US Constitution Series 12: Democracy Attacks American Republic

US Constitution Series 12: The United States of America shall be a Republic

There are many reasons why the Founders wanted a republican form of government rather than a democracy.

IMPORTANT: See Republic and Democracy Defined—Read this First

democracyjeffersonThe Founders’ Basic Principles: 28 Great Ideas that changed the world

The practical application of this book review of Skousen’s educated wisdom is to leverage “We, The People’s” knowledge to easily expose ignorance, anarchy and tyranny, and hold the government accountable.

 

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

How the American Constitutional Republic became known as a Democracy

Modern Emphasis on “Democracy”

In spite of efforts to clarify the difference between a democracy and a republic, the United States began to be consistently identified in both the press and the school books as a “democracy.”This transformation of our Constitutional republic into a “Democracy” began with the Progressives in the early 20th century. President Wilson, a leader in the Progressive movement, helped contribute to this confusion when he identified World War I as the effort to “make the world safe for democracy.” ~Skousen, 158

 

Socialists use a Front Group to mask their true purpose

Definition: (A Front Group is an organization that uses a false name to deceive people about their true purpose)

Two leftists, Harry Laidler and Norman Thomas, set up an organization called the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. (ISS)They spoke at campuses from coast to coast, calling America a democracy. The ISS adopted a snappy (socialist)slogan for the times: “Production for use, not for profit.”

By 1921, with the violence and brutality associated with the Communist revolution, “socialism” became repugnant to people. So ISS changed their name to “The League for Industrial DEMOCRACY.”

 

“Democracy” Loses Its Identification with Socialism

Following World War II, an interesting semantic transition began to take place in the American mind with reference to the use of the word “democracy.”

To begin with, the Communists, the National Socialists of Germany, and the Democratic Socialists throughout the rest of Europe had all misused the word “democracy” to the point where it had become virtually meaningless as a descriptive term. As a euphemism for socialism, the word had become totally innocuous.

The word “democracy” used to cover up the abject worldwide failure of “socialism”

obamaSocialistDemWOrkersPartyFurthermore, socialism, whether spelled with a capital or small “s”, had lost its luster. All over the world, socialist nations—both democratic and communistic—were drifting into deep trouble. All of them were verging on economic collapse in spite of tens of billions of dollars provided by the United States to prop them up. Some had acquired a notorious and abhorrent reputation because of the violence, torture, starvation, and concentration-camp tactics they had used against their own civilian population. All over the world, socialism had begun to emerge as an abject failure formula. To the extent it was tried in America (without ever being called “socialism”), it had created colossal problems which the Founding Fathers’ formula would have avoided. (Skousen, 160)

 

The Attack on the Constitution

With the preceding historical picture in mind, it will be readily appreciated that the introduction of the word “democracy (to describe the United States) was actually designed as an attack on the Constitutional structure of government and the basic rights it was designed to protect.

signers3As Samuel Adams pointed out, the Founders had tried to make socialism “unconstitutional.” Therefore, to adopt socialism, respect and support for traditional constitutionalism had to be eroded and then emasculated. In view of this fact, it should not surprise the student of history to discover that those who wanted to have “democracy” identified with the American system were also anxious to have Americans believe their traditional Constitution was outdated, perhaps totally obsolete. (Skousen, 160)

 

Next: Principle 13

A Constitution should be Structured to Permanently Protect the People from the Human Frailties of their Rulers.

US Constitution Series 11: Liberty of the People vs. Government Force

 

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Independence Day, YouTube Music and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

Dinner Topics for Friday

Independence Day: Liberty and Star Spangled Banner Anthem

news_flag_hdr5At church when we stand and sing the Star-Spangled Banner (it’s in our hymn book), I feel new hope that the majority of the American people still love this country and believe in American exceptionalism.  Politics alone are no longer the solution to our growing tyranny and loss of liberty. It is a cultural problem. Our only hope is to teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history and constitutional  principles that once  made this country a beacon of liberty to all the world–that is,  teach them Biblical values–the culture of liberty, and to restore America’s covenant with God. ~C.A. Davidson

 

flaghouseBarfootOh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming, Whose broad strips and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and  the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen thru mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam, of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation! Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our our motto: “In God is our trust!” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

~Francis Scott Key

The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort M’Henry”,[1] a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” (or “The Anacreontic Song”), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key’s poem and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. “Hail, Columbia” served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee“, whose melody is identical to “God Save the Queen“, the British national anthem,[2] also served as a de facto anthem.[3] Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

Patriotism: Constitutional Government and Character Education Part 1

Patriotism:

Constitutional Government and Character Education

A More American Conservatism

Part I

Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1977 to 1980, he also studied at the London School of Economics and at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 until his appointment as president of Hillsdale College in 2000, he was president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. He is the author of Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American EducationThe Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution; and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

keyThings in the past are like things in the present: they must be judged. ~Dr. Larry Arnn

The astonishing political campaign of 2016 involved much debate about whether Donald Trump is a conservative. constitutional-convention-foundersHe was not always facile with the lingo of conservatism, and he pointed out once that he was seeking the nomination of the Republican, not the conservative party. Yet there is a lot we can learn from him about conservatism.

What is conservatism? It is a derivative term: it refers to something outside itself. We cannot conserve the present or the future, and the past being full of contradiction, we cannot conserve it entire. In the past one finds heroism and villainy; justice and injustice; freedom and slavery. Things in the past are like things in the present: they must be judged. Conservative people know this if they have any sense.

It’s the Principle of the Thing

What then makes them conservative? It is the additional knowledge that things that have had a good reputation for a long time are more trustworthy than new things. This is especially true of original things. The very term principle refers to something that comes first; to change the principle of a thing is to change it into something else. Without the principle, the thing is lost.

Original Documents

constitution1If American conservatism means anything, then, it means the things found at the beginning of America, when it became a nation. The classics teach us that forming political bonds is natural to people, written in their nature, stemming from the divine gift they have of speech and reason. This means in turn that the Declaration of Independence, where the final causes of our nation are stated, and the Constitution of the United States, where the form of government is established, are the original things. These documents were written by people who were friends and who understood the documents to pursue the same ends. Taken together they are the longest surviving things of their kind, and under their domain our country spread across a continent and became the strongest nation on earth, the bastion of freedom. These documents do not appeal to all conservatives, but I argue that they should, both for their age and for their worthiness.

It follows then that if Donald Trump helps to conserve these things, he is a conservative in the sense that matters most to the republic of the Americans. Will he?

He will have a hard road. Today the authority of these two documents is in obvious decline for obvious reasons. In the academy they are rejected as obsolete or evil, and this opinion spreads throughout the talking classes, most everywhere in education, journalism, and entertainment. It has spread widely and deeply into the law. As a result our government has swollen beyond recognition, and it is centralized to a degree unimagined in the Constitution.

Laws Are Now Made by Regulatory Agencies, Not Congress

keyI’ve proposed a moratorium on new fedral regulations that are not compelled by Congress or public safety, and I will eliminate all needless and job-killing regulations now on the books. ~Donald Trump, Time, 9/15/16

On the first day of my term of office, my Administration will immediately pursue …  a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.” ~Donald Trump’s Contract for the American Voter, ” 10/22/16

bureaucratscautionsign Laws are made now chiefly by regulatory agencies that combine in themselves all three powers of government. The popular or elected branches may overturn these regulations only when they unite to do so, and this is increasingly rare. So every institution in society is in principle subject to comprehensive regulation. Every employer, every school, many clubs, and family life itself are now the subject of rules too complex for the lay person to grasp. These rules are not always enforced, nor can they be, but Americans sense that they better be looking over their shoulders, careful of what they say.

Constitution makes Ruler and Ruled Equal

3-branches-govtThis has changed the way we live. Compliance increasingly replaces law-abidingness as the public goal. Laws, the Founders held, must be simple, few, and constant. Then we may all know what they are, live under them, and help to enforce them. This makes us equal, ruler and ruled. It means that we do not quail before the forces of the law. We are the forces of the law.

Compliance Means Conforming to Arbitrary Decrees

obama-cartoon-congressCompliance, by contrast, means adapting constantly to changing and complex instructions from central authorities, and it means the employment of specialists to interpret the regulations and make sure others conform. In addition to this, whole populations, and not only in the inner city, live in long-term dependence on the government (read Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance). It means that the government is separate from the people, and it means that the government grows.

These new features of American government present a danger implicit in the manner of our Constitution. Ours, wrote Madison, is the first nation to adopt purely representative forms. This means that all sovereignty or authority to rule is located in the governed or in the people. But at the same time, the people do not occupy the offices of government—as they did, for instance, in Athenian democracy. America’s pure or simple “republicanism,” as Madison called it, makes possible the separation of powers both between the governed and their government and also inside the parts of the government. The sovereign people delegate their authority to government, separately to separate places.

This separation is both horizontal, among the branches of the federal government, and vertical, between the states and the federal government. The people themselves are outside the government, and they may intervene only at election time. Between elections, they watch, judge, and argue—in other words, they think before they act. Over time, but only over time, they may replace the whole lot. This system limits both their power and the power of those in government.

Bloated Government Has a Will of Its Own

Ben Garrison

Ben Garrison

Today, however, the government has grown so large that it is a major factor in everything, including elections, and is in the position of taking on a will of its own. It is on the verge of being too big for private people to manage. This is the political crisis of our time. No policy question, with the exception of imminent major war, which we do not have right now, can matter so much.

Trump has addressed this problem more directly than anyone since Ronald Reagan—in some ways, more than anyone including Reagan. He would drain the swamp. He would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education. He has rallied the people in direct opposition to their governing elite. He has appealed to the people directly in opposition to their government.

And what has he achieved?—from nothing, a constitutional majority that controls all the popular branches at the federal level, soon to have a profound effect on the judiciary. In addition, his party advanced from a strong position in state legislatures and governorships. The party of Trump, if the Republican Party is that party, is in a position to make changes, as good or better a position as it has enjoyed since the Great Society.

Political Correctness got  trumped by Moral Courage

TrumpPCMoreover, Trump ran in utter defiance of the political correctness that enforces this new system of government. He did not bend his knee to identity groups. He claimed to represent all “citizens,” a favorite term, by which he means citizens who hold that status under the law. He said he would represent their interest and their country, which he will make great again, and not the interest of any others. He did not care that this intention was conflated with racism. He saw that conflation as another sign of corruption, which it certainly is. Unless he is insensate, which he does not seem, Trump is possessed of moral courage as much as assertiveness, and his assertiveness is a sight to behold.

Mobs Created by Liberalism, Not Trump

But can he do anything? Many conservatives have been doubtful of Trump and many others opposed. There are reasons for this. He is the first man elected president as his first significant public service. He is sometimes vulgar. He is a celebrity, star of his own show, which is playing wherever he goes. His is not the understated sort of elitism. Consistent with this, he is a populist: he likes ordinary folk, and they like him.

This has made some conservative and libertarian people fear mobs with pitchforks. I fear them myself because I see them on so many college campuses, but not on my own, and not among the Trump supporters. I think these mobs are the product of modern liberalism and the bureaucratic state, not the product of Trump.

Part II: What would Happen if the Department of Education were Abolished?

National Security: Supreme Court Justices are Key to American Survival

National Security:

Supreme Court Justices are Key to American Survival

The Next Supreme Court Justice

Reprinted by permission of Hillsdale College

keyThe next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that touch on the rights of every American and that may come to define the nature of our government and our society for many years to come.

Scott Pruitt
Attorney General, State of Oklahoma

cartoon-scalia-D-WoundedThanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection for his great cartoon

When Justice Antonin Scalia passed away this February, talk turned almost immediately to who would replace him—although in a large sense he is irreplaceable. Even those who disagreed with Justice Scalia acknowledge his profound impact. His scholarship and judicial opinions, through brilliance and wit, transformed how we think about the law and the Constitution. He inspired a generation of law students and lawyers. He provided a foundation for the work of judges and legislators, as well as attorneys general like myself. And all who knew him personally will attest that his brilliance was matched only by his warmth, cheer, and grace. He will be deeply missed.

Scalia’s Principles of Jurisprudence

1) Textualism

Antonin Scalia, supreme Court Justice

Antonin Scalia, supreme Court Justice

In thinking about the kind of person who should take his seat on the Court, it is worth reflecting on Justice Scalia’s principles of jurisprudence. One of the chief principles he championed, as a scholar and as a judge, is that the law, whether statutes or the Constitution itself, must be applied according to its text. In other words, judges should not apply the law based on what is good policy or what they suppose Congress may have intended (but did not express) in passing legislation.

2) Originalism

In addition, Justice Scalia believed that the words of the law should be understood as they were understood by the people when the law was enacted. For example, if you strike a bargain with someone, and later there is a dispute about that bargain, how do you interpret the words of your contract? Do you look to what the words of the contract meant at the time you agreed to them? Or do you look to what those words mean ten or 50 years after the fact? There are some who believe that the meanings of words change over time, untethered from any objective measure. Thus what is legal one day may be illegal the next without any textual changes to the law. Justice Scalia rejected this notion. He held fast to the idea that the meaning of laws is fixed by the meaning ascribed to their words at the time they were enacted.

3) Opposition to Creative Interpretation of the Constitution

These two principles, textualism and originalism, are rooted in a third characteristic of Justice Scalia’s jurisprudence: an unwavering respect for the idea of popular government. Laws, including the Constitution, receive their legitimacy from the people. The Constitution is not an autonomously evolving document that spins out new “rights” and obligations to which the people have not given their consent. Rather than discovering new rights in the Constitution, judges should respect the constitutional prerogative of the people to pass laws through their representative legislatures, limited by the restraints imposed by the Constitution—which was itself ratified by popular means.

4) Natural Rights should be tenaciously defended

signers3Along with this opposition to creative interpretation of the Constitution, a fourth characteristic of Justice Scalia’s life work was a conviction that the rights actually guaranteed in the Constitution should be tenaciously defended, from the right of free speech to the rights of criminal defendants. Beyond these enumerated rights, Justice Scalia recognized that the Constitution’s primary protection of liberty is its structure of checks and balances between branches and its division of powers between the federal government and the states.

Justice Scalia rejected Judicial Activism

In short, Justice Scalia rejected the judicial activism of inventing law while embracing judicial engagement by ensuring that the limits on government are strictly enforced.

Danger of Appointing a Liberal Justice

judicialtyrannyEnsuring that the next justice appointed to the Supreme Court is someone in the mold of Justice Scalia is surpassingly important. Not since the New Deal has the country had a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. For 60 years, the Court has been either decidedly liberal or split between liberals and conservatives. For 25 years, the Court’s most controversial and closely-divided cases sometimes had a liberal outcome, sometimes a conservative one. At the time of Justice Scalia’s death, the Court consisted of four unwavering liberals (Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan), three solid conservatives (Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito), a fourth who votes with the conservatives much of the time (Chief Justice Roberts), and one swing vote (Justice Kennedy). Replacing Justice Scalia with a liberal would fundamentally alter that balance, creating a solid majority of five liberal justices that would ensure liberal outcomes to all controversial decisions.

Make no mistake: the liberal justices on the Court nearly always vote as a bloc. Whereas the conservative justices occasionally depart for reasons of judicial philosophy from what some might consider the conservative outcome—as Justice Scalia often did—one is hard-pressed to find decisions where a liberal justice’s vote is in question. To illustrate the point, in the Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 term, the four liberal justices agreed with each other over 90 percent of the time—more agreement than between any two conservative justices. For example, Chief Justice Roberts agreed with Justice Thomas in only 70 percent of cases. If the liberal wing of the Court is given a five-justice majority, we should expect that no controversial decision of the Court will ever be in doubt.

Important Issues Coming Up

Let me provide a survey of the important issues the Court might decide in coming years, once a ninth justice is appointed.

Freedom of Speech

freedomofspeechOne of the issues coming before the Court will concern a basic liberty essential to democracy: freedom of speech. Under assault these days is the freedom to spend (or not spend) money on political speech. For example, before Justice Scalia’s death, the Court voted to grant review of a case called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, in which public sector employees wanted the right not to pay compulsory union dues. This case raises an important question about free speech: can the government force you to contribute money to a political cause you oppose? Without Justice Scalia’s vote, the Court split evenly, leaving the issue to be resolved by a future Supreme Court—the deciding vote to be cast by the future ninth justice.

On the other side of the free speech coin is the continued vitality of the Court’s Citizens United decision. Let me clarify a common misconception: Citizens United did not hold that corporations are allowed to give unlimited amounts to political candidates. In fact, the laws limiting the amount of campaign contributions to a few thousand dollars are still valid and in place. Rather, in Citizens United, the Court held that the government may not limit the amount of money spent—whether by individuals, unions, or corporations—on their own independent political advocacy. This case was decided 5 to 4, with Justice Scalia in the majority. If he is replaced with a liberal, Citizens United will likely be overturned, and the right to free speech will be greatly diminished.

freedom-religionThe First Amendment also protects religious liberty, another of our endangered core rights. Before Justice Scalia passed away, the Supreme Court granted review in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley, a case which will decide whether certain state laws called “Blaine Amendments” are constitutional. Blaine Amendments are provisions added to state constitutions during a time of anti-Catholic fervor—they date back to the 1870s—that prevent any state funds from being used to benefit a church or a religion for any reason. This means that states running programs that provide resources to private institutions must discriminate against religious institutions, even if the program being funded is not religious. In the Trinity Lutheran case, a Missouri program was providing scrap tires for flooring in playgrounds to make them safer for children. Because of a Blaine Amendment, the State refused to provide tires to church schools. With other attorneys general, I filed a brief supporting the effort to get these Blaine Amendments struck down. The new justice is likely to cast the deciding vote on whether to remove this legacy of legal hostility to religion.

Freedom of Religious Conscience

freedom-of-religionFreedom of religious conscience also hangs in the balance. We have seen this in the Hobby Lobby case, where the Court protected the right of religious employers not to fund abortions. So too in the Little Sisters of the Poor case, where the Court has, for now, narrowly avoided the question of whether Catholic nuns can be required to cover contraception in their health insurance plan. Other cases regarding freedom of conscience are on the horizon. The Court recently declined to review a case that upheld a Washington law that requires pharmacists to sell abortion drugs despite religious objections. Similarly, a case may soon reach the Court to decide whether civil rights laws can be used to force, for example, a Christian photographer to use her artistic skills to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

2nd Amendment

minutemanMoving to the Second Amendment, the next justice will likely cast the deciding vote on whether to continue to recognize an individual right to “keep and bear Arms,” or whether to interpret that right so narrowly as to effectively do away with it. For example, just this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California held that the Second Amendment does not forbid laws that prohibit most people from carrying (i.e., bearing) a firearm in public. Without a justice willing to stand up for an effective right to bear arms, the Second Amendment might very well become a dead letter.

Other issues that hang in the balance include the death penalty, affirmative action, regulation of the abortion industry, and voting laws. But I want to focus on one final set of constitutional questions that have reached their tipping point in recent years—questions having to do with the structure of our Constitution.

Key to Liberty: Separation of Powers

obama-checks-balancesContrary to what many believe, the primary guarantee of our liberty in the Constitution is not the Bill of Rights. Rather it is found in the structure of government under the Constitution, which is designed to prevent accumulation of power and oppression of the people. The Constitution separates powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government, and divides powers between the federal government and the states. Those who wrote the Constitution expected that members of the different branches would be zealous in defending their powers from other parts of government that attempted to encroach on them. They expected state legislatures to do likewise. These constitutional structures provide the greatest and broadest guarantee of liberty by limiting governmental power. And today they are under threat.

Obama engaged in Lawmaking

Since at least the New Deal, the executive branch has been accumulating more and more power, and the current administration has taken unilateral executive authority to new levels. President Obama has on numerous occasions effectively engaged in lawmaking—an activity strictly delegated to Congress by the Constitution—when Congress refused to pass laws that he desired. Last year, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency instituted a new “Clean Power Plan”—an attempt to put the coal industry out of business, in the name of combatting climate change—absent any authority granted by Congress. Oklahoma, along with 28 other states, sued to have this rule blocked. In his last act on the bench, Justice Scalia voted to put this Clean Power Plan on hold while it is being litigated, providing a good indication that five of the justices thought it to be unlawful. With Justice Scalia gone, his replacement will likely determine the outcome of this case.

Bureaucratic Tyranny

tyrannyepaAlong the same lines, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers recently rewrote the definition of the term “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act to include almost every puddle and pond in the country, enabling a vast extension of federal regulatory authority at the expense of the states and the people. Again, this occurred without any grant of authority by Congress, which passed the Clean Water Act back in 1972. Again, Oklahoma and 26 other states have challenged this power grab.

Most recently, the President and his agencies have attempted unilaterally to mandate accommodations nationwide for transgender people by rewriting laws like Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. They are attempting to do so by redefining the word “sex” in the law—understood when Title IX was passed by Congress to refer to biological sex—to mean “gender identity,” which the administration defines as a person’s “internal sense of gender.” A new justice will likely cast the deciding vote on whether courts should check this type of executive overreach as well.

“Chief Executive” Refusing to Enforce the Laws

impeach4constAnother way President Obama has expanded his power is by refusing to enforce laws he does not like, effectively repealing them. He has done this with immigration laws by designating entire classes of people as having “legal status,” even though the law clearly states that they are unlawfully present. Similarly, his administration has effectively legalized marijuana in certain states by refusing to enforce federal laws prohibiting it. The extent to which presidents must follow their constitutional mandate to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” is a hotly contested issue on which the next Supreme Court justice might provide the pivotal vote.

Liberal Fascism

tyranny3The next Supreme Court justice will not only decide the outcome in pending cases, he or she will also influence the type of cases that make it to the Court in the first place. Businesses are less likely to challenge exorbitant or unfair rulings against them knowing there is a majority of justices hostile to their interests. Conservatives will be less likely to put their time and resources into defending the Constitution if they know the Court won’t enforce it. Meanwhile, liberal groups will be emboldened to bring cases that attempt to roll back First Amendment and Second Amendment freedoms, among others. They will also bring cases attempting to establish new “rights”—to government welfare payments, to free attorneys in civil cases, to increased funding for public schools, etc.—as well as things like a prohibition on racial disparities in criminal justice outcomes, an exception to the First Amendment for so-called “hate speech,” and a prohibition on sex-segregated restrooms.

The Most Significant Legal Event in a Generation

constitutionThe appointment of the next Supreme Court justice could be the most legally significant event for our country in a generation. If the next justice is in the mold of Justices Ginsburg or Sotomayor, the rulings of the Court will shift dramatically to the left. If the next justice shares the principles and philosophy of Justice Scalia, the ideologically balanced Court that we have grown accustomed to in the last quarter century will likely remain. As someone whose job it is to defend the rights of the people of Oklahoma, this turning point is very important to me. But as I hope I have explained, the next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that touch on the rights of every American and that may come to define the nature of our government and our society for many years to come.

 

Scott Pruitt was elected Attorney General of Oklahoma in 2010. Prior to that, he served for eight years in the Oklahoma State Senate. A past president of the Republican Attorneys General Association, he established Oklahoma’s Federalism Unit to combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government. Mr. Pruitt received his B.A. from Georgetown College and his J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law

 

 

Founding Principles of America 24: Peace through Strength

From The 5,000 Year Leap—A Miracle that Changed the World

By W. Cleon Skousen

Founding Principles of America 24: Peace through Strength

A Free People will not Survive unless they stay Strong

keyIt is the business of America to take care of herself. Her situation, as you justly observe, depends upon her own virtue. ~Samuel Adams

 

US Constitution Series 24

minutemanA free people in a civilized society always tend toward prosperity. In the case of the United States, the trend has been toward a super-abundant prosperity. Only as the federal government has usurped authority and intermeddled with the free-market economy has this surge of prosperity and high production of goods and services been inhibited.

But prosperity in the midst of thriving industry, fruitful farms, beautiful cities, and flourishing commerce always attracts the greedy aspirations of predatory nations. Singly, these covetous predators may not pose a threat, but federated together they may present a specter of total desolation to a free, prosperous people. Before the nation’s inhabitants are aware, their apocalypse of destruction is upon them.

It was the philosophy of the Founders that the kind hand of Providence had been everywhere present in allowing the United States to come forth as the first free people in modern times. They further felt that they would forever be blessed with freedom and prosperity if they remained a virtuous and adequately armed nation.

 

Franklin’s Philosophy of Defense

225px-BenFranklin2Peace was the goal, but strength was the means. Franklin envisioned the day when a prudent policy of national defense would provide the American people with the protection which their rise to greatness would require. Benjamin Franklin wrote:

The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for ‘tis a wise and true saying, that “One sword often keeps another in the scabbard.” The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent.

Franklin further saw that those in authority have the inherent responsibility to initiate the means by which adequate defenses can be provided. He declared:

Protection is as truly due from the government to the people, as obedience from the people [is due] to the government.

Our security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth; that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared; . . .unless, by a neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become …tame, when we may expect the same oppressions; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, “Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you.”

 

George Washington urges Vigilance

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllNo American occupied a more substantive position, either then or now, to proclaim what he considered to be a necessary posture for the preservation of the nation.

He had literally risked “his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor” for the cause of freedom and performed that task under circumstances which would have smothered the endurance of men with lesser stamina and courage.

He fought the Revolutionary War with no navy of any consequence, no trained professional army of either size or stability, and no outpouring of genuine support from the very states he was striving to save. He could have retired in bitterness after Valley Forge and Morristown, but that was not his character. He did not relish the anguish of it all, but he endured it. To George Washington, it was all part of “structuring a new nation.”

Washington’s position on national defense was in terms of grim realities experienced on the field of battle. No man wanted peace more than he. And no man was willing to risk more in life and property to achieve it.

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

Washington also saw the fallacy of waiting until an attack had occurred before marshalling available resources.

A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite.

Washington felt that neither politics nor world circumstances should lure the American people into a posture of complacency. He felt that vigilance was indeed the price the price of freedom, and unless it was promoted with firmness and consistency the future of the United States would be in jeopardy.

George WashingtonWashington could foresee threats to American Security

Washington could already see the predatory monarchs of Europe planning to slice up the United States and divide it among them unless the people alerted themselves to the exigencies of the day.

Therefore he told the Congress:

There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.

A Duty to the Creator to Preserve Freedom and Unalienable Rights

Samuel Adams emphasized the moral responsibility of Americans to preserve the heritage of freedom and unalienable rights with which the Creator had endowed them.

samuel-adamsOnce these blessings have been vouchsafed to a human being, Sam Adams felt it was a wicked and unnatural thing to allow those great fruits of liberty to languish by neglect or apathy.

The grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defense of those very rights; the principal of which …are life, liberty, and property. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift voluntarily become a slave. ~Samuel Adams

The American Inheritance

Thus the Founders passed on to their posterity a policy of peace through strength. They were peace-loving, but not pacifists.

They called for a rugged kind of strength bolted to a broad base. They saw the foundation for their security in a bustling, prosperous economy with a high standard of public morality; and they saw the necessity for a level of preparedness which discouraged attack from potential enemies by creating a rate of risk so high that the waging of war against this nation would be an obviously unprofitable undertaking.

 

It is the business of America to take care of herself. Her situation, as you justly observe, depends upon her own virtue. ~Samuel Adams

Next:

Founding Principles of America 25: Avoid Entangling Alliances

Founding Principles of America 23: Voter Education, key to Free Republic

 

Tea Party: Remember U.S. Constitution

 

Reminding Our Elected Representatives to Exercise Their Power

signers3Happy Constitution Day! In celebration of that monumental day in September 1787, let’s reflect upon the genius of the Constitution and perhaps take time to help our elected representatives remember its genius as well.

Today’s Washington is wrought with politicians who continually overstep their constitutional limitations and then when asked to correct their acts of usurpation, hide behind constitutional limits that don’t actually exist. The President claims to have no control over executive departments, i.e. IRS, and congress claims to be unable to act because of “mandatory spending.” It is time that we remind our elected representatives what powers and responsibilities they do have.

Delegated Powers
The fundamental premise of the Constitution is found in the Declaration of Independence. “That, to secure…rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” We the People have a right to establish a government with restraints, or limits, for the sole purpose of protecting our fundamental rights, “laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” The government cannot go beyond the bounds in which we have given it and we cannot delegate powers to the government that we ourselves do not have.

The Separation of Powers
From the philosophies of Polybius and Montesquieu, the Constitution separates the delegated powers between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches and between the federal government and the states.

“The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many…It is by dividing and subdividing…that all will be done for the best.” –Thomas Jefferson

Each branch of our federal government is given very specific authority over writing the law, executing the law, and interpreting the law. While there is some overlap in powers in the form of checks and balances, none of the branches have been delegated the authority to delegate their powers to any other entity or branch. Nor are they given the authority to ignore such powers.

The President is Hiding Behind…Himself?
“The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” –Article 2, Section 1, Clause 1

The executive branch consists of one individual, the President. He is the entire executive branch. In the Constitutional Convention the founders had actually considered having up to three presidents. They concluded that a single executive is best. All other individuals, departments, etc. are an appendage to the President. While the President cannot legally issue an executive order that regulates and taxes the people or the states, he can extend an executive order to all or part of the executive branch. He is all powerful within the executive branch.

When the President claims that the IRS or the NSA are beyond his control, he is referring to powers that simply do not exist. He has the authority to execute laws. He has all power over executive departments. If he is hiding behind these executive departments, he is only hiding behind himself.

Congress Claims to have Usurped Themselves
“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” –Article 1, Section 1, Clause 1

“All,” not part, not some, “All legislative powers shall be vested…” A careful study of the entire Constitution will not only reveal that congress has sole legislative authority, but they have not been given the authority to delegate even the smallest part to any other branch or governing body.

Many tea party activists have recently been told by congressional staffers that Congress cannot defund Obamacare because of “mandatory spending provisions.” Who made the spending mandatory? Congress. So, let’s get this straight, Congress has all legislative authority so they write a law that binds them to not make a law? Have they usurped themselves?

Do not let congressional staffers, your Congressmen, or your Senators tell you they cannot change or defund a law. They can. “All legislative powers” are theirs. They are hiding behind constitutional limits that simply do not exist. The only laws they cannot alter or abolish without a constitutional amendment is the Constitution and existing amendments.

Remind Washington to Exercise Their Powers

We have continually attempted to remind Washington to stay within their constitutional limits. They continue to usurp our rights, encroach on each other’s powers, and trample the states. It is time that we encourage them to actually exercise their powers. We must remind the president that he has the power to stop the IRS and NSA targeting of tea party groups and individual citizens. It is time to remind congress that they have the power to alter or abolish any federal law, especially those that violate the 20 legislative powers given in the Constitution.

Remind Washington to stop hiding behind themselves or limits that do not exist, to stop usurping the powers and rights of others, and to start exercising the powers that have been delegated to them.

And in your frustrations, remember to have a Happy Constitution Day!

In liberty,
Tea Party Patriots National Support Team

 

Quotations: Constitution and Liberty

Dinner Topics for Tuesday

 

Book Review:

The Last Line of Defense

Ken Cuccinelli

 

decofindsignLiberty

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the blood stream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. ~Ronald Reagan

In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. ~Thomas Jefferson

The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must get in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. ~James Madison

 

Rights and Equality

A right is an exercise of a freedom; it’s not a claim to take someone else’s freedom by forcing them into service for you. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

The lesson that life isn’t necessarily fair and that it’s not government’s job to make it fair is worth learning early on in life. My own mother taught me that. She taught me that when things seemed unfair, complaining wasn’t the answer; working harder was the answer. I wasn’t supposed to compare what I had against what others had; I was just supposed to work hard and make my life the best that I could. My parents and my faith also taught me that in the process, I was supposed to voluntarily help others; and by helping others, my own life would be enriched. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

Just as laws restrain individuals from harming one another, the Constitution restrains the government from harming the individual and his liberty. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

The Constitution doesn’t give us our rights; it guarantees them. And the government doesn’t give us our rights either; it protects them from foreign enemies and domestic criminals who threaten them. Instead, our rights come from God—we are born with them. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

You are born naturally free, and as long as you do no harm to others or to society itself, no one can deprive you of that freedom. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

When the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, it is stating that the United States has no ruling class and that no one is born to be ruled by another.  ~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

The statists also take the Declaration’s statement that we are all “created equal” to mean that it’s government’s responsibility to ensure equal results for everyone. The fact is that, in our founding tradition, “All men are created equal” means that no one is born to rule over another, that all citizens are treated equally under the law, and that our society has a goal of equal opportunity, not that everyone gets to have the same possessions, the same standard of living, or the same wage by government fiat.~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

The framers of the Constitution also knew that there would be people who would inevitably abuse their freedom by harming others and their property. Law enforcement officers and the courts exist to help catch and punish those who commit such wrongs. But the framers took great care to ensure that the government didn’t unduly restrict the freedom of everyone just so the small percentage of bad actors and criminals would be prevented from harming others. For example, just because some people have the potential to abuse their free speech rights by illegally slandering others, doesn’t mean the government reviews and censors every newspaper before it’s printed. That’s what a police state does; that’s not how a free society operates. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth. ~Ronald Reagan

Welfare

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. ~ Daniel Webster

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and thence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with a whole series of hobgoblins.” ~H.L. Mencken

I personally believe that assisting one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Dong the same by reaching into another’s pockets is despicable, dishonest, and worthy of condemnation. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

It’s not selfish to be frugal with money that belongs to someone else, and it’s certainly not compassion when you’re giving away other people’s money. ~ Ken Cuccinelli

 

Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. ~ James Madison

 

I once heard a great illustration of why we shouldn’t think of government as a charity: If you won $1 million in the lottery tomorrow and you wanted to use it to help the poor, would you donate it to a charity or give it to the government? Of course, most people would answer that they’d donate it to charity (I include churches under the general term charity in this section).

If that’s the case—that most people would choose to give their money to charity over government—then why do we constantly turn to government to solve social problems instead of turning to our charities and churches, which we trust a whole lot more to get the job done, and done more  efficiently? ~ Ken Cuccinelli

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated [in the Constitution]. ~Thomas Jefferson

 

With respect to the words “General welfare: I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense, would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character, which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its Creators. ~ James Madison

World War 2 facts: Terrorism and Fear

A Warning from Historyhttps://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-2/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-3/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-4/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-5/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-6/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-7/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-8/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-9/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-10/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/world-war-2-facts-terrorism-and-fear-11/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/world-wa
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Immigration, Politics, and Fear

Republicans on amnesty: They are afraid of what people think. They are abandoning principle for what reason? Naiveté … or fear? From the Rush Limbaugh Radio Show Senator Ted Cruz on Immigration and amnesty A lot of Republicans in Washingtonhttps://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/immigration-politics-and-fear/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-2/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-3/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-4/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-5/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-6/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-7/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-8/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics-and-fear-9/https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/immigration-politics
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