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Sunday, April 15, 2012

On The Constitution – Part Six

"If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation." — Samuel Adams

In Part Five I discussed the encroachment of the courts on one essential liberties and the influence of the progressives and socialists on our society. In this concluding chapter I will present some thoughts on what we as patriots can do to restore constitutional government as envisioned by our Founders.

Another Time for Choosing

If a plethora of actions by officers in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our central government do not comport with the plain language and authority of our Constitution, it may be argued that they have abandoned their sacred oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

Our Founders understood that the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution was the foundational guarantee to protecting and sustaining Liberty for their, and our, posterity. Consequently, they prescribed that all elected officials be bound by Sacred Oath to "support and defend" our Constitution.

For presidents, Article II, Section 1, specifies:

"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Likewise Article VI, Clause 3 specifies:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution."

However, in the current era, many national office holders have abandoned their oaths in deference to the expediency of redistributing wealth to select constituencies, in order to ensure their own reelection. For sure, when the number of constituents who vote for their income and provisions outnumber those who work for their income and provisions, the Republic will be lost.

The time has come when we must inquire with a unified voice: If there is no explicit constitutional authority for the laws and regulations enacted by Congress and enforced by the central government, then by what authority do those entities lay and collect taxes to fund such laws and regulations? For this should they be duly prosecuted, one and all, for breach of oath to our Constitution and breach of trust with the American people? If they have abandoned their sacred oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution, does that constitute "taxation without representation"?

Today, while the words “conservative” and “liberal” are ubiquitously used to describe alliances, these words more essentially describe whether one advocates the Rule of Law or the rule of men; the conservation of our Constitution as the Founders intended, or its liberal interpretation by progressive legislators and judicial activists.

As Reagan challenged, it is time for each of us to choose which of these we advocate and to fully understand the consequences of that choice. It is time for those of us who endorse the most basic tenets of our Republic, “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” to honor that heritage and set about the formidable task of restoring individual Liberty and constitutional limits upon the branches of our national government.

The futility of debating policy matters must now yield to a more substantive national debate about constitutional authority and the First Principles of Liberty.

If we are to restore Liberty and the integrity of our Constitution, we must do so from the bottom up, a groundswell from the grassroots. Indeed, nothing great and enduring has ever been built from the top down. We must therefore start at the foundation, speaking with one disciplined, determined and unified voice toward one primary objective: the re-establishment of the Rule of Law.

If we are to succeed, we must understand the principles of Essential Liberty.

If we are to turn back the tide of tyranny, it is important that every American Patriot, all of those committed to preserving our constitutional heritage and extending our legacy of Liberty to future generations, understand the difference between Rule of Law and rule of men, and be able to articulate that difference.

James Madison wrote, “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

Indeed, some 225 years since our Constitution was conceived, silent encroachments have resulted in a central government that is poised to dictate the terms of freedom and Liberty according to the decrees of men, not the Rule of Law, and consequently, the threat of tyranny is imminent.

Though our Constitution provides the People with an authentic means for amendment, as prescribed in Article V, activist jurists and lawmakers have altered that founding convention well beyond any semblance of its original intent, using the courts, legislation and regulation to greatly expand the powers of the central government according to the dictates of a "living constitution."

We must declare by all means that the scope of our government's activities be constrained to the limits authorized by our Constitution, understanding that this contraction will take courage, deliberation and time to undo generations of insult to Rule of Law. But undo this abomination we must, with determination, knowing that if we fail, and Rule of Law is overwhelmed by the rule of men, tyranny will prevail. Consequently, the ultimate arbiter of the law will depend not upon constitutional rule but ultimately, and crudely, upon which of the human constituent rivals possesses greater force and firepower.

On July 4th, 1776, our Declaration of Independence was inaugurated as our nation's supreme contract proclaiming the rights of man. It asserted, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

Our Declaration's principal author, Thomas Jefferson, also wrote, “The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

While one prays that Liberty will be restored and extended to our posterity by way of spirited rebellion manifested in ballots not bullets, history does not favor such prospects.

Founder Patrick Henry said, “It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that syren... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

It is time to expose the whole truth of the state of our Constitution, and to provide for its revitalization.

In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” So it should be in our day.

This treatise on Liberty is not a call for revolution but for restoration — to undertake whatever measures are dictated by prudence and necessity to restore the integrity and primacy of our Constitution and the Liberty it enshrines.

Ronald Reagan said, “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. ... You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Which will it be?

The cause of, and necessity for, the American Revolution was the violation of fundamental rights endowed by the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. Unjust taxation was the catalyst for the first American Revolution.

Once again, our fundamental rights are being violated, and that violation is sustained by unjust taxation for purposes not expressly authorized by our Constitution. Consequently, our nation is on the precipice of insolvency, and the bill is coming due. It will most certainly be repaid in the currency of tyranny unless Liberty and the Rule of Law prevail.

Our Constitution, as written and ratified, stipulates in its preface that it is “ordained and established” by the people to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” To that end, it established a Republic, not a popular democracy, which is to say it affirmed the primacy of Rule of Law over rule of men. But is Liberty secure for us, or our posterity, if the legislature collects taxes enforced by the executive, and accumulates insurmountable obligations of debt in the name of future generations, for expenditures outside the limits of our Constitution's endorsement?

“We, the People of the United States,” must demand that members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the national government, abide by their sworn oaths to “support and defend” our Constitution as mandated in Article II and Article VI. Indeed, they are obliged by oath to act within the constraints of the Rule of Law enshrined in our Constitution by its Framers, and thus, the collection of taxes and accumulation of debt for expenditures, which have no express constitutional authorization, is in violation their oaths.

Our nation came into being over the issue of “taxation without representation.” If the central government established by our Constitution is, today, under siege by those who have abandoned their oaths and obligations to support our Constitution and abide by the Rule of Law it was “ordained and established” to protect, then are we once again being taxed without representation?

The power to vote does not constitute “representation,” where there is no assurance that representatives will abide by their oaths of office, and use the treasury as an instrument to perpetuate their reelection by factional interest constituencies, whose allegiance is secured with confiscated and redistributed wealth.

Whereas democracy entails direct rule of the people, in a republic the people rule indirectly, through their representatives. A republic can therefore encompass a greater population and geographical area. This difference is decisive in the American experiment, Madison argues in Federalist No. 10 that an expansive republic is able to control the inherent danger of majority faction:

“The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished, as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements and alarm for private rights which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administration.

By a faction I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”


The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well as speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities that where no substantial occasion presents itself the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of government.

No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine?”

The time has come that all American Patriots must, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” as we endeavor to restore Rule of Law and our Constitution's limits on the central government.

At the dawn of the fight for American Liberty in 1776, Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men's souls.” And so it is today. But, at a moment when it appeared that fight for Liberty would fail, the Father of Our Country, George Washington wrote, “We should never despair. Our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times.”

Remember the words of Samuel Adams:

"It does not take a majority to prevail...but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."

You can click on the links to view the various parts of this essay On The Constitution.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

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