Ch 9 – The Supremacy of Federalism and States Rights

 
“That government is best which governs least”- Henry David Thoreau

"The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only have the law of nature for his rule." John Locke

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. — XVII Amendment to U.S. Constitution.

Before a student of American history can understand how America truly works, he needs to insulate himself from noise of today’s educational institutions and the mass media, and even former Presidents, with their simplistic notions about the virtues of democracy. Our Founders were educated men and knew quite well the history of the failed democracies of Greek city states and early Rome. A pure democracy was never their intent in founding America.  Discussions, therefore, about promoting democracy in the world have very little to do with promoting our true core values. For those who take time to scratch below the surface, there is very little recorded success of pure democracy. Our founders knew without necessary checks and balances, democracy would devolve into either anarchy or tyranny.
 
When George W. Bush said that a primary goal in going to Iraq was to free the people of Iraq and give them “Democracy”, what exactly did he mean? In reality, are the Iraqi people ready for the foreign concept of “Democracy” when they have been under a thuggish dictator for decades and have lived for centuries by the rules of a religion with a book of Shari’a Law that does not separate the church from the state? And when we support free elections with a culture with no history of free elections such as Gaza, should it surprise us that they choose a terrorist group Hamas to run their government? And why have very bright fellows from the ancient Greeks to Thomas Hobbes been fearful of the tyranny of Democracy?  Was it true that most of the Greek city states experimenting with pure democracy devolved into anarchy? Why did the founders of this nation choose to establish an Electoral College to determine the election of the President instead of simple popular vote or direct democracy? 

As evidenced by the victory of George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election – many of us learned a great civics lesson. Although Gore had narrowly won the popular vote, he did not win the Electoral College vote, and he was defeated.  Why did the founders put together a system that could have this result? Of course the answer to those of us who have spent some time studying this greatest of experiments in representative democracy is that historically, pure democracy fails. Over time it is easily corrupted by sophistry and the use and misuse of language and issues of the day. Special Interests, both foreign and domestic, during specific national elections in a simple direct democracy can focus their efforts on only the large population centers. The Electoral College is a perfect example of a key check in our system that can be seen to be very important in protecting the rights of individual states with their diverse population make up. The Electoral College and the election of 2000 did exactly what the framers of the Constitution intended for it to do.

 

 

Although there was much angst among the Gore supporters and understandably so, the overwhelming majority of counties and individual states voted for Bush. George W. Bush carried 2,439 counties to 674 for Sen. Al Gore. Bush carried over 78% of the counties and 30 of 50 states. You did not hear those numbers immediately following the election from our balanced media. However, we did hear about the travesty of how a president could win the popular vote and not get elected. The Founders knew exactly what they were doing when they instituted the Electoral College.  The vast majority of America, as shown on this map, got exactly who they voted for, George Bush.

In a similar fashion, just as the Electoral College in a Presidential election is preferable to a simple majority vote, the original Constitutional clause of Senators elected by state appointment is preferable to simple direct democracy. The XVII amendment was a mistake much in the same way a simple majority vote in the Presidential election would be a mistake. By returning the right of the election of senators directly to simple popular vote, the smaller cities and counties no longer have representation. Large population centers now can control who can become a senator. More importantly our Founders knew that simply making electing senator a popularity contest opened up states to “carpetbaggers” who, with their moneyed interests, could literally waltz into any state that had a weak candidate and literally buy the office. Does Hillary Clinton or Barbara Boxer come to mind?  In fairness, does John McCain fit this profile as well? This leads to the tyranny of the moneyed special interests.

A State’s right as prescribed in the X amendment says the following: The Powers not delegated to the US by the Constitution nor prohibited by the States, are reserved for the States respectively or the people. Many issues now in the purview of the Federal Government need to return to State or local decision making.  For example, although healthcare needs reform – it does not need an overhaul by the Federal Government.  When you peel back the onion of the 50 million or so Americans not covered by health insurance, there may be less than 10 million that are actually truly needy.  That is, when you factor illegal immigrants and the young working class making a middle class wage who chooses a BMW over healthcare, this is far less a problem than it is being portrayed by the media. 

There is nothing in the constitution that says life, liberty and “free healthcare”!  The point is that if the Federal Government can control Healthcare they control almost 20% of the GDP. When the Federal govenment gets involved it is almost always about power and nothing to do with real reform. If the Federal Government would simply get out of the way, the wealth of our competitive free enterprise system would allow us to continue and improve the greatest healthcare system for our citizens. Of course we must address healthcare for the truly needy, and certainly costs must be contained, but there is no doubt that the media and our politicians have misrepresented the problem. Of course, the dirty little secret that every hospital emergency room in Border States can tell you is that a vast amount of the increased costs are going to treat illegal aliens.

The battle over healthcare appears to be lost.  Is it possible to repeal this misguided bill before it does irreparable harm to the country?  In 2007 the CBO estimated that 17% of our GDP was spent on healthcare and expected to grow to 25% by 2025. With control of banking, the auto industry, education and healthcare, Marxist now have a majority control of the economy.  America is no longer be a Marxist leaning government; we are well on our way to becoming a true Marxist state!

Let us analyze the following statement on Healthcare reform from Senator Judd Greg (R-NH) -“Reform starts with paying for quality, not quantity. According to a study at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, as much as $750 billion is spent each year on procedures or health-related services that don’t necessarily help patients get better. And physicians are paid more when they order more tests, procedures and office visits, whether you need them or not.” So the question for Senator Greg is who does he want to be ordering tests, procedures or whether you need office visits – The qualified doctor or a federal bureaucrat? Sure everyone wants reform but do you really want to put you or your family member’s life in the hands of a bureaucrat?

The hypocrisy is that the elitists do not follow the same rules they force upon the middle class and the rest of society. Did Barak Obama send his children to public or private schools even though he receives large contributions from the Government teachers unions and promotes them to the exclusion of policies such as voucher programs that have been proven to raise test scores of inner city children?  Do you really think that the gold plated health plan that Senator Greg and his fellow elitist club members in the Senate is going to be the same as the health plan they will palm off on the public? Do you think that if Senator Greg or one of his family members were fighting against a life threatening disease and the bureaucrat overseeing his health plan told him that a life saving procedure is not available to him because he does not qualify for this rationed procedure — would he be so eager to promote this plan?

One way to stop the tyranny of the Federal Government is promote state’s rights and the counter intuitive way to do that is by repealing the XVII amendment and put the elections of senators directly in the hands of the states, rather than a direct popular vote. The bottom line reason we should not have a direct popular vote for Senators is that it can be corrupted by special interest lobbyists in large population centers, and since the enactment of XVII amendment, that is exactly what has happened. The XVII amendment is a perfect example of what is wrong with simple direct democracy. As discussed later in the issue of Term Limits, incumbent senators and Congressman have a near insurmountable advantage in the election process due to money and staff allocated to each of them as well as the special interest funding incumbents are able to bring to any re-election campaign. So we have a process where our elected officials become lifetime club members as long as they play by the rules of their special interest puppet masters. Our founders got it right the first time.  This XVII amendment needs to be repealed. Then a term limits amendment needs to follow shortly thereafter. Over time tyrannical forces have managed to bend the system. We need to bend it back to the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We must give power back to our state legislators and to our local governments. It is more prudent for our US Senators to be discussing the business of the people with state senators and local representatives rather than big moneyed special interest groups. Montana State Senator Jerry O'Neil asks us “How many times have you had your U.S. Senator approach you and discuss impending legislation with you?  Even though you voted for them, they probably did not contact you once. But how many times do you suppose they contacted Enron about impending legislation. Enron and other corporations financed their campaigns, to the tune of millions of dollars, to get you to vote these senators into office. You can safely bet that your U.S. Senators discuss impending legislation with these corporations on a routine basis. How often do U.S. Senators discuss federal affairs with your state legislator? I am still looking for a state legislator who has been contacted by their U.S. Senator regarding federal affairs.

Prior to the enactment of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution the U.S. Senators discussed federal affairs with their state legislators on a regular basis. At THAT time U.S. Senators did not have to raise millions of dollars to run for office. They were not beholden to the large corporations. There is no way our U.S. Senators are going to personally discuss federal affairs with, and handle the input from, 900,000 people. The only choice we have before us is to have them discuss our federal affairs with the State Legislatures as opposed to the large corporations. As originally included in the U.S. Constitution, the people of the states will continue to enjoy the right to vote for their U.S. Representatives.”

In a sane society, putting their country first would be a given. But it seems some politicians are not satisfied with just being American leaders – they strive for the approval and consent from foreign countries. Perhaps there is money involved, perhaps there is prestige involved, but there is no room in this country for representatives to bow to the will of special interests – especially foreign interests.  Those representative or appointed officials of the US who are found supporting foreign governments to the detriment of the United States should be brought to trial under sedition laws and if necessary tried for treason.  And although Supreme Court Judges are not elected, it should be clear that their function is to interpret OUR Constitution – not a foreign country’s legal system – no matter how benign or “advanced” these judges might think it is.  Plainly that is not what they were hired to do.  If an employee decides to take it upon him or herself to make decisions by conferring with competitors, that would be grounds for firing.  There should be no difference for our government employees. We need to fire them if they are bringing aid or comfort to our enemies.

One simple remedy for an over reaching Federal government is to give back the States the right to choose Senators – not the special interests who have the ability to buy elections. Foreign Policy decisions should be made exclusively in the best interest of American citizens. In a sane society, this would be a given. It is almost as if we have American leaders who actually strive for the approval and consent from foreign countries. It is worrisome when China and other foreign countries have such a large portion of our national debt. When do foreign debt holders start dictating policy to our elected officials? And how many corrupt politicians are just as happy to fund their campaign and lifestyle with foreign as well as American special interest money?  In a more perfect union, those corrupt representatives that are found supporting foreign governments to the detriment of the United States would be brought to trial under sedition laws and if necessary tried for treason. 

Foreign legal rulings should not serve as a basis for interpreting the US constitution.  Hypothetically speaking, what if we have judges who cite Dutch legal precedents? Then we amend the Constitution and now it is OK for men to have sex with boys – let us call it the NAMBL law.  And the next thing you know we are all the way to other side of the spectrum citing Shari`a Law – saying it is OK to murder your daughter for religious reasons if she flirts with a non Muslim. From this throwback law, Honor Killings become acceptable as a basis for interpreting the Constitution. No foreign legal rulings should serve as a basis for interpreting the US constitution. What does Ruth Bader Ginsberg think of this?

A good place to put us back on a track to a system our Founders would recognize is to promote individual, family and community rights and responsibilities in acts of self-governance. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, our freedom as Americans is expressed in our unalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The chief purpose of Government is to make sure we have those rights.  According to our founders, the only legitimate government is one that is sanctioned by the people. Our government is the People.  As Jefferson stated, when the government fails in its duty to allow these fundamental rights to the people, we have a moral duty to alter or abolish that government.

Although we give lip service to the founding documents and especially our Constitution, we must recognize that there are many examples where the original intent is ignored by judges who have decided that they can breathe new meaning into the law. And perhaps an even worse problem is that our government has ceased to be accountable to We the people and particularly the middle class, and instead appear to respond only to their moneyed special interest groups. Not all rulings by our judiciary are constitutional. As showed earlier, by interpreting the freedom of religion clause, the courts have expunged our founding religion Christianity, while allowing secular religions free rein. The intent of prohibiting “the free exercise thereof” was to avoid making restrictive laws about religion – not preventing the “free exercise” of religions that atheists or Marxists deemed restrictive to them.

There are strategic goals that will strengthen the Founding principles such as abolishing Income Tax by repealing 16th amendment. This will slow the growth of Big Government by making it more difficult for them to keep reaching into our pocket books. Repealing the 17th amendment will strengthen Federalism and reinforce the 10th amendment, thereby giving rights back to the States and the middle class; rights that have been slowly taken away by the ever expanding Federal Government. There are tactical things that can be done as well: fight the forces that would limit free speech by protesting Orwellian programs like the Fairness Doctrine and fight their more malicious Alinsky-gangster techniques used to intimidate Radio Station owners and other Conservative news outlets. We can do this by specifically enlisting sympathetic groups who believe in free speech. We also need to ratchet up the protest against Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants masquerading as Comprehensive Immigration reform – enlisting and energizing the majority of Americans who want secure borders and who do not believe breaking our laws should be the road to citizenship. And finally we must continue the tax revolts known as “Tea Parties” to energize those folks who understand that huge deficits and uncontrolled spending is not the road to economic health – it is the road to Big Government, a shrinking Private Sector and ultimately Tyranny!

After the take over of the Banking Industry, the Auto Industry, we are on a course to have the Federal Government oversee everything from Healthcare, to Education and more. We are watching our formerly republican form of government become a Marxist tyranny right before our eyes. But where is any meaningful criticism from our press?  Where is any real criticism of the Obama Administration?  And is conferring with our enemies and be filmed bowing to Islamo-fascists considered a high crime or misdemeanour?  What about bankrupting our country?  How about leaking CIA classified documents or printing embarrassing pictures that can be used by our enemies in a time of war? How about destroying the will of our Intelligence Agencies to do their jobs for fear of prosecution?

Although we are blessed to have access to more information at our fingertips than at any time in history with the Internet, the sad fact is the information alone does not make people smarter or less susceptible to manipulation.  As discussed before, Stanley Milgrim’s fifty year old social psychology experiment that has been replicated many times, demonstrates quite convincingly that even “educated” people can be intimidated and coaxed to do bad things. Originally the experiment was used as an explanation of how a formerly civil society in Germany could be complicit with the horrific atrocities of the holocaust.

But one does not have to go that far to see how otherwise intelligent people can be convinced to do things that are not necessarily in their best interest or the interest of their country – by simply being susceptible to intimidation, propaganda, conforming and being religiously obedient to accepted authority figures.  And based on this experiment, it is alarming that a leader has achieved the cult status of a secular Messiah. It is hard to believe but in June 2009, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas said on MSNBC that “Obama is sort of God looking down on us and going to make us bad guys good again.” The majority media and press, rather than criticizing the foibles and the imperfections of the man we have elected president, are literally calling him “God”. Instead today we hear a deafening silence of criticism from the mass media.  It is stunning that although the new President has produced some outrageous gaffs – such as stating there are “57 states” or on Mexico’s Independence Day calls it “Cinco de quatro”.  Except for that one cable channel that claims to be fair and balanced, no one in the Media takes issue or makes fun of these remarks.  At what point does it become acceptable to criticise this Messiah without being labelled a “racist”?

America is not quite a Banana Republic yet, but selective enforcement of laws is a good first step.  Shutting down the private sector, Nationalizing Banks, helping to destroy whole Industries, is a good second step.  Left to its logical conclusion, it is not hyperbole to say that America in actions and deeds is starting to look a lot like a Banana Republic. And the San Francisco Chronicle, not known for its Conservative outlook had the following statement on the front page of the Sunday May 24th 2009 edition discussing the out of control spending in the first three months of the Obama administration: “It is a relentless curve of red ink that will, within the decade, take U.S. debt levels to the record reached at the end of World War II, from 40 percent of the nation's output now to 80 percent, and then rapidly thereafter into the realm of banana republics.”

It would be a good thing if our public officials both elected and appointed take their oath of office seriously. The Constitution allows each chamber of Congress to expel a Member, with the concurrence of two-thirds of its members. To minimize the old boys club that we now have permanent committees should be put in place to regularly expel those officials who are deemed unethical or have been proven to break a law while in office.  Why is there still a sitting congressman who has been found on tape with obvious bribe money in their freezer?  Why is a member allowed to avoid taxes through off shore property, allowed to be a member of the budget committee? How is it possible that a congressman caught forcing his employees to make illegal campaign contributions still remains in office?  The first two are Democrats, the last one a Republican. There are easily a couple of dozen Congressmen with equal or worse offences.

A 2007 proposal that would have the power to initiate ethics complaints against members of the U.S. House of Representatives is not being enforced. This proposal is worthless since it only allows House members to initiate complaints. Democrats and Republicans in the House have a longstanding truce. They will not file ethics complaints against each other, so misdeeds go unpunished. The Constitution provides that all civil officers of the United States, including the President and the Vice President, may be impeached on the basis of "high crimes and misdemeanors" (Article II, Section 4), which certainly includes violations of the oath of office. We urge Congress to invoke this underutilized tool more frequently, and especially when executive and judicial branch officers repeatedly and egregiously act in ways not specifically permitted to them by the Constitution.
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The Constitution further provides that the Judges of the supreme and inferior courts of the United States "shall hold their offices during good behavior" (Article III, Section 1).  Congress should adopt the sense that "good behavior" in judges rests on adherence to their oaths of office to support the Constitution, and that violation of their oaths is cause for removal from judicial office, including immediate impeachment, if necessary in cases of egregious violations of support of the Constitution. We also urge the Senate to adopt standard periodic reviews of the "good behavior" of judges, reviewing their records of decisions and comportment at least once every five years after confirmation, and to terminate the appointment of any judge not receiving affirmation of "good behavior" from a majority of Senators.

Our nation has currently strayed from this understanding that the only valid purpose of government is to protect individual citizens' rights, and instead it has gotten out of control and it now infringes on the rights of our citizens with every new law. And because the nation has lost this perspective on the legitimate objectives of government, the federal structure outlined with detail in the Constitution is no longer honored. This straying from constitutional limits is worrisome because it inhibits the government from carrying out those legitimate functions authorized by the Constitution. Further, a government that has lost focus on its only valid purpose will embark on a course of systematic violations until we eventually have a shrinking economic pie that culminates in the death of the middle class. The Declaration of Independence asserts plainly "that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states."

The Constitution limits the powers of government by division of those powers into separate branches and levels of government. At the national level, the central governing powers are divided into the coequal legislative, executive and judicial branches, so as to offer checks and balances on the unbridled exercise of ruling authority over the states and individual citizens. Moreover, the Constitution is explicit in listing the few and restricted powers that are assigned to the United States, together with the powers that are prohibited to the several states.

There is a children’s story that may be instructive.  It goes like this: Once upon a time there were bad old men who made the animals of the jungle fear and respect them.  But that is not good.  So a new leader arose who told the people, we do not need spears – we need hope!  The bad old leader was clumsy and everyone made fun of him.  Of course, after the big lion attack, he went out with other hunters and killed some bad animals, and now everybody is safe. And the mean old leader though was not able to pass his spear as chief to one of his sons or followers because they were not very good at explaining why they needed to kill the animals to make the village safe. The old leader stepped down for his time had come and gone. The new leader came to power. He is well spoken and he gives us “Hope”.  He says:   “I hope that there are no predators like lions, tigers and bears in the woods today. You see, I trust the world.  You can reason with animals.  We can be liked and not hated anymore if you follow me. It is just that the previous leaders had too many spears and bows and arrows and that made the animals nervous.  So nervous in fact that it is really our fault that lions and tigers kill some of us.  I know that we are better than that.  We do not need spears to protect us from the animals – we just need hope!”  And of course, the new leader led the people outside the cave without spears or arrows – and of course…they were eaten by the lions and tigers and bears!

There is no need to tell you the moral of this story!  We are living it! So this is what our new leader wants.  Change from a mean old capitalist country that thrives on rugged individualism and free enterprise.  And who needs those old fashion religions and founding principles?  We do not need those guiding documents. Who needs a strong military? Who needs the Strategic Defense Intitiative “star wars”? No all we need is Hope!  We do not need to protect ourselves from thuggish dictators with a strong defense.  After all, it is our fault that they attack and want to destroy us. So from now on people — just hope!  Oh yes, let us just apologize for all our past sins and all will be well!

We have a disastrous economy in large part because of an over reaching Federal Government.  The congress has exercised powers beyond those delegated by the Constitution and the power of the states has been usurped. One solution is an amendment that restores the Commerce Clause to its original meaning.  That is, it states that activities within a state are free from the regulation of the Federal Government (by several states) and to be left completely free to any regulations as that state may choose. This law does not restrict the Congress from retaining its power to regulate interstate commerce. Another amendment that may help is to limit congress’ incentive to engage in International treaties that allow congress to impose its will on local government while perversely engaging in an international legal obligation simply to gain an increase in domestic legislative power. And finally another amendment would address federal intrusion into states for the express purpose of forcing adoption of certain policies without having to take responsibility for the tax or political implications.  For example, when the Federal Government forced states to pass a 55 mph speed limit law as a condition for receiving federal highway funds, the federal government took credit for a policy without having to take the political cost of raising taxes. These amendments are a start to limiting our over reaching federal government and returning power to where it belongs – to the states and we the people of the middle class.

Unfortunately our federal government is growing, not shrinking. As Obama makes his world “apology” tour, much of the time is spent justifying his profligate spending to European socialist and Arab fascist countries. It is odd indeed that even the Communist Chinese and socialist European countries are questioning his fiscal policies. Nevertheless, based on the bows to Saudi kings and the warm greetings from despots, he appears more at home with fellow Marxists abroad than many of his own citizens. Obama’s critics have been cringing with every apology he makes to tyrannical thuggish regimes. They scratch their heads and say that he must be naïve. Is he is just paying back his biggest foreign and domestic special interest groups?  Billionaire Soros who has been so masterful at moving funds around to his advantage. Of course the problem is that when you tell the average Obama supporter that there is something corrupt with George Soros and his “hedge” funds, they ask you what does landscaping have to do with anything?

Frank Capra Americans believe that in the end Jefferson Smith and George Bailey will defeat old man Potter and boss Taylor. The only problem is it might take a while for Mr. Smith or George Bailey to show up. One day when the folks who actually work for a living and voted for this change wake up –they may humbly admit their mistake and begin to slow this train down.  Because we are headed for an Orwellian hell – a Marxist train wreck! This is not your daddy’s Democrat Politician who got elected siding with the little people. These are spoiled elitist radicals who have successfully taken over government from a power hungry Democrat party and rudderless watered-down Republican party.  To say that the Bush-Clinton-Bush years were not true to our conservative principles would be an understatement, but the radicals who are supervising this coming train wreck are making the government largesse under the Bushes and the Clintons look like the proverbial drop in the bucket. 

They are starved for power!  And they plan to make you pay – especially you unenlightened Neanderthals who vote for traditional American values and cling to your “guns and religion” and think that the definition of marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.  At some point, America and our great middle class will wake up to what is happening.  We must promote the Supremacy of Federalism and States Rights. We must also promote the X Amendment and protect the individual from a tyrannical national government. We must repeal the XVII amendment. We must add amendments to the constitution that strengthen states rights and roll back unwise court decisions that have given more power to the federal government than is absolutely necessary. We must have a foreign Policy based on a doctrine of America First, and that America we will be saving will be the American middle class.

 

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