…a more perfect union

by

Just to follow up and continue with the “chas for President” series, I think a closer look is needed at why people are so willing to accept what has become an unconstitutional and contra-constitutional status quo.  Shifts in thought about our relationship with our government starting in the late 19th Century, the era commonly referred to as the Progressive era, brought more damage to the Republic than any intentional and deliberate attack from a foreign nation had brought, or could bring.

Under Progressives such as Teddy Roosevelt, we see the central government’s claim upon some of the best land in America, amusingly known as the Federal Park System.  I say amusing, because to me it means the Federal Government Parked its arse on the land and now presumes to tell you how, when and what to enjoy on it.  The Constitution clearly identifies the land the central government can “own.”  That however was turned aside by a fellow-travelers United States Supreme Court.  States were also bribed or coerced into ratifying the 16th and 17th Amendments, which we’ll go into more detail in a bit.

One of the paragraphs in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution states: “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be,  for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings.”

Find me any “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings” in virtually any Federal park.  BTW, at last count, Washington, D.C., is now 68 “Miles square,” not 10.

It is pretty hard to understand what the States were thinking when they ratified the 17th Amendment [popular election of senators].  In one swift move, without much fanfare, the States put themselves in a position to have no voice in the central government, undermining the original meaning of “federal government.”  Make no mistake, this, along with the 16th Amendment [individual income taxes], has done more damage, than any other single act, to slowly kill the Republic.

You must remember that the States were to have a voice in the central government.  Indeed, it is often overlooked that “the” “federal government” was really a description of the joint, combined governmental efforts of the reserved-powers sovereign states and a granted central government, operating together in their respective spheres of influence: Washington was not to be The Federal Government [big “F”]; Washington was to be a granted/enumerated component in the operation of our “federal government” [small “f”].  The power of the States to appoint their two senators was critical to the stability of the republic, and necessary to the substance and symbolism of States’ sovereign rights.  Once the States forfeited their voice in the central government, we started on the path towards a National Government.

Perhaps you might ask why that is such a bad thing.  Well, look at how the States are now bound to do the bidding of the “Federal” Government.  Laws and regulations passed in DC, forcing compliance by the States, cost the States, or indeed the States’ citizens, State money, in addition to commanding, from a distant above, things that should be decide locally and closely below.  Do you think that this was not considered when the Framers debated and drafted the Constitution?  In #39 of the Federalist Papers, speaking critically against “national government,” and expressly contrasting it with the “federal” form we were establishing, Madison wrote: “The idea of a national Government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens; but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things….”   I don’t think I have to cover the ground of overwhelming Federal intrusion into individual citizens’ lives; examples abound everywhere.

Nor should I have to cover the intrusion into the authority of the State.  Remember the 55MPH Law, imposed by people living in a small and crowded DC to apply to people living in the vast and sparsely populated western States?  How about the nationally imposed seat belt law?  How many federal programs in local and state education are commanded, but then insufficiently funded, by the “Feds”?

The sad reality is that we have degenerated into a “national” government, against the intent of the Framers, relegating our “sovereign” states to nothing more than useful agencies and subcomponents to be exploited to serve the agenda of whichever party holds power at any given time.  A “federal government” is supposed to be the glue that binds together sovereign States, not the obliterator of those sovereign States.

As was pointed out in a previous blog, a great deal of the fault for this degeneration from the marvelous experiment commenced in Philadelphia centuries ago lies within our education system.  I was blogging the other day with someone, who claims to be working on a post graduate degree, who didn’t even know the difference between a “federal” and a “national” government.  This liberal, of course pooh- poohed the notion once it was explained to her, but the very idea that the concept was beyond her knowledge is astonishing and telling.  This person considers herself to be a savvy political individual.  That is scary to the extreme.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of people reading at least some historical documents.  It takes time.  I know we are all busy these days.  But how can we gauge where we should head if we don’t know where we are, or should be, starting from?  Or don’t you care?  When Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired from the Supreme Court, serving decades after President Reagan appointed her, she warned that we will fatally imperil the Republic and our constitutional order if we do not become familiar with the premises and doctrines underlying our founding.  May I suggest some very important things to study in that regard that merit your attention:  The Constitution, The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, and Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787.  Then too, a volume that combines helpful features of all of those is Leonard Levy’s Original Intent and the Framers’ Constitution.  After reading the Constitution, you might want to start with the Debates, because Madison took copious and fascinating notes on the debates, which will enlighten your view of how statesmen, as distinguished from mere politicians, work and think.

Capmotion & chas

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6 Responses to “…a more perfect union”

  1. Gini Says:

    Chas and Cap…I join in the congratulations, for the continuing excellent ‘essays’ you two have presented for us to read. Thank you both for the effort. lol 🙂
    =================
    cap certainly brings a big extra to the writings.

    chas

  2. Salvatore Says:

    Good Morning Chas and Cap, great job my friends.
    ======================
    Thanks Sal, for the comment and for reading.

    chas

  3. olinl Says:

    Excellent points, Chas and Cap. All should be required reading prior to election to office. Would that help some? We the people may understand, but if the politicians don’t, then we are lost!
    =====================
    Not if we get rid of the Politicians who refuse to conform to our desires.

    chas

  4. Eileen Says:

    Or as the doctors say—First, do no harm.
    ===============
    Yeppers.

    chas

  5. gwenfl Says:

    Chas and Cap I have enjoyed this series. You guys did a fabulous job. I think you should throw in your hats for President and VP. I’d vote for you. I for one am going to start reading more about the constitution. These things we learned in grade school and high school get forgotten as 40 years have passed. But you make me want to refresh my memory and become a true patriot like you guys.

    Very good post.

    Gwen
    ============================
    Thank you Gwen. A major objective of this series is to inspire people to read more of the Founding Documents. I know you now have the “Debates”, so I hope that inspires you even more.

    chas

  6. Frank C Says:

    Cap and Chas, well done. I suggest that people start with the Constitution especially the 10th Amendment which says “The powers not delegated to the US by Constitution, nor prohibited by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
    ==================
    Couldn’t have said it any better Frank.

    chas

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