How often do you read the Declaration? Have you EVER read it? Take 10 minutes of your day and listen to this reading, share it with your friends. This is not the Fourth of July, this is Independence Day!
How often do you read the Declaration? Have you EVER read it? Take 10 minutes of your day and listen to this reading, share it with your friends. This is not the Fourth of July, this is Independence Day!
Obviously the title of this article is a parody of the title of the famous book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. However, I believe this is more truth than fiction, and I hope you’ll find this glimpse at reality versus perception entertaining and educational, and gain a better understanding of the issue of “gun control.”
We live in a 24/7 news cycle. When I grew up, and well into adulthood, we saw world news once in the evening and local news and weather in the early evening, and again at bedtime. Newspapers were also an important source of news and information. This was also a time of “straight news-” the who, what, where sort of reporting. The original “We report, you decide” sort of information.
Nowadays we have instant notification of breaking news on our phones, full stories, and reports with video shortly after, so we never have to wait. This method also allows for more information than in a standard 30 minutes news program. Without the time constraints, there is also plenty of time for comments and opinion to enter the mix.
Most of us understand there is a difference between reality and perception. Most, who are well informed and take the time to be educated and exercise common sense, (I am going to start a petition renaming it uncommon sense,) find perception and reality to be the same. Fox example: A parent tells a child, if they complete a task in a certain period of time they will go have ice cream as a treat. The child messes around taking longer than the allotted time, and never actually completes the task. When the child learns the ice cream trip will not happen, their perception is that this is not fair, and it’s not their fault. The parent sees the reality of actions and natural consequences.
I was taken aback when I saw a Mark Dice video showing when random people on the street were offered the choice of a chocolate bar or a 1 ounce bar of silver. Without fail, each person took the $1 chocolate bar over the $14 silver bar. Perceived value versus the reality.
The old saying “When it bleeds, it leads” holds a lot of truth. I can assure you there are far more stories each day that would make us feel good than there are muggings, shootings, rapes, and so forth. They need the sensational to capture viewers, because there is a constant competition for ratings, which in turn means more advertising dollars.
Have you seen the reports that violent crime is at a 40 year low? These charts compiled by Pew Research show the vast difference between perception and reality. Four and a half times as many people believe violent crime has gone up versus the reality we are at a 40 year low. Many conclude that the decline in violent crime ties in with the increase in the number of guns, and the legal authority legislated to protect victims who protect themselves. It is certain the increase in the number of guns has not resulted in an increase of violent crime. As the meme says, “With 320 million firearms and trillions of rounds of ammo, if gun owners were a serious problem, you’d know it!”
Speaking in generalities here, there are no absolutes. The vast majority of violent crimes are likely committed by Democrats. Much of the crime in the inner cities is committed in areas where Republicans get few, if any votes. More often than not, Democrats are also the victims of these crimes. These urban Democrats or progressives see the gun as the problem, take away guns, and the problem will go away. In all fairness, there are Democrats in rural areas who treasure their gun rights.
Conservatives and Libertarians believe the founders recognized the necessity of being armed for protection. WE are the First Responders, not some government agency. The founders did not envision the use of this right to protect us from deer who banded together to get even; it was to protect from those who threaten our pursuit of “Life, Liberty and Happiness, whether that be a criminal or a government. The conservatives see a gun as a tool- a good thing to have around like a fire extinguisher or parachute. When you need it, you need it, and waiting for someone to bring it can mean disaster.
Remember, these are generalities. I could find no stats that confirm or deny this theory. All I can do is look at what happens every day in America and draw a conclusion. When I say Democrat I also include liberals and progressives, when I say Republican I also include conservatives and libertarians.
Democrats use guns to kill each other and other innocent people. The exception to this is, of course, gangs who largely kill each other with the occasional, accidental, innocent hit.
Republicans use guns for hunting and self-protection. They use their guns to protect themselves, and they understand the threat of tyranny knows no political party.
Democrats see no reason for anyone to have a gun because all they see is other democrats using guns trying to kill each other. When Democrats say they want to restrict or take the guns, Republicans see that as, “Disarm yourself, so I can shoot you, or round you up and send you to camps, if you don’t comply.”
It really does not matter if this is not 100% accurate, because I believe it is the PERCEPTION of both sides. With these perceptions, any sort of reasonable resolution is impossible. Until Democrats open their eyes, and see the root of the problem, they will continually try to put bandaids on a spurting artery. As a constitutional conservative, I can (and have) made the case that our perception is, in fact, reality.
With this in mind, whether I have a bazooka, or a 50 cal M-2 machine gun, an Abrams tank, or even an F-15 Strike Eagle, I would only use them for protection. Defensive use. The Democrat sees me, as he sees his fellow Democrats, and assumes I want to kill people with them.
Guns have two enemies: rust and politicians- a phrase which has been used since at least 2000, and its authorship is unknown. It dovetails well with something I stated recently, “Democrats want to take your right to bear arms, Republicans will compromise them away.” Many politicians perceive gun ownership as a “hot potato” because the battle lines are drawn in such bold strokes. Both sides perceive they’re right.
Gun owners find themselves at odds with about half of the people in the nation, and most of the politicians. We have been compromising our position since 1934 with very few reversals on the march towards a total destruction of our right, our natural or God given right. We suffer the reality that the government formed to protect our rights has become the instrument by which that right is taken away. And make no mistake, the goal is the ultimate destruction of that right.
Guns are not the problem, evil is. Evil has been in the world since the Garden of Eden, and will remain until the end of time. IF EVERY GUN IN THE WORLD was destroyed, including all used in the military, evil would still exist, and be visited upon us using different tools.
“God made all men, Sam Colt made all men equal” is a reflection of reality. Whether it is a 200 pound man trying to rape your wife or daughter, a terrorist trying to wage jihad or tyranny in the nation’s capital, the firearm is the great equalizer.
May we stand firm against any further infringement on our rights.
Amarillo used to be known for being on historic Route 66, the home of The Big Texan Steakhouse with its 72 ounce steak, the “Cadillac Ranch” and other interesting places. Unfortunately, it is becoming known for something else rather unsettling.
The “official story” is of course one of “workplace violence.” There was a dispute between two employees that unfortunately ended in the death of one of the men. While that is certainly the truth, as we know from TV court room trials, is it the truth, the whole truth…?
Full disclosure on my part here is important. We used to live in the Texas panhandle, and Amarillo was the “big city” we went to from time to time. We still have many good friends in, and around Amarillo, so I have been able to get a little more inside info on the situation there.
Amarillo has been a depository for this administration’s refugee and immigration plans, and they have had willing accomplices with a few corporations who enjoy the cheaper labor force. According to Mayor Paul Harpole, Amarillo has the highest ratio of Middle Eastern refugees of any city in America. When you take into consideration Muslim migrants from outside the Middle East, it’s much more.
According to the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center database, a total of 4,892 refugees have arrived since 2002. Police say crime is a chronic problem in the resettlement enclaves. The city currently fields 9-1-1 calls in 42 different languages. Harpole says that Amarillo’s school system is particularly vulnerable. More than 15 languages are spoken in the Amarillo school system, and when you include the different dialects, the number balloons to 75, according to Harpole’s testimony before the state Legislature.
With that background information we can add what I am told by friends.
They call that Walmart “SomaliMart.” Companies, such as Swift Meats and Tyson brought these people in. Amarillo did not want them, and they have been a huge problem and expense to the taxpayers. One friend told me, “They did not know how to wipe their butts, or that they had to. They didn’t know about basic cleanliness, such as bathing and toilets, and they were supposed to attend social classes to learn about living in America.” The official word from the government was that they were filling jobs “not wanted by Americans.” Not true, according to my friends, and many citizens lost jobs and benefits in Amarillo and several surrounding panhandle towns.
Friends tell me, and the mayor also stated that these enclaves of refugees set up their own government, and there is a frequent struggle within, to see who actually rules, and who is a “slave.” Their tribal system from their home country is in place here, with different levels of leadership. They claim they are not bound by Texas State laws or by US laws but by Sharia.
The “workplace” dispute was between two of these Somalis. Mohammad Moghaddam demanded the manager fire the other, and he refused, because it was not a workplace issue. The two hostages? It was the manager and the other Somali. I was told that Moghaddam was most angry with the manager and had directed him to write his Last Will and Testament, along with notes to his family, when Law Enforcement (who had a camera ran under the door) ended the standoff by shooting Moghaddam dead.
My friends tell me they try to stay out of these parts of the city, but that it is getting bad everywhere. No one feels safe, and all carry a weapon because they know if something happens, there is no way the police can respond in time. They are very appreciative of the city police and both sheriff departments- (Amarillo sits on the county line, and is in both Randall and Potter counties) for the jobs they do in an increasingly hostile environment. Thankfully, both hostages walked out alive.
Not every immigrant or refugee is, or will be a problem. However, how can we know? How can anyone know? There are two huge issues at play here. One obviously is the safety of the area residents. Crime has risen exponentially since the influx of immigrants has been forced on the community, and this is just one of dozens across the nation.
The other is the expense. What does the increased law enforcement cost? What of the cost to building more schools and dealing with the related languages?
I have personal friends who immigrated here, and they are not only grateful, they are fully assimilated to the society. They came here as school aged children, put in classes where only English was spoken, and had to make it…and did without exception. They added no burden to the community, and ultimately became successful business owners.
However, there is certainly a problem, and it is created on both sides of the aisle- Democrats who want to feel good for having done something, so people will vote for them, and Republicans who kowtow to big business.
It is time for the people and states to say enough, even if we need to resort to torches and pitchforks along with some tar and feathers. Some lessons are easier learned than others.
In reality we have been living in a post constitutional America for quite some time, but as a frog placed in a pot with cool water does not realize the heat has been turned up, we now find ourselves cooked.
As we look back at recent presidencies such as Clinton and Bush 43, there are numerous cases we can find in which the president, and/ or his agencies operated outside the Constitution. Often it was subtle and not earth shattering, however, each time a “bell is rung,” it cannot be “unrung.” In other words, once a precedent is set of overstepping a boundary, the boundary is moved, and the next person who steps over takes even more “liberty.”
Enter Barack Obama. There are an endless supply of videos and speeches in which Obama talks of his disdain for the limits of the Constitution. Those of us with eyes and ears, knew well before he was sworn in, what sort of president he would be. However, our republic was set up so that a president could not do these things without repercussions. There are two other branches set to keep the executive in check.
Historically, each branch did their best to follow the limits and restrictions of the Constitution, as well as keep the others in check. This is the whole idea behind the “checks and balances” of our style of Constitutional Republic. With the bold emergence of Progressives in the late 19th century, these safeguards have been consistently eroded away. Even as recently as the 1970s, Congress at least tried to pass legislation that would be viewed as constitutional before it was ever put up for a vote. Now, we have evolved to the point where they pass whatever they want, and wait for a judge to rule on it, after it’s taken to court. And, of course, there is the abuse of judicial activism, whereby judges use their “feelings” or “personal beliefs” to change law they personally do not like.
The evolution of the legislative and judicial branches are damaging enough, but the executive power is potentially far more dangerous to our loss of liberty, especially in the wake of the demise of established checks and balances. The president has far more ability to become a “king,” through the office itself, and the numerous “alphabet” agencies under his control. I am reminded of the quote from Lord Acton, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”
From the very beginning, we began to see how this president would ignore any constitutional restraints. When the BP drilling rig had the spill in the Gulf early in this administration, Obama simply issued a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. From Bloomberg:
“The Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its deepwater-drilling moratorium after the policy was struck down,” a New Orleans judge ruled.” Interior Department regulators acted with ‘determined disregard’ by lifting and reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling, following the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history,” U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman of New Orleans ruled yesterday.
“Each step the government took following the court’s imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance,” Feldman said in the ruling.
“Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of this case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government’s contempt,” Feldman said.
This was simply the first of many violations. Fast and Furious has never been adjudicated, although Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress, minus the consequences. The EPA, from fining a farmer for putting in a stock pond on his personal property to workers dumping millions of gallons of toxic waste into a Colorado river, paid no price, and no one was held accountable. The IRS was and still is guilty of countless abuses of power, with its pressures on conservative groups, audits of those who voice opposition to the administration, and confiscating money or property of citizens for “supposed” environmental violations without due process.
Loretta Lynch is currently refusing to comply with judicial orders: The U.S. Department of Justice is defying an order from a federal judge to release details of benefits provided to over 100,000 illegal immigrants under President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen ordered the Justice Department to produce a list of individuals who received deportation deferrals from the 2014 DHS directive in a decision made May 19. The decision was made after learning that the DOJ had not disclosed that approximately 100,000 illegal immigrants had received three-year deferrals from deportation between November 20, 2014 and March 3, 2015.
According to the Daily Caller, Judge Hanen says the Justice Department assured him that the 2014 program would not be implemented until February 2015, affording him time to evaluate the case. However, the federal government began issuing deferrals months earlier, in November 2014.
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. – 5th Amendment, US Constitution
The 14th Amendment went a step further to impose this restriction on state government, as well.
In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, we are now told it is reasonable to use an arbitrary no-fly list to prohibit gun purchases. Now, the murderer in that attack was not on the no-fly list, so what would this do?
We have the 2nd Amendment that has the phrase, “…the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There exists today, multiple agencies denying people due process, well beyond these examples. The IRS, for instance, demands that you hand over evidence which they will use against you, and then take your property, both of which are flagrant violations of the 5th amendment. However, since Congress passed laws allowing the agency to do this, no one does more than complain.
Watch this clip provided by Sen. James Inhofe. It speaks of the government’s plan to force compliance.
Probably the most offensive thing about this clip, aside fromt the crucifixion analogy, is the implication that the EPA singles out potential offenders, on a random basis, to serve as examples. Certainly, fostering fear through arbitrary and unduly punitive enforcement actions can be an effective means of ensuring broad compliance. But it’s not exactly in line with the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
We the people are ultimately responsible. Those of us who voted for “goodies and rights,” as well as those of us who have done little more than complain to our friends on Facebook are culpable. The heat has been turned up too high. Some of the frogs are getting uncomfortable, and are trying to tell the others that we are not in a hot tub.
I hope not, but time is short. I leave you with two timely quotes.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. -C. S. Lewis
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. -Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)
There are plenty of sources showing how having more guns is safer than fewer, or no guns. Progressives use lies to further their agenda. The ultimate goal simply is control of the people.
First, the term “gun control” is nothing more than a carefully crafted term to make their efforts appear compassionate. One can no more control a gun, than a car, or other object. A gun by itself, is no more a danger than a typical rock on the side of the road. People control would be more accurate, but then they could never get away with that.
Understand this, advertising is a tactic by which you are convinced to buy something you otherwise might not. A good advertiser can make you want something so much that you do not do your due diligence before making the purchase. Some reasonable research is required to be a prudent consumer. Progressives are excellent advertising specialists, they use emotion to coerce people to buy what they are selling.
“Assault rifle” is a made up term. First, it is important to understand what an assault weapon isn’t. The terms “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” are often confused. According to Bruce H. Kobayashi and Joseph E. Olson, writing in the Stanford Law and Policy Review: ”Prior to 1989, the term “assault weapon” did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of “assault rifles.”
The first use of the term “assault rifle” was used by Adolf Hitler in reference to the StG 44. The big advancement at the time was the move to a fully automatic fire rifle that was small and light enough for a man to carry. More modern advancements were made resulting in the M-16 and AK-47, which are both fully automatic fire rifles. The military does not use the term assault rifle; it simply uses the actual rifle’s designation such as M-16, M-4, etc. The M-4 is a fully automatic rifle capable of firing up to 950 rounds per minute.
In 1986 the federal government banned the sale of modern fully automatic guns, otherwise known as “machine guns.” Older automatic weapons are available for civilian purchase, but an extensive background check including fingerprints are required, in addition to a federal license. There are no records of any legally owned fully automatic firearms being used in criminal activity. There are a handful of incidents using illegally converted or purchased “machine guns” since 1934, however, they are essentially nonexistent.
The AR-15 and other similar semi-auto firearms can be fired 45-60 rounds per minute, while fully automatic weapons can fire nearly 1000 rounds per minute. According to David Kopel, writing in The Wall Street Journal:
“What some people call “assault weapons” function like every other normal firearm—they fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pressed. Unlike automatics (machine guns), they do not fire continuously as long as the trigger is held. … Today in America, most handguns are semi-automatics, as are many long guns, including the best-selling rifle today, the AR-15, the model used in the Newtown shooting. Some of these guns look like machine guns, but they do not function like machine guns.”
The truth is, they operate the same way as many hunting rifles and a typical rifle (Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle) used to protect livestock as well as many shotguns and pistols. Each gun in this picture fires one round each time the trigger is pulled.
Here’s where the advertising comes into play: the problem with each of these guns is, perception. We’ve all known the guy with the car that is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s driving the the junker that looks like it won’t make it out of the driveway, but it has a big engine that could smoke all the competition.
Appearance has nothing to do with performance.
According to a 1988 report by the Violence Policy Center, an anti-gun lobby: [H]andgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority… Assault weapons … are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
In the late 1980s, more than 20 years after the first AR-15 was sold to the public, a move was put forth joined by a willing media to confuse the public into thinking the AR-15 was a fully automatic machine gun. The plan culminated in 1993 with the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). The only way it was passed was with a sunset on the law after 10 years.
It is believed the ban was a major reason for the democrat party defeat in 1994 and even Al Gore’s loss in 2000. Since the AR-15 and civilian AK-47 are not fully automatic machine guns, another definition was required. Because assault rifles were already banned, and because an outright ban on semi-automatic firearms wasn’t considered politically feasible, the AWB defined assault weapons as semi-automatic firearms that shared too many cosmetic features with their fully automatic counterparts.
A collapsable buttstock, flash hider and pistol grip became illegal. Remember, these are simply cosmetic items; they have nothing to do with the operating parts of the gun. According to a Department of Justice study, the firearms that the AWB would ban were used in only 2% of gun crimes. Public perception, however, was that the law had banned machine guns and weapons of war. Magazines were also limited to 10 rounds or less. On September 13, 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban went into effect. A Washington Post editorial published two days later was candid about the ban’s real purpose: [N]o one should have any illusions about what was accomplished [by the ban]. Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.”
Manufacturers, of course, began to produce guns which were in compliance with the new law; however, there were still mass shootings, including the Columbine School shooting, where assailants used “post ban” firearms. The murderers used the 10 round magazines, and simply used more of them. This video demonstrates that magazine capacity has essentially no effect on the lethality of a gun.
In 2004, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired. It was not renewed. The AWB had failed to have an impact on gun crime in the United States. A 2004 Department of Justice report concluded: Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. [Assault weapons] were rarely used in gun crimes prior to the ban.
Intent to never let a crisis go to waste, the move to ban these guns was renewed after the Sandy Hook School shooting. The AR-15 and other so-called assault weapons were widely depicted as military weapons whose only purpose was to rapidly kill large numbers of people. However, the AR style rifles are the single most popular rifle in America, used widely by hunters and by competition shooters. Additionally, it’s light weight and reduced recoil make it an excellent self-defense rifle.
The attempt to outlaw or restrict these fine weapons is ever present, even though more people are killed each year by clubs and rocks than by rifles of any kind. James Holmes, in the Aurora movie theater shooting, used a shotgun. Banning any firearm because of cosmetic factors is either misguided, or politicians have ulterior motives. Neither of those bodes well for the republic.
A friend asked me to put something together to help explain just what is being discussed. Hopefully I have answered hers and others’ questions, however, something else needs to be said here. I have written extensively on the Constitution and the founders, and how both the leaders and people need to be a moral and virtuous people. The further we get from Godly principles, the more we need masters to rule over us.
The 2nd Amendment was quite specific: “Shall not be infringed,” does not leave much to the imagination. If it weren’t so serious, it is often quite comical to watch a judge or politician twist themselves in a knot trying to justify a law that clearly infringes that natural God given right. “Keep and bear” does not restrict in any way. I carry all the time. ALL the time. While it is my right, I view it as my responsibility.
Ask most people for their list of the top five presidents, and Calvin Coolidge does not even get honorable mention. In fact, he would appear at the bottom of the list, or nearly so. My memory of Coolidge from school was that he was largely a “do nothing” president. Without any further information, this alone should elevate him to greatness. The vast majority of the time, when presidents do something, it is outside their enumerated powers…at least it has been for the past 50 years. (See my series on Enumerated Powers.)
Calvin Coolidge was likely the most constitutional president this nation had since the early 19th century. He well recognized the perils of centralized power, not only in Washington, but in the single office of an executive. People on both sides of the aisle frequently rail at presidents who exceed their authority, and I have a saying about that. “People love tyrants, as long as it is their tyrant”. I listened to people on the left scream about George W. Bush and his misuse of power, only to applaud Obama for using his phone and pen to bypass an “obstructionist congress”.
As I watch this election cycle, I see the lines clearly drawn between those who each want their “chosen tyrant” to save the republic. Here’s a news flash – a president Hillary Clinton will no more destroy our republic than a President Trump will save it. We are already living in a “Post Constitutional” America.
The fact is, most of what happens in this nation is outside the bounds of the Constitution, and doing more things outside the limits of the Constitution does not bring us closer to the salvation of the Republic, it brings us closer to it’s final destruction.
Coolidge is close to my heart this morning because of a speech I recently re-read, the speech he gave at the 150 year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I will include a link at the end of this article for the entire speech which is quite lengthy, but here is a segment that touched me most deeply.
“Placing every man on a plane where he acknowledged no superiors, where no one possessed any right to rule over him, he must inevitably choose his own rulers through a system of self-government. This was their theory of democracy. In those days such doctrines would scarcely have been permitted to flourish and spread in any other country. This was the purpose which the fathers cherished. In order that they might have freedom to express these thoughts and opportunity to put them into action, whole congregations with their pastors had migrated to the Colonies. These great truths were in the air that our people breathed. Whatever else we may say of it, the Declaration of Independence was profoundly American.
If this apprehension of the facts be correct, and the documentary evidence would appear to verify it, then certain conclusions are bound to follow. A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man — these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We can not continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.
We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
In the development of its institutions America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago. In all the essentials we have achieved an equality which was never possessed by any other people. Even in the less important matter of material possessions we have secured a wider and wider distribution of wealth. The rights of the individual are held sacred and protected by constitutional guaranties, which even the Government itself is bound not to violate. If there is any one thing among us that is established beyond question, it is self-government — the right of the people to rule. If there is any failure in respect to any of these principles, it is because there is a failure on the part of individuals to observe them. We hold that the duly authorized expression of the will of the people has a divine sanction. But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that “Democracy is Christ’s government.” The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty.
On an occasion like this a great temptation exists to present evidence of the practical success of our form of democratic republic at home and the ever-broadening acceptance it is securing abroad. Although these things are well known, their frequent consideration is an encouragement and an inspiration. But it is not results and effects so much as sources and causes that I believe it is even more necessary constantly to contemplate. Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will. Its officers may sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions. The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform. It is to that cause that we must ascribe all our results.
It was in the contemplation of these truths that the fathers made their declaration and adopted their Constitution. It was to establish a free government, which must not be permitted to degenerate into the unrestrained authority of a mere majority or the unbridled weight of a mere influential few. They undertook the balance these interests against each other and provide the three separate independent branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments of the Government, with checks against each other in order that neither one might encroach upon the other. These are our guaranties of liberty. As a result of these methods enterprise has been duly protected from confiscation, the people have been free from oppression, and there has been an ever-broadening and deepening of the humanities of life.
Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general. Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meeting-house. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.
No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.” -Speech on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Calvin Coolidge, July 5, 1926
Mr. Coolidge was a quiet and humble man, yet he had the courage to give this speech after the country had endured decades of onslaught by the first round of progressives. In reality, ever since Darwin wrote his “Origin of Species” in 1859, there have been efforts to erase the connection between Godly ideals and our founding. The battle between good and evil, of course, has existed since Adam and Eve, but the battle here in these United States began in earnest over 100 years ago and continues today.
As we observe the current presidential contenders it is clear we cannot rely on a president to keep watch over our republic, and in reality that job has always been ours. We have failed in many ways and we own that failure.
Read the speech in its entirety here.
Nations don’t die overnight or with a single event; it happens over time. Death occurs in humans often the same way. We certainly can die suddenly in an accident through no fault of our own, or we could be murdered. But a normal “natural causes” death is typically due to ignoring signs and symptoms until the disease takes control.
Nations die in this manner, as well. Understand also, as one event does not kill a nation, one person does not kill or save a nation either. One person can have an impact either positive or negative, to lead to freedom or destruction. On the morning of May 4, the first headline that was forwarded to my phone was, “At the starting gate: Clinton leads Trump by double-digits.” That got my attention, but what was in the article really hit me. “Clinton is also more trusted than Trump on many issues voters rank as critically important.” One exception was that by a 5% margin, voters say Trump would be better at handling the economy.
I’m not sure I can fathom that statement, Clinton more trusted than Trump.
Letter 76, on the topic of Russia’s new constitutional laws (27 August 1811); published in Lettres et Opuscules. The English translation has several variations, including “Every country has the government it deserves” and “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.” -Joseph de Maistre
Our first symptom as a nation was in 1803 when the Supreme Court took a case, Marbury v. Madison, that was not within its jurisdiction. That case ultimately was used as the authority for government to determine its own limits. President Andrew Jackson wanted to run the country as he had run the military while a general. Some of those actions set up the events that led to the Civil War. The result was the death of hundreds of thousands of our citizens, and the death of states’ rights, as well as personal rights – rights that were to be protected by the Constitution and thus by the government. The rise of progressivism at the turn of the century, the Wilson, FDR and Johnson administrations all took terrible tolls on the nation. The Bush administration gave us some terrible blows to personal liberty, and set the stage for the Obama years.
Our nation is as a diabetic who ignores their blood sugar levels, eats whatever they want, ignores all the signs and then wonders why their health is a wreck. Except there seems to be no recognition yet, as to the state of our nation. Essentially, I believe Joseph de Maistre was saying our leaders are a reflection of the people.
I’ve heard, and agree with, the notion that we are as Israel when she cried out for a king, and they ended up with Saul. I’ll not go into the details here, but they begged for a leader, they were warned and yet they persisted. Our leaders are not a symptom of the government’s health, they are a symptom of the people’s health. As an individual, we envision ourselves with the “six-pack” abs or the bikini body, while we stuff our mouths with Twinkies and other sugar filled snacks. What we want and what we get are not even close to the same. Our body reflects our behavior, likewise our government.
People will say that Trump will turn it around; he’ll make America great again. Not only will he not do that, he cannot do that. Our founders placed the nation’s future and health in the hands of the states and the people. When the people seek security over liberty they are telling the leaders they would rather be slaves than free.
America will only be great when we ourselves become great.
As I watched the process, the speeches and rallies of the candidates, something quite telling became very obvious. For one, 2004 and 2008 were not anomalies. We have crossed the tipping point- the point of no return. That does not mean all hope is lost, but it means we have crossed or passed a point where elected officials will “save the patient.” When people vote with emotion and not with the Constitution in mind, is it any wonder when once in office they do not follow the document?
The opening statement of the Declaration of Independence begins thus:
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Am I calling for an armed revolution? Of course not! I am saying that lines have to be drawn in the sand, and in our hearts. We cannot be the definition of insanity by trying to do the same thing over and over, while hoping for a different result. We cannot keep eating junk food and look in the mirror for that “beach body.” With our physical body, the change comes with a change in behavior, eating properly and physical exercise. Our nation’s health requires a change in our behavior as well.
There is hope, albeit slim. $19 trillion in debt, $140 in unfunded liabilities and 150 years of chipping away at the Constitution has had devastating effects. It is our fault, and ours alone, but we are not yet finished. The founders gave us an “In case of emergency” ring to pull short of a revolution. I hope you’ll follow me in the days to come as I discuss our options.
God bless us and our nation and may we also be a blessing in return.
This is not necessarily a bad thing.
If one will sit back and look at the two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans, there is one stark difference. It is not ideology, it is mathematical division.
Are the Democrats always in 100% lockstep agreement? Of course not, but their arguments usually occur during the primary process and behind the scenes. Then they do a photo op for the press and unify behind the winner, be that a person or an idea.
Republicans frequently air their differences in public, as well as behind the scenes; the leadership will then make a decision and tell the rest of us to shut up and fall in line. This, of course, manifests itself at the voting booth, and this upcoming election is not really anything new. I believe it has the appearance of being worse simply because of social media.
The Democrats and Republicans have a fundamental difference beyond ideology; Democrats band together for the common good of the party, while Republicans do not. This distinction is important. For the most part Democrats like “parts” of the constitution and deplore others, but in general they despise that the constitution restrains, rather than empowers government. Though there is great disagreement within the party as to what to do and how to do it, they eagerly accept the mantra, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The bottom line is they continue to move in the direction most want, the variable is just the speed at which they travel.
The Republicans, not so much. The reason is in the ideology; not all Republicans have the same general ideology. I recently wrote an article questioning who we are, looking at progressives vs. conservatives in the party. There is a distinct section of the Republican Party that is progressive, believing government has answers and should be used to control power and behavior. There is also a constitutional arm of the Republican Party and a Libertarian arm. In many cases the constitutional and libertarian groups overlap considerably, and tend to work together. The constitutional and libertarian arms should not and cannot work together with the progressives because they are diametrically opposed, as in oil and water.
People who hold the Constitution dear and vital to our very survival are under constant attack from fellow “conservatives” since Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee. They are constantly told they have to jump on the train for the good of the party, that to vote for anyone but Trump, or to not vote at all, is the same as voting for Hillary, or whoever takes her place after her indictment. Laura Ingraham has turned on those who find issues with Trump and are loathe to vote for him. Ann Coultermakes a living from being brash and berating those with whom she disagrees; she has been her typical vicious self towards those who indicate that Trump may be as bad as Hillary, or even worse. And there’s Sean Hannity, who claims to be a conservative and not a Republican, but favors party rule over the constitution every time. These are just three of the higher profile pundits among the dozens of editorialists and commentators who incessantly bash those who dare to stick to values and principles, who when given the option of eating arsenic or drinking hemlock tea, say “no thanks” to either.
Do constitutionalists and true conservatives have a valid point? Are the principles upon which they stand legitimate? If we are arguing over whether to build roads out of asphalt or concrete then we need to come to a consensus and get the job completed. We are looking, however, at things far more invasive to our liberties. From forced participation in health insurance to transgender access to school bathrooms and locker rooms, government increasingly forces itself into our daily lives. The problem is, many so-called conservatives actually welcome this intrusion. For instance, does it bother you to hear a candidate say they will repeal and replace Obamacare? Repeal, yes. Replace is just a substitution, swapping one over-reaching government program for another. They defend and even start social programs, such as the Bush prescription drug plan.
Each time government steps over its enumerated powers, it violates its contract with the states and the people. Does it matter how much it violates it? A departure is a departure and exceeding enumerated powers is a departure. If your spouse were to stray and commit adultery, would it matter if they hadrelations with one or three? There is no greater violation of trust in a marriage than that of adultery. Scripture is replete with examples of God comparing Israel to one that leaves its betrothed and goes to a harlot. When politicians promise to be true to the constitution, to honor it, protect it, defend it, and then violate the very essence of the document, is that any different? Do they not “play the harlot” as well? How many hookers or gigolos can our spouse visit before we say enough? And what if before we marry, our prospective spouse informs us ahead of time they plan to have other lovers?
With Hillary Clinton we know exactly who and what we will get. What of Donald Trump? Trump has recently come out in favor of raising a national minimum wage, just like Hillary. This is a clear violation of the enumerated powers of every branch of government in addition to the traditional Republican platform. He said he could and would self-fund his campaign. In reality he “loaned” his campaign money and paid himself back with donations…plus interest. He now says he will use public funding, our tax dollars, for the election process. If while you were engaged to your spouse they had lied in such a way, would you have gone through with the marriage? Trump belittled Cruz for borrowing from Goldman Sachs (against the collateral of his investment account,) as having ties to that “evil” company that Heidi had also worked for. Then he hired a former CEO of a Sachs partner with ties to George Soros, but I guess now Goldman Sachs is a good company with which to align. Now it turns out his tax plan and immigration plans were just ideas, starting points for negotiations, i.e. deals.
“But Hillary will be worse,” we are told. Marry the one who will only have a few affairs on you rather than the one who will have dozens. “But this is not a marriage, you are going to get a president no matter what. At least pick the ‘least bad’ one.”
When will we learn? Ever? Before everything is lost? What if we all fall in lockstep as do the Democrats and vote for the nominee? We need the party unity, our odds are better for Supreme Court nominees if we all just play along. Live to fight another day. I suggest we are at the point when “another day” will not come. If we do not stand on principle, then who? If not now, when? Who will put their finger in the dike? Who will stand in the gap? Someone has to draw a line in the sand and say “no more.” As Molon Labe signifies the second amendment line in the sand, so must a similar line be drawn for the election.
King Leonidas of Sparta lost the Battle of Thermopylae, but he and his fellow soldiers are immortalized for standing against the Persian hordes that threatened their liberty. Had they not stood firm, they would have been enslaved, as will we.
If you missed the previous parts, click here for a link to Part 3. There are links to the first two parts there as well.
The government we have today is not the government outlined in our Constitution; whether we think that is a good thing or a bad thing, does not matter. It is not the government given to us by those who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. Today, we need to ask ourselves several questions:
Should we do anything about it? If not, why not? If so, what? If so, who is on our side? Who is the opposition and why?
First, if you are reading this, it is quite likely you agree with me that the departure from the roadmap given us by our founders has led us to destinations never intended. Our guidance was to liberty, not to control and slavery to a central government. Obviously, there would be a substantial number of US citizens who would not want to return to the originalist view of the constitution.
Clearly, Progressives do not like the constitution as written. They are against us, and always will be. They have historically used both the constitutional method to affect change, and they have pushed for change by each of the three branches of government. We owe the income tax and the decimation of state representation via the 16th and 17th amendments, Social Security, Medicare, abortion on demand and the massive social engineering programs, as a result of Progressive activism.
Progressive does not mean Democrat. Progressivism is deeply embedded in the Republican party, as well.
I essentially see three options. We can vote constitutional conservatives into local, state and federal offices and wait. I think we have been trying this to no avail, and the machine chews good people up and either they change with their environment, or they are too few in number to have any effectiveness. It is almost like climbing a tree by sitting on an acorn and waiting for it to grow.
That leaves us with two options: Nullification and/or Article V of the constitution. Nullification, in United States constitutional history, is a legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional. The theory of nullification has never been legally upheld by federal courts.
I bring it up as an option, because there is a significant number of people who believe this is the only possible option. Nullification does not have a very good track record. David Barton has an excellent paper on the history of nullification, “Limiting an Overreaching Federal Government: Is State Nullification the Solution? A Constitutional Analysis”. Nullification led to secession, and secession to civil war. I happen to believe that in certain instances, a state could nullify a federal law or regulation. Now, whether it would stand up in court is another issue, but sometimes you have to draw that line in the sand.
Take Obamacare, for instance. Let’s say a state says the federal government has no right to force its citizens and businesses to comply with the healthcare la
w. Any citizen or business that does not comply, will fall under the power of the IRS, where they may be fined or face another action. Is the state going to stop the
On another issue, my state of Kansas passed legislation telling the federal government they had no jurisdiction regarding guns made, sold and kept in Kansas. I support that law, even though it may not pass muster in court.
Since we know voting and waiting has not shown promise and Nullification does not seem to end well when tried, that leaves us with Article V. The framers knew that in time it was very likely societal changes would require some changes to the Constitution. They also knew there would come a time that government would evolve into a liberty eating monster, and there had to be a method to effect the changes needed for each scenario.
We were given both of those methods in Article V.
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.” -Article V US Constitution
I mentioned earlier there are those who fight us to prevent the use of the tools given us. Typically, we assume it is Progressives, but in this case they have help. Progressives fight any efforts to use Article V because it will lead to them losing not only power, but the progress they have made getting away from the Constitution. There are “supposed” conservatives, who have joined forces with the progressives to stop efforts by states to pass resolutions calling for an Article V convention. Imagine that– conservatives who are supposed to be standing for the Constitution and returning to that document, actually pick and choose what parts they want us to follow, and disregard the others.
What sets them apart from Progressives who say other parts should not be followed? NOTHING! Progressives will lie to you and tell you that departure from the Constitution is in your best interest. These conservatives will lie to you and tell you that an Article V convention, that clearly is only to PROPOSE amendments, is a constitutional convention to change the whole document.
They will lie to you, and tell you the first Constitutional Convention was a “runaway” convention, and that this one could do the same thing. They will lie to you and tell you the 2nd Amendment will be repealed. I wonder about the motives of these people.
If we cannot reign in the federal government, the republic is lost, and if this effort fails there is nothing short of a revolution that will stop the slide to socialism and communism. Do these people actually prefer a shooting war to a dignified and reasoned approach, the constitutional approach?
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” -9th Amendment US Constitution
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” -10th Amendment US Constitution
The three branches of government have violated the trust and responsibility given them by us, and the Constitution by going beyond the bounds of those powers, or ignoring them. Now, think about this, Article V and the 9th & 10th Amendments are the Enumerated Powers of the states and the people. They are important tools in our toolbox. Imagine a mechanic working on your car, and a famous mechanic, (these leading conservatives), tells you your car must be repaired without using a wrench or screwdriver. You’d think they were nuts.
We have choices. We can decide socialism is okay and adapt. We can ignore the situation and hope it all works out. We can vote and wait. We can have a revolution and hope “our side” wins and rebuilds a Constitutional Republic – and that we and our loved ones survive. Or, we can look in our “toolbox” and pick up the tools given us, and use them to fix the problem.
How do we have any credibility if we berate our elected officials for not following their oath of office and the Constitution, if we do not follow the guidance and powers of the Constitution ourselves? Full disclosure, I am a volunteer District Captain for the Convention of States Project. I encourage you to search for the answers yourself. I once was one of those conservatives who was against this. Initially, I decided to research the Convention of States, to show people how wrong they were to consider it, and that education taught me I was wrong, because I was searching for the truth.
TRUTH HAS NO AGENDA.
Please go to www.conventionofstates.com. There is a lot of good information and an excellent FAQ section, and find original sources on your own. Don’t trust me, and don’t trust other “opinion writers”.
I’ll end this with a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Justice William Johnson regarding a Supreme Court that had violated it’s limited powers in taking a case: But the Chief Justice says, “there must be an ultimate arbiter somewhere.” True, there must; but does that prove it is either party? The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, assembled by their deputies in convention, at the call of Congress, or of two-thirds of the States. Let them decide to which they mean to give an authority claimed by two of their organs. And it has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our constitution, to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations is at once to force.” -Thomas Jefferson to Justice William Johnson Monticello, June 12, 1823
In the first two parts of the series I looked at Articles I & II of the constitution’s enumerated powers. If you missed one of these, please check it out here and here. We looked at several instances of violations of the limits of power by both the legislature and the executive branches.
This article will address the role of the Supreme Court. Article III, Section 2 states:
“The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;–to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more states; between a state and citizens of another state; between citizens of different states; between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.”
Let me ask you a question. Do you see any authority or power within these enumerated powers granted to the Supreme Court over state laws?
Look closely, it’s NOT there.
To look where SCOTUS began to get off track we have to go back, way back. However, before we look at some of the cases, we need to look at something courts use called “stare decisis.” One of the most important doctrines in Western law is that of stare decisis, a Latin term of art which means “to stand by decided cases, to uphold precedents, and to maintain former adjudications.” It is intended to save time in court, once a case has been tried then similar cases receive the same results. AND, if a case ends badly, or wrongly, then that mistake is continued, as well.
Judges give edicts (legal decision) and dictum (opinion). We are used to hearing SCOTUS cases having the consenting and dissenting opinions. Stare decisis tends to give great weight to the opinion in the case, often as if it were law. A poorly worded opinion could define a set of legal positions that go beyond the limits of the underlying constitutional laws, and thus the basis for future precedents. Add in the politics of some judges, the desire to legislate from the bench, or “right previous wrongs” delivering social justice, and our judiciary is ripe for abuse just as the other branches.
In 1803, the case of Marbury v. Madison was a simple case that in reality should never have come before the Supreme Court. In essence, the end result establishes the federal government as the final judge of its own power. Of course this was reserved for the states and the people. McCullough v. Maryland established the primacy of the federal government over the states, and the concept of implied federal power.
The Dred Scott decision essentially said blacks were not human. Wickard v. Filburn, which I mentioned in Part 1 permitted the Congress to regulate personal, private, and even trivial behavior. Korematsu v. United States, mentioned in Part 2, allowed FDR to put Japanese Americans in internment camps.
Of course Roe v. Wade determined a right to privacy, and thus abortion, and of course, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, which permitted the Congress to tax any event or non-event it wishes. I asked about the authority over state law, because of the recent decision regarding gay marriage, Obergefell v. Hodgeswhich, was a decision on a state law and the court’s decision was allowed to become law.
Just as the President cannot write legislation, neither can SCOTUS. Another very important case I mentioned regarding FDR was Helvering v. Davis (1937). Helvering upheld the constitutionality of Social Security on the basis that Congress has a general power to spend on whatever it deems to be in the general welfare. There’s that “Welfare Clause” I mentioned before. Remember, ALL such clauses are still subject to the enumerated powers of each branch. Helvering turned the system of enumerated powers upside down. Congress was to be limited to its delegated powers as we have discussed.
It also gutted the 10th Amendment that gave states power and restricted federal government to its defined roles. Since Helvering congress spending is limitless, blowing up a welfare state and resulting in the behemoth government we have today. Since Helvering, Congress can spend money on anything it wants, facilitating the welfare state and the immense growth of the federal government in the last 80 years.
If I had to make a rough estimate, I’d say about 75% or more of the spending currently done by the federal government relies on this holding in Helvering, making the overwhelming majority of what the federal government does unconstitutional.
No longer is government limited to enumerated powers, it is allowed to do anything that is not banned. Federalism died with Helvering. You might be surprised to learn our constitution, the one many of us carry around in our pocket, is actually 3,000 pages long. This is of course the result of stare decisis and cases such as Helvering.
We run around pulling our hair out while most politicians and judges view us as nuts. Well, excuse me, but we are over $19 trillion in debt, and have well over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, all because politicians and judges thought they knew better than the framers of the Constitution. Not only do they think they are smarter, but also because they garner their power by redistribution of wealth and the use of regulations to control people and their behavior. We are facing several problems besides the excesses of the government.
In part 4, I’ll address the problems we face in trying to reign in this monster that has become as Dr Frankenstein’s experiment gone mad.