these amendments are known collectively as The Bill of Rights.
The US constitutional system consists of the power relationships among the principal branches of government resulting from the constitutional division and distribution of political authority among them, by the Constitution itself. It defines the roles in the governing process played by each of the principal governmental institutions defined within the Constitution.
This is very important for Americans in that the Constitution provides the following attributes of government on our behalf:
Divides and distributes the authority of government between the central government over the whole nation and the governments of the member-states of the federal union
Assigns certain governmental powers to the states, while denying them certain other powers
Assigns certain powers to the national government and expressly prohibits it from exercising certain other powers
Assigns the powers delegated to the national government to the principal entities of that government (the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the President of the U.S.A., and the U.S. Courts). This is a key ingredient and serves the need for major checks and balances of power and it assures that the government does not run away from the people to begin to govern independently. Each entity has its own power, a strong incentive, and a legal right to oppose, block, check, and restrain the other entities of government if they get off track. Sometimes, unfortunately, the people in the positions designed to assure the checks and balances are not as good as people and as protectors of the republic as the founders expected. Sometimes they are little more than self-absorbed politicians.
Prescribes certain limitations on both the central government and the states by guaranteeing civil liberties, i.e., the basic rights and liberties of the individual citizen.
The U.S. Government has been set up to be constitutional (law) in character. However, it does not necessarily follow that all branches of government will adhere to this precept and by intent, by neglect or by the political process; certain facets of the constitutionality of the government can be overridden in fact if not in deed. The US government must comply with two fundamental legal requirements to remain legitimate:
The government must operate in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution
The government must not exceed the authority granted to it by the Constitution.
If the government does not operate within the constraints of these two most important provisions, then the existing government must be disbanded and reformed as a new government. Is today’s government legitimate?
As much as we may like our political representatives, we do not want them taking more power than we are willing to give them. Our laws and especially the Constitution gives the people power over the scoundrels we have elected over the years, many of which have gone bad. No sane person would give up the right to overpower corrupt politicians when, in many, and perhaps most cases, they no longer serve us well.
Therefore, I implore all honest citizens of America to not let Barack Obama, and the largely corrupt Senate and the corrupt press, to convince you otherwise. The people own the government. The political / ruling class has a lot of skin in the game and they would love to convince all of us that they are our salvation and not the reason for our potential premature death. If they convince us, we are done. The people rule and that, my friends, until the Constitution is outlawed, is the law of the land. If we believe it and we live it, the corruption can end, and the people can and will triumph.
When you read the Constitution, it is clear how insightful the founding fathers were as they built the essential features of constitutionalism into the framework of the US government. The government’s compliance with these two basic legal requirements is essential to its legitimacy, and to our ability to continue as a free nation.
So if we were to summarize the central purpose of constitutionalism, what would it be?
At a grassroots level, it is to protect ourselves (we the people) from our too-far-reaching neighbors who become politicians to promote their own selfish welfare. The notion of limiting governmental power as dictated in the Constitution checks and restrains the persons who hold public office and exercise political authority.
It is up to the people as a wary and watchful society to assure that this government does not get out of control—and hopefully this reminder will help us all in this regard. In other words, the people are not given license to fall asleep. Instead, we must pay attention to assure our liberty and freedom. This will assure our legitimate government.
Thus, all regular Americans have a role in keeping our government sound. We are not permitted by our Constitution to simply watch as our democracy is shattered and the rule of law provided by our Constitution is abrogated or abridged for political expediency. The rule of law strongly implies that there are limits to political authority—that there are limits to the power of any governing elite to rule society. The enforcers of all laws are the people of the US. Therefore, we must do our lawful duty.
If we do not watch over that responsibility, we will be overcome by those who have more energy than we choose to exercise. Let me repeat that the people own the government—not vice versa. However, if we the people vacate our responsibility to control all the entities of government—the legislative and executive branches, and the administrative agencies–seemingly under control of the President, and even the courts of law, the loss is ours.
If we do this, we have given up our Constitutional rights, which are the fundamental laws of our nation. We will have become nothing, and our government will no longer function as a republic.
Early Americans knew that America would not stand without the active support of the people. All of US today, just like then, are required to observe our government and assure that it is operating according to the law of the land. The risk is that somebody, not a friend of America, can take over America and fundamentally transform us into a nation begging for help from our enemies.
The protection of individual rights and liberties is a major tenet of the rule of law. The people permit the laws to be enacted and enforced and the law guarantees each individual citizen certain rights and liberties and it protects all of US from arbitrary interference or deprivation by government officeholders. The Second Amendment gives the people extra leverage in all arguments.
The Constitution and the rule of law are vital to preventing a runaway government like we find in many other parts of the world, such as Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela. Have we come closer to such a runaway government in recent years? Do the initials BHO come to mind in that respect? If our President cared as much about the poor as he pretends, for example, why is he still very rich? He not only redistributes your money (not his) to those he feels are needy, he also makes sure that his supporters share in the largesse. If Congress had the guts, they would call him on his hypocrisy.
Why did the cost of the First Family’s recent Hawaiian vacation set America back $7million even before the fiscal cliff was resolved? Then, why did the President as the only relevant passenger use American assets to fly back to Hawaii when the problem was resolved? When is enough spending on oneself enough? Is there such a thing as prudence in office? Why was the cost of this one vacation substantially more than the combined cost of all of the official trips of the members of the entire Royal Family in their official visits across the British Kingdom?
Why does this President, who claims a poor upbringing, and claims he relates to the poor better than most, engage in the most opulent vacations that can be imagined while using the people’s wallet, not his own? Are we doing so well financially as a country that such spending does not matter? Quite frankly, I do not know why the poor are not outraged. Where did our President learn about such fine things if he really is a poor person by background?
I see the most precocious President in recent times take the money from the poor in America and have the most outlandish celebrations and vacations such that even a Caesar would envy. A man who thinks the poor should be the responsibility of the rich, who himself is a rich man, should deplete himself of his own assets before he asks others to do so. The poor would benefit from his personal sacrifice. That, of course is the Christian way, and this President makes claims to be a Christian.
I make no bones about having rooted for Mitt Romney since he offered America its only economic chance. He has the inherent business acumen to make America smart again as a country and unbeatable in the marketplace. I see no reason why America must be a dumb country praying that the Tooth Fairy might come by and give us a handout. We had the chance of a lifetime to permit a fully qualified business expert, Mitt Romney, who understands industry, and who understands success, to bring us out of the mire into the top tier once again. As a country, I regret that we chose the Tooth Fairy.
I am a long time pragmatist. I bet on the probable, not the possible. Mitt Romney, who understands business in America and across the world, would probably have helped all of US be employed and even more so, be successful without burdening our children with our excess. Barack Obama wants us all to be employed. There is the big difference between the two. Obama may be able to help US but only if it is possible that the Tooth Fairy or some other mythical figure hears his call, and heeds his request.
If Jimmy the Greek were not defamed in the past for a big mistake, he would have had the opportunity again to make odds that Romney had a 10 to 1 better chance than Obama to bring Americans back to high paying jobs. Romney, unfortunately will never get a shot at it, and that from my perspective means no jobs for four more years.
My purpose in this essay is surely not to relive the election. The results are in and we must live within our new means. Now that we are in 2nd term execution mode, I would appreciate knowing the plans to put guys like me back to work if they exist. Yet, I admit that I expect to see none—ever! So far, nobody is talking to me about getting back to work. How about you?
What If the founders formed a different kind of government?
The founding fathers could have made George Washington the King instead of the first President. Many in fact were so fond of Washington’s abilities; they offered him the opportunity to be the King of America. However, they had already had enough of King George III and another King George would not have set well with them. Thomas Jefferson made his point with just these few words right on message:
“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.” Jefferson and the founding fathers could have given George Washington dictatorial powers if they chose, but what if George decided things about America that were good for George and his family but not good for Americans?
The fathers could have formed a constitutional oligarchy instead of a democracy. This basically is a system in which there is no representation and the few rule the many under the rules of a restrictive Constitution. The good news in this approach is that there is typically a body of law – the Constitution. The bad news is that these laws are very changeable, and not overriding on other laws. Therefore, laws could be created or taxes imposed that could negatively affect the people with no recourse but to accept. The people are not part of such a government!
Considering that the major squabble with England was about taxation without representation, it would have been unlikely for the founding fathers to fight a revolution that would not provide for individual rights and liberties through a representative (people / individual -first) form of government. So, they chose a republic.
The Constitution was written to assure these benefits and to keep the politicians from taking the country in a direction contrary to the will of the people. Here we are well over 200 years later, and it seems that we the people and our leaders have not fully heeded the warnings of the founders.
If it were not that political power, as in the notion that the political class or as some choose to label it, the ruling class, is comprised of politicians, with the assent or tacit acceptance of all three branches, can in fact be wielded against the population, the issues of government today might be as minimal as in the late 18th century, a hundred years after independence was gained.
However, today’s “grabby” politicians separate themselves from the people so they can serve special interests and themselves. They do not respect the notion of the founders as brought forth in the Constitution.
When the US government was in its infancy, the founding fathers did not know that we needed a remedy for professional lobbyists or we needed real term limitations. The founders trusted that when the people found a bad egg, no matter how long it was on the table, we would get rid of it.
What a problem when in the recent years, bad eggs are excused and millions of people in the country know the bad eggs and would like to fire them immediately but other millions like something about the bad eggs, and so they are preserved. Then, as we all know, we the people wind up being stuck with bad leadership through multiple terms. We’re back again to those times. The sighting of political sharks suggest that: “It’s back!”
Many citizen voters today believe they are too busy to pay attention and thus, they are easy targets of corrupt politicians. They tend to be easily duped by the politicos into electing the same bums each time their terms are up. Bad eggs begin to stink and eventually the whole country stinks until somebody says, enough! That has yet to happen in America in recent times. Hopefully, there will be enough time once the people understand what we must do. But, first we must all pay attention. We must be able to recognize all eggs for what they are.
For its part, even the Supreme Court has its political motivations and sometimes its actions are questionable. There are those today who insist that George Bush would not have been determined to be President if it were not for Sandra Day O’Connor and the other four Justices of the US Supreme Court. Though Democrats concur, Republicans in the Bush case think the court was error free while many in Roe v. Wade or the very recent eminent domain cases think the court has overreached its decisions. The court’s decisions on eminent domain permit political agents to confiscate your land and property for the good of someone else. Roe v Wade permits our newest citizens to be slaughtered. So, yes, even our courts do make mistakes.
Taking property from citizens to provide to other citizens is unconstitutional regardless of what the court ruled. This idea goes well beyond the intentions of those wise men who drafted the US Constitution. All branches of government should swear allegiance to the country and the Constitution, and they should not be crossing their fingers behind their backs when they do so.
We the people have the most important role in holding government accountable. We can put up a big stink or we can fire them all and bring them home. My purpose for writing this seven part piece is that the majority of Americans have chosen to neither pay attention nor act when action is needed. It looks like we simply do not care. We the people must do a better job to preserve our nation.
Our constitutional democracy is pretty good, but it is far from perfect, mostly because it is administered and interpreted by human beings who have natural bias. Our job as noted many times in this essay is to remain vigilant and to act in a lawful way against our government when it begins to steal our rights through harmful acts and regulations.
Our biggest and most powerful weapon in assuring our republic, our freedoms, and our liberties, is our vote. But perhaps even more important than all of that, once we see a real problem such as the recent Second Amendment attacks, it is the loudness of our scream that matters. Silence is consent. Yell it out loudly, please—so somebody takes notice!
At the very bottom of our remedies to solve our problems with our government, which the founders acknowledged would inevitably occur, is the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms. When the bad guys in all other countries chose to take over their governments, the first thing they demanded was that the people surrender their weapons peacefully to the government. Shortly afterwards, the gun-less independent thinkers and leaders, who might have told the people the truth, were executed quietly, and nobody heard their enlightened words.
Of course, that could never happen in America. Believe that nonsense at your own peril! Hah! You may change your mind if you earnestly read the writings of the founders, and you are paying attention to the few elements of a free press that exist today.
Progressive socialists are working harder than ever to fundamentally change our country into a Russian or Venezuelan, or Communist Chinese state. Watch in the next few years as these people, who now control our government, make their case to the people [US] for why we no longer need our precious Constitution, which guarantees our rights, our freedom, and our liberty. Please for all our sakes; don’t get sucked in!