Intro to ‘We the People’


A Divided or Unified America

 

John R. Houk, Blog Editor

© November 21, 2018

 

This is one of the most thought provoking submissions from Justin Smith on the state of our U.S. Government platformed by the U.S. Constitution.

 

I am uncertain if it was Justin’s intention but this essay provides good reasoning to reform America’s Constitution. There is as much a divide between naysayers and pro-Constitution reformers for a new Constitutional Convention for American Governance.

 

The naysayers are concerned about the intrusion of abusive power (both Conservative and Leftists) in government. Constitutional Reformers believe that parameters can be imposed on Constitutional delegates in the framing of a new Constitution. Frankly, in this day and age there are elements of truth that are probably valid concerns from both the naysayers and reformers.

 

My biggest concern based on America’s last two election cycles, is that Americans are so divided on political ideology (Conservative vs. Leftist) the atmosphere for give and take deliberation in a convention may be impossible.

 

If you look at American history, Americans were not exactly unified in certainty in leaving the British Monarchy for complete independence. Many Americans considered themselves British citizens living in colonial America. While many other Americans were so upset with British governance exploiting colonial life relegating colonialists conquered subjects with no self-determination in practical local governing robbed of British privilege.

 

The former were loyal to the Crown but still displeased with socio-political governing. The latter were so displeased with British governing that the feeling of self-governing would provide a better socio-political life based on representation. Then there were a group of colonials that were ambivalent and just sought existence.

 

Of course the outcome favored the self-government by representation group of colonials; however, there was enough displeasure with British governance among Crown-favored Americans that remained after the Revolutionary War that a consensus could be deliberated upon in the formation of a national government of united former colonies.

 

On a personal level, I have doubts such a consensus via deliberation is possible in America’s current political divide. The political atmosphere today resembles the America of the Civil War than the Americans during the War of Independence.

 

I suspect America’s current divide may devolve into a war that would determine the political future of make-up of the United States. Lacking a Lincoln-like individual, that make-up may or may not be a Fractured States of America.

 

My prayer for America is for a Lincoln-like individual for a unified future. If not, I fear America’s future will fated to foreign domination by a more globalist-minded governance.

 

JRH 11/21/18

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‘We the People’

Or A Nation of Sheep

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 11/20/2018 9:04 PM

Americans, by and large, have not kept themselves informed, and adhered to the limits the Constitution imposes upon our government, which has resulted in more than half the problems we face today as a country. And, because the voters themselves do not know, or care, what the Constitution says, they elect candidates who have no intention, or desire, to support and defend it — believing in “the end justifies the means”.  It is a vicious cycle that repeats itself every election cycle and won’t stop until the people take the time to learn what the drafters of the Constitution intended when they wrote it.

So, as Lysander Spooner so aptly said, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorizes such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.” I could almost stop right there, saying that is how I feel about our system of government, and the document that established it…but I won’t.

Even though the Constitution outlined a fundamentally sound system of government, in theory, the problem is that it was the creation of a group of men who held differing views on what government should look like and what powers it should hold.

Ben Franklin explained it best when he said:

 

“For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received …” (Source: Franklin’s Final Address to the Constitutional Convention.

There were many concerns expressed by these patriots who opposed the Constitution, but the underlying theme that can be found in most of their writings is that the Constitution created a consolidation of the States into a Union under a strong centralized government.

In a more perfect union, a more perfect Republic, our sovereign and independent states would reassert the 9th and 10th Amendments more forcefully, since they have been abrogated out of existence by federal laws and judicial activism; the states should unite themselves together by a perpetual confederacy, without ceasing to be, each individually, a perfect state. They will together constitute a federal republic: their joint deliberations will not impair the sovereignty of each member, though they may, in certain respects, put some restraint on the exercise of it, in virtue of voluntary engagements. A person does not cease to be free and independent, when he is obliged to fulfill engagements which he has voluntarily contracted.

One of the primary concerns of the anti-Federalists was: Did the Constitution do away with the status quo and create a consolidation of the States into a single, indivisible Union; or Republic, or did the States still retain all powers which were not expressly given; allowing the government to intrude into and interfere with the lives and liberties of the people.

 

[Blog Editor: It is my humble opinion the concerns of the Anti-Federalists who opposed ratification of the Constitution is important thought relating to America’s current political divide. Here are posts with some perspective on Anti-Federalist thought:

 

 

 

 

 

On June 5, 1788 in a speech opposing ratification of the Constitution, Patrick Henry expressed those exact sentiments as follows:

“I rose yesterday to ask a question which arose in my own mind. When I asked that question, I thought the meaning of my interrogation was obvious: The fate of this question and of America may depend on this: Have they said, we, the States? Have they made a proposal of a compact between states? If they had, this would be a confederation: It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government. The question turns, Sir, on that poor little thing-the expression, We, the people, instead of the States, of America.”

It should be obvious, that the people had already established republics by their having created their own State Legislatures, so they actually had no need to create another Republic for the purpose of governing them all. The purpose for which the delegates were sent to Philadelphia was to arrive at suggestions for amendments, in order to make the existing Confederation Government adequate for the needs of the country; not to toss the existing form of government in the trash heap and replace it with one of their creation.

If the powers given to this new form of government were to be exercised primarily upon the States, then why did the drafters of the Constitution demand that it be ratified by the voice of the people; as it was the States whose authority would be further restricted, or usurped, by the creation of this new form of government. However, if this new system of government was, in fact, a consolidation and a diminishing of the sovereignty of the States, then it would make sense that the people must give their consent to it.

Yet, in Federalist 45 James Madison attempted to ensure the people that the States would retain their authority over the lives and liberties of the people by saying:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

 

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Most Americans believe the Bill of Rights protects certain rights against governmental interference. That is only partially true, since the Bill of Rights are amendments to the Constitution which created our federal government; not the constitutions which framed the various State governments. Therefore, technically they only apply to the federal government. However, an argument can also be made that, since the Constitution itself is the Supreme Law of the land, any amendment to it could be implied to apply to the States as well.

Keeping things simple, let’s just say that the Bill of Rights only applies to the federal government. How is it then that the government can dictate what kind of guns private citizens may own; how is it that the Supreme Court — which is PART of the federal government — decides whether a State may display the Ten Commandments, or that children be prohibited from praying in school; how is it that the federal government can violate the 4th Amendment by spying upon the private conversations of every man, woman and child in this country, just to keep us safe from terrorism?

There exists a whole list of things the federal government has done which are not among the powers listed in Article 1, Section 8 as those powers given to Congress; which in case you have forgotten, is the lawmaking body of our government; not the President as so many seem to think.

This has all been done because of the concept of implied powers; something introduced while George Washington was President. That occurred because the Constitution itself did not provide specific enough limitations upon the powers it was granting government; leaving loopholes by which government has expanded its power well beyond those originally intended.

So, if that is true, then the Constitution itself failed the people as it did not provide sufficient means for the people to resist the encroaching powers of government and to ward off tyranny and oppression.

Not one individual can provide me with the Article and Clause that grants any of us the authority to arrest and charge any of our elected officials, for the crime of violating the Constitution, because such a clause simply does not exist. And, it is this oversight that has resulted in the Constitution’s failure, by not providing the means to oppose a government that no longer adheres to any kind of limits upon their power and authority.

I only care whether the party that is in control adheres to the Constitutional limitations imposed upon them and seeks to protect and defend my rights…that and nothing more, and both parties have failed miserably in this duty. If government does not do this, then I revoke my consent to being governed by it.

Why do Americans still support a government that no longer resembles or represents the ideas and beliefs which led our Founders to seek their independence from a tyrant? Why do they so meekly submit to tyranny and oppression today? Is there not a drop of patriotic blood left in their bodies?

One certainly must wonder what has kept Americans from marching on D.C, with rifles in hand and sixteen feet lengths of rope, so criminals like Hillary Clinton, Obama and Susan Rice and many others could be hung from the highest tree, or the balcony of the Capitol Building; especially in light of the current double standard of “law” applied in America.

All I see is a nation of sheep who meekly obey the commands of their masters. What has become of the land of the free and the home of the brave? LaVoy Finicum was brave and he was gunned down in cold blood; with the media and the people calling him an extremist.

I seek to restore America to Her Founding Principles and more of an Originalist approach towards the implementation of the U.S. Constitution, which has been bastardized far and away from anything ever intended by the Founding Fathers. If Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson were alive today they would either have fled the country, or they would be serving time, in Guantanamo Bay as domestic terrorists, because the people of this country no longer care about limited government or individual liberty; all they care about is comfort and security, whether it’s the Democrats or Republicans providing it.

And it makes me sick to death to watch.

~ Justin O Smith

______________________

Intro to ‘We the People’

A Divided or Unified America

 

John R. Houk, Blog Editor

© November 21, 2018

______________________

‘We the People’

Or A Nation of Sheep

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 11/20/2018 9:04 PM

 

Edited by John R. Houk

Most source links by Justin Smith. Some links are by the Editor. Text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith