If it’s broken, fix it!

 

Indeed, this is a play on the old axiom; “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!” But if you’re reading this, you know that something is terribly, terribly broken in our government.

As we head towards the 2014 elections, the latest “most important election of our lifetime” (I’ve heard that for the last 30 years), I’m beginning to detect a slight shift from Obama being the latest anti-Christ to Hillary being the new anti-Christ. Just as Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry were the previous anti-Christs. Man, we sure know how to survive anti-Christs!

Here are the facts friends, the problems we face are not from these supposed “left/right” anti-Christ’s, the problem is the system of government we’ve devolved into and the Constitution simply was not and is not strong enough to stop it. I understand that it is precisely at this point that many may get angry with me and decline to even consider the possibility (at your own peril I would suggest) that the Constitution hasn’t worked. Some might even recoil with “Why, the Constitution is almost ‘God-breathed’ just like the Bible, how dare you Mark!”

It is also at this point that many may make the mistake of slipping into a nostalgic walk down memory lane of the founding era failing to see the errors back then that led to what we have today. Which by the way is not a republic, but one big unhappy blob called a nation also referred to as the “United STATE” of America (notice the singular use of state)?

Once you can embrace the real problems are structural instead of focusing on specific policies, personalities or parties as the problem, then you’re able to see real solutions as well. But you will only see these solutions once you can let go of a belief that “all they need to do is obey the Constitution.” Or, that all we need to do is “restore the Constitution!” As if there is ANY data that any of our elected officials intend to obey the Constitution as you understand the Constitution.

As a side note, believe me, there are many more than one plausible interpretation of the Constitution as it is written. In fact, the reality is, we really don’t even have a Constitution. Since the passage of the 14th Amendment and the subsequent evolution of the Incorporation Doctrine and substantive due process, we now live under arbitrary and capricious law making. In other words, both parties in Congress just make stuff up and then pass it. The President decides if he likes it or not. And if a made up law is challenged in the Courts (which hardly any are), the nine politically connected attorneys determine what they believe is “Constitutional.” It’s all one big ruse and we seem perfectly willing to play along with it. Hmmm…I wonder why?

In fact, the vaunted Constitution was broken and breached a very long time ago, even as long ago as 216 years ago, perhaps even further.

For example:

On July 10, 1798 (just a short 10 years and 19 days after New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify the Constitution on June 21, 1788), how did the House of Representatives come to pass the bill sent to them from the Senate, entitled “An act in addition to the act, entitled ‘An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States;”[1] by a vote of 44-41? This bill was also referred to as the Sedition Act.

On that fateful day, July 10, 1798, there were seven main actors arguing for or against final passage of the bill on the House floor:

John Nichols (Virginia) – Democrat/republican.

Nathaniel Macon (North Carolina) – Democrat/Republican

Edward Livingston (New York) – Democrat/Republican

Albert Gallatin (Pennsylvania) – Democrat/Republican

And…

Harrison Gray Otis (Massachusetts) – Federalist

Samuel Whittlesey Dana (Connecticut) – Federalist

Robert Goodloe Harper (South Carolina) – Federalist

To say the debate on final passage was heated is all that needs to be said and if you care to read it, it can be found in the Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 5th Congress, 2nd Session beginning on page 2140 and continuing until the “yeas and nays” were taken on page 2172, roughly 32 pages.

Of particular note are the “Constitutional” arguments being made by the four Democrat/Republicans:

Mr. Nichols rose, he said, to ask an explanation of the principles upon which this bill is founded. He confessed it was strongly impressed upon his mind, that it was not within the powers of the House to act upon this subject (referring to the Sedition Act). He looked in vain amongst the enumerated powers given to the Congress in the Constitution, for an authority to pass a law like the present; but he found what he considered as an express prohibition against passing it. He found that, in order to quiet the alarms of the people of the United States with respect to the silence of the Constitution as to the liberty of the press, not being perfectly satisfied that the powers not vested in Congress remained with the people, that one of the first acts of this Government was to propose certain amendments to the Constitution, to put this matter beyond doubt, which amendments are now become a part of the Constitution. It is now expressly declared by that instrument, “that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the Sates respectively, or to the people;” and, also “that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

That was the opening salvo by the defenders of liberty who thought that by claiming something was unconstitutional and making an exquisite case against the Sedition Act, they would win the day.

Later in the day, Mr. Macon took over the debate and said this:

Mr. M. then proceeded to quote the opinions of the leading members in the several of the State conventions, in order to show, from the opinions of the friends of the Constitution, that it was never understood that prosecutions for libels could take place under the General Government; but that they must be carried on in the State courts, as the Constitution gave no power to Congress to pass laws on this subject. Not a single member of any of the conventions gave an opinion to the contrary.[2]

Suffice it to say, the defenders of liberty did not prevail with their “Constitutional” arguments and thus the facts of the matter are clear: on July 10, 1798, the Constitution did not prevent the Congress and a little President John Adams from stealing unalienable rights from all of the people of the sixteen states.

I write all of this to drive home the point that as early as July of 1798, the “general government” as it was referred to back then, we call it the federal government now, was already violating the Constitution. This is not my opinion but are the facts of history, a history you probably have never been taught; I know I wasn’t. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by Congress by a series of votes during 1798 and signed into law by President John Adams on July 14, 1798.

Here’s how one writer described the culmination of these unconstitutional Acts:

Ultimately the Acts backfired against the Federalists; while they prepared lists of aliens for deportation, and many aliens fled the country during the debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts, Adams never signed a deportation order. Twenty-five people, primarily prominent newspaper editors but also Congressman Matthew Lyon, were arrested. Of them, eleven were tried (one died while awaiting trial), and ten were convicted of sedition, often in trials before openly partisan Federalist judges. Federalists at all levels, however, were turned out of power, and, over the following years, Congress repeatedly apologized for, or voted recompense to victims of, the enforcement of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Thomas Jefferson, who won the 1800 election, pardoned all of those that were convicted for crimes under the Alien Enemies Act and the Sedition Act.

Did you catch that? Twenty five people were arrested including one Congressman! Eleven of them imprisoned and one died while awaiting trial!

Friends, the Constitution wasn’t strong enough back then to stop morally bankrupt politicians from passing laws that hurt people and destroyed liberty and the Constitution isn’t strong enough today to stop them either. These facts should not scare you, if they do, then you have misplaced your trust.

Put yourself back in 1798 – 1801 and think of the “chilling effect” those new laws passed by Congress and signed by Adams would have had on you, especially when just four short years earlier, President Washington marched 13,000 troops into Western Pennsylvania to put down a tax rebellion (Whiskey Rebellion). People must have quickly come to understand that to speak against the President, Congress or the General Government could bring swift pain, even imprisonment.

In fact, I believe it is reasonable to believe that many people became terrified of their government but could only say that with whispers and hushed tones. It was against the “law” to have done otherwise.

Now, pause and think for a moment and ponder this; why didn’t the Constitution stop Congress or President Adams? Don’t be afraid to let yourself ask this question because when you do, as I have done, the picture becomes clear. Regardless of the motivations behind the Framers of the Constitution, it simply was not strong enough to stop the corrupting influences of centralized power in the hands of a few people.

There simply cannot be a strong central government without a stringently written Constitution, one that is not left open to the whims of a legislature, or an interpretation by flawed men of a judiciary or an executive’s opinion about what he will or will not enforce. The facts are clear and beyond dispute; the Constitution of the United States was not written strongly enough to prevent the corruption that has occurred…under both parties.

Allow me to submit contemporary proof of this bipartisan unconstitutional behavior.

  1. In 2002/2003 during the 107th an 108th Congress that was under complete GOP control. The House, Senate and Executive colluded to pass Medicare Part D (nowhere is there any authority found in Article 1. Section 8 for this act). On top of that, the House and Senate along with the President colluded to pass H.R. 505[3] which created the Department of Homeland Security by a vote of 207 Republicans and 88 Democrats. This Act has led to the greatest loss of liberty since its passage. Again, this was done by the GOP.
  1. In 2009 and 2010, during the 111th Congress that was under complete DNC control, the House, Senate, and Executive colluded to pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). On December 24, 2009 H.R. 3590 was passed by a vote of 60-39 (all 60 votes were democrat) in the Senate and on March 21, 2010 by a vote of 219 democrats in the House. [4]
  1. On top of that, both parties, under the supposed constraint of the Constitution have racked up $17 Trillion of debt.
  1. The Constitution has authorized the killing of 55,000,000 babies.
  1. The Constitution has failed to prevent roughly thirteen undeclared wars. [5]

I could list literally hundreds of other anti-liberty laws passed by the Congress and signed into law by the Executive and some ruled “Constitutional” by the Judiciary, but the list would be too long. Suffice it to say the anti-liberty efforts by elected officials have not been interrupted on very many occasions by the Constitution.

So, I implore people to stop insisting that the solution to the mess we’re in is the Constitution, it is definitively not. I don’t say this to inflame emotions in anyone, but I merely appeal to the undisputed facts of the matter.

So the obvious question is simple, if we cannot look to the Constitution for solutions, then to what and to where do we look?

Stay tuned to my next installment of “If it’s broken, fix it!”

 

[1] http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=008/llac008.db&recNum=479

[2] http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=008/llac008.db&recNum=469 (page 2152)

[3] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:H.R.5005:

[4] http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll165.xml

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_United_States

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Mark Kreslins

Mark Kreslins is the co-host of The Forgotten Men radio show, community organizer, and co-founder of We Surround Them Frederick.
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