Sometime in 2011 my friend, Jeffrey Bennett, suggested I compile four or five articles from each of the subjects I had been writing upon and submit them to him for publication in book form. The result of this project was my first book, Ross Unmasked: An Angry American Speaks Out. When I finally held a finished copy of the book in my hands I was proud of the fact that I had finally become a published author. Now, five years after publication, I look back and find the title a bit misleading as I was not truly angry at the time it was published. However, that was then and this is now; and let me tell you, anger doesn’t come close to describing how I often feel.
The subject matter I write about is not that difficult to understand; at least not if you graduated from high school with a certain degree of literacy. The hard part, at least for me anyway, was in accepting what I was reading when it conflicted with what I had been taught. After all, what good is knowledge if one does not put it to use? If one encounters facts which contradict with their existing beliefs they have but two choices; they can either change their existing beliefs to conform to the facts they have learned, or they can reject the facts they have learned and go on believing falsehoods.
Our government was established to perform certain tasks on behalf of those it represented; the people and the States. Anything they did which went beyond those specifically enumerated powers found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution was usurpation, and was to be avoided at all costs.
I now provide for your edification Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution in its entirety:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
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; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Those are the things our government can do and still remain within its just authority; anything beyond those specific powers is considered unconstitutional until the Constitution is properly amended to give it the authority to do other things.
This simple principle is based not upon my thoughts and beliefs, but the beliefs of the very first man to serve as President of the United States; George Washington. In his Farewell Address Washington warned, “If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
Although he personally disliked the title, James Madison is considered by many to be the Father of our Constitution. Wouldn’t it be prudent to learn what he had to say about the powers given our federal government by the Constitution?
In Federalist 45, written in 1788, Madison states, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
It would seem, after reading that, that the laws which were to be passed by the federal government were primarily designed to act upon the States and affect the interaction between them, while the States themselves were responsible for enacting laws which directly affected the lives, liberties and properties of the people.
But then I can almost hear the responses, “But Neal, isn’t the government supposed to enact laws for the general welfare?” Well, let’s examine that claim for a moment. At first glance the phrase general welfare seems to imply a wide range of power and authority to do things on behalf of the people; but is that truly the case?
Again, turning to Madison, here are three quotes which prove that this belief is not, in fact, the case:
* If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions. (Source: Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792)
* With respect to the two 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. (Source: Letter to James Robertson, April 20, 1831)
* If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress… Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. (Source: Speech to House of Representatives, February 3, 1792)
It would seem that your beliefs regarding the powers held by government to provide for the general welfare are based upon faulty information. Just like Morpheus gives Neo the choice between the red or the blue pill, I’m giving you the choice to either accept the facts or reject them.
But there is one other thing I have refrained from discussing up to this point; the fact that there are certain things our government is strictly prohibited from doing. While the Constitution itself mentions a few things, such as the fact that Congress cannot pass an ex post facto law; pass bills of attainder, or suspend the writ of habeas corpus, these are not the things I’m thinking of. I’m referring to the fact that there are certain unalienable rights that our federal government simply cannot touch without their actions becoming unconstitutional.
At the time our Constitution was being argued over among the States there was a certain amount of resistance to its ratification based upon the fact that many believed it did not go far enough towards protecting the rights of the people. Therefore, to calm any fears it was promised that if they would just accept the Constitution a Bill of Rights would be passed and added to it.
It took a couple years, but on December 15, 1791 the Bill of Rights was formally ratified by a sufficient number of States and became part of our Constitution; therefore the Supreme Law of the Land by which our representatives are sworn by oath to defend.
I’d be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 people couldn’t name more than 4 or 5 of the rights the Bill of Rights protects. I’d also be willing to bet that if we did not have a Bill of Rights, and one was introduced today for ratification, it would not pass because the general public has no concern for things such as the freedom of speech; the right to keep and bear arms, or the right to privacy and unreasonable searches and seizures.
Nonetheless, the fact remains we do have a Bill of Rights and it is part of our Constitution; which means that if our government passes any law which violates ANY of the rights protected by those ten amendments to the Constitution, its actions become unconstitutional.
Therefore when evaluating which candidate to vote for, or which piece of legislation to support or oppose, it should be simple enough to compare what the Constitution allows and what is being proposed. If the two don’t match up the Constitution should take precedence. The same goes for the Bill of Rights; if what a candidate, or bill proposes violates, in the slightest degree, any of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights, then it should be opposed.
But is that what happens? Of course it isn’t, otherwise we would not have the NSA spying on us; all these laws restricting our right to own firearms; Universal Health Care, and all other manner of laws which violate both the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
When I first began writing all those years ago I thought that by sharing the things I was learning I could cause others to see the truth that they had been denied learning in school, and that they would therefore change their way of thinking towards government and what they expect out of it.
WHAT A FOOL I WAS!
I’m not saying there aren’t people who do not care, but they are but a small percentage of the total population in this country. I first began this article by saying I wasn’t angry when my first book was published, but I am now. I am angry at the people who choose ignorance over education. I am angry at those who reject the truth when it is presented to them. I am angry at those who accept that what I say is true, but do not alter the way in which they vote because they still believe in the two party paradigm. But most of all I am angry at myself for being stupid enough to think that I could get people to care. And that’s what it all boils down to, most people just don’t care about the things I write about.
For nearly two decades I have been at this, writing close to two-thousand articles and two books. And what have I accomplished other than neglecting my family? Therefore, although I will still write from time to time, I am going to stop wasting my time on a bunch of ignorant, apathetic, and hypocritical sheep who do not care that damned near everything their government does now violates either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
The information I have tried to share with y’all is out there; if I can find it so can you. But you can forget about me spoon feeding it to you from now on; it’s time you got off your asses and did some work searching for it yourselves. I’ve got better things to do than to waste another moment of my time researching and writing for people who simply do not care.
And now you know why I wasn’t angry then, but I am now.
July 19, 2017
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.