Once upon a time there was a land where the people understood what liberty was, and they stood ready to defend it from all those who would seek to deprive them of it. They understood that government existed because they had created it; and that government had limits which, when overstepped, amounted to treason against the people who had created government.
These people understood that the responsibility for their success or failure in life rested solely upon their shoulders; it was not the burden of society or government to care for their every needs.
These people understood that knowledge was the key to success in life, not how many song lyrics they could recite, or how much sporting trivia they had memorized.
These people valued truth and justice above all else, and to be branded a liar was the utmost of disgraces.
That land still exists, but the people have forgotten what it meant to be free, and to stand ready to defend that freedom against any who would threaten it; including their own government. In case you haven’t figured it out already I’m talking about us, the people of the United States of America.
It is said the when Ben Franklin left the Philadelphia Convention that he was confronted by a woman who asked him, “Well, Doctor, what have we got―a Republic or a Monarchy?” To which Franklin is quoted as replying, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Now why would Franklin add that little caveat, if you can keep it? The answer is quite simple, really; it is because in a Republic the ultimate responsibility for ensuring its survival rests with the people, not the government.
A Republic differs from a Representative Democracy in that in a Republic there is typically a law which governs what the government can and cannot do. In a Representative Democracy the will of the majority is all that is required for something to become law.
I know I have mentioned it before, but I wonder how many had been taught in school that prior to the delegates voting either to accept or reject the document they had just produced, that Ben Franklin had a speech read for him in which he stated, “I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”
If you’ll note, Franklin states that government will become despotic only when the people become so corrupted that despotic government is what they require. Like I said, I’ve used that quote many times in the past, but have you ever stopped to think about what kind of corruption Franklin was speaking of? I know I certainly have.
When people abandon the principles upon which any system of government is established it can be said that they are corrupting their form of government by enabling it to exercise powers beyond those specifically granted. If people accept corruption, mediocrity, ineptitude in those they choose to hold seats of power and authority within their government, then they deserve the consequences of their choices and have only themselves to blame for not holding those they elect to a higher standard.
Our system of government could have taken many forms, as those who attended the convention proposed everything from a much more authoritarian government than the one outlined in the Constitution, to an elective monarchy. What restrained them from creating those forms of government was primarily one thing, the little matter of States Rights. The States, particularly the smaller States, felt that without some means of their having a check upon what laws might be passed by the government they were creating their rights would be violated and abused by the larger States, and possibly by the government itself.
The fact that they established a bicameral Congress with one house representing the people and the other representing the States was their attempt to solve this dilemma. If the representatives of the people, acting upon the will of the people, chose to push forth a piece of legislation that could threaten the sovereignty of the States, those who represented the States could block it by refusing to vote in favor of it in the Senate, and vice versa.
In theory this is all well and good, but it does not take into account the introduction of factions, or political parties as we call them today. In his Farewell Address, Washington spoke at length of the dangers posed by factions to the security and stability of our system of government. He concluded his comments on them by saying, “However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Two years after the Constitution was written Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Francis Hopkinson in which he stated, “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”
Our Founders understood human nature far better than most do today; except for those in government who understand it fully and use our foibles and weaknesses to subvert our liberty. It was hoped that the Senate would act as a check upon the impetuousness nature of men in general who might call for measures they later regret. Madison spoke of this in Federalist 62 where he stated, “The necessity of a senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions, and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions.”
As the Senate was to be directly accountable to the Legislatures of the States they represented, it was hoped that they would provide a check against the central government’s ability to pass any law which threatened the authority of the States. And what exactly was the authority which belonged to the States? Well, in Federalist 45 Madison declares them to be as follows, “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.”
Does that even remotely sound like the balance between State and Federal authority in 2017?
Political parties, as we know them today, sprang out of the division of beliefs between men like Alexander Hamilton; who felt that the Constitution was a loose outline of powers and that government had many implied powers that could be asserted for the general welfare of the nation, and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who felt that the Constitution was very specific in what powers it granted the government.
Hamilton, and his followers were primarily representative of business and banking interests, and they formed the genesis of what we now call the Republican Party. Jefferson and his followers were those who gave birth to the modern day Democrats.
The party of Hamilton chose to use the power of taxation to raise money to expand and improve the infrastructure and commerce which was primarily in the North. The South sought to restrain the expansion of governmental authority and keep it within its specified limits. When the burden of taxation, of which the South bore the majority of, they sought to nullify the tariffs in the 1830’s; which even led to a sitting Vice President choosing to resign so he could fight alongside his State to resist these burdensome tariffs.
Not only that, but as slavery was used to account for representation in Congress, those in the North sought to halt the expansion of slavery westward, thereby increasing their control in both Houses of Congress. Now I’m not saying slavery is, and ever was moral; but the fact is that it was legal under the Constitution, and unless Congress specifically passed a law banning it, they could not legally prohibit its expansion into newly admitted States.
So now you have the double whammy of the South being taxed to fund improvements in the North, and their diminishing power and authority in Congress and all that was needed was a spark to ignite an existing powder keg.
For the longest time the office of the Executive had been held by a Democrat, which gave the South some level of comfort in knowing that someone of like mind held the office of the President; but that all changed in 1860 when a Republican named Abraham Lincoln was elected. Lincoln was that spark which caused the South to choose to sever the ties which bound them to the Union.
I know y’all believe the Civil War was fought over slavery, and only slavery; but that simply isn’t the case, and never was. There would have been no Civil War had Lincoln simply let the South leave in peace; of that fact you cannot possibly argue. Jefferson Davis himself never wanted war with the Union, in fact he once said, “I live the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it.”
That may sound like a tongue-twister at first, but it basically means that the government had abandoned the principles contained in the Constitution and become no less tyrannical and oppressive to the South than King George III and Parliament had become for the Colonists; and they exercised the same right the Colonists did when they chose to leave the British Empire and become a sovereign and independent nation. Only this time Abraham Lincoln was the tyrant raising an army to stop them, not King George III.
Major General Patrick Cleburne, of the Confederate Army, is quoted as saying, “I am with the South in life or in death, in victory or in defeat…… I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principles of government. They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed. They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and inaugurate a servile insurrection, murder our men and dishonor our women. We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone.”
The loss of the South heralded more than just the ratification of the 13th Amendment which ended slavery; it was the end of the idea of government being representative of the States and of a States right to leave a voluntary union of independent sovereignties.
You have been taught the Civil War was all about slavery and nothing else, but you have been taught a lie. Why would non slave owners sign up to fight when they could have cared less about owning or freeing the slaves were it not for the fact that they were fighting for their State’s right to defend itself against invasion and the tyranny of their former government?
The fact that Reconstruction was not a means of rebuilding the South after the war, but of subjugating the South by establishing proxy governments which represented Northern interests and denying anyone who supported the Confederate cause should be sufficient proof that the North sought to forever kill off the idea that a State had the right to resist federal authority.
But as V said to Creedy in the film V For Vendetta, “Behind this mask Mr Creedy is an idea, and ideas are bullet proof.” You cannot kill an idea that has at its roots the very principles this country was founded upon; not matter how many of the symbols and monuments dedicated to that ideal are torn down. You may be able to hide the flame of liberty so that others may not see it, but you cannot extinguish that flame; and there will always be those who seek out its warmth and defend it to their last dying breath.
The other day one of my friends on Facebook posted something I felt was very profound, and spot on. The person who posted this was a newcomer to my friends list, but one who I have found to be very wise and insightful; her name is Danielle Mottale, and her comment is as follows, “Facts no longer matter to the demoralized and brainwashed person. They are fully programmed and conditioned to the extent that even the laws of nature, the laws of physics, tangible facts are disregarded. Government is a CULT, literally, and therefore its proponents are cult followers.”
I’m going to tell you something, and I want you to think long and hard over it. Government can either serve the purpose for which it was established, or it can serve another purpose altogether; the deprivation of the rights of those it was established to represent. In this there is no middle ground, absolutely none whatsoever.
If you support a government that seeks to serve the purpose for which it was established, you are a patriot. On the other hand, if you support a government that seeks not to serve the purpose for which it was established, then you are a follower who can’t see the truth through all the lies, and you are a danger to the liberty which our government was instituted to secure.
This is true no matter whether you believe your party is right in its platform for what is best for the country. The Constitution is the law which dictates what our government can and cannot do; and either you support it, or you are an enemy to the liberty government was instituted to secure and protect.
I’m tired of people throwing this two party paradigm in my face and saying, “We have to throw our support behind ___________ so that _________ doesn’t win.” I’m tired of people saying that it is okay to violate my rights to serve the public safety or the security of our nation. I’m tired of having 15-25 percent of my wages taxed to be spent upon programs and wars I do not support. I’m tired of being told I can’t say this or I can’t say that because some spineless bastard might become offended.
I began this by saying that once upon a time there was a nation that loved liberty. Well that nation has long since died, and it has been replaced by a nation whose citizens shun the truth and hide from liberty because it imposes too many responsibilities upon them.
Well, Franklin was correct, we would get despotic government when we were incapable of any other form, and it certainly appears to me that the majority of the people in this country are incapable of understanding what it means to be free and have a government which was limited by a written law, (The Constitution), and a populace which was ready and willing to hold those they elect accountable for supporting and defending it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “None are so hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe themselves to be free.”
Well, enjoy your fairy tale, one of these days reality is going to come knocking upon your door; I hope you’re ready for it.
December 3, 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.