Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Election 2008 vs. U.S. Constitution

Although the next presidential election is still over a year away, we find the campaigning well under way for both republican and democratic candidates. I find the entire election process a fascinating event to watch unfold. It is not so much the candidates that I find fascinating, it is the response of the public in general to these candidates that intrigues me.

The candidates, with the exception of Congressman Ron Paul, all pretty much spew out the same party line garbage that I have come to expect from members of either party. Other than the breath of fresh air and truthfulness that Ron Paul brings to the process, I actually find it rather boring to listen to the other candidates repeat the same tired old party based themes over and over again.

What I find interesting is how the public falls for what these candidates have to say. It shows how ignorant the American public truly is in regards to the way our system of government is supposed to operate.

The word ignorant is often misused to imply that a person is stupid. Stupidity is defined as being dull of mind. Ignorant, however, is defined as lacking knowledge: uneducated. There is a huge difference between being dull and being uneducated.

It is painfully obvious to me that the vast majority of Americans are ignorant in regards to how their government is supposed to function. The framework for our system of government is the Constitution of the United States. It outlines the duties of each branch and the limitations placed upon them as well. It details the powers granted to the federal government and those allotted to the states. It also clearly defines certain rights, we as citizens have, that are not to be infringed upon.

Anyone who has taken the time to read the Constitution can clearly see that our government no longer operates within the guidelines that document describes. In arguing this point with people I am constantly told that the Constitution is a living document, designed to change with the times. They are only partially right. The framers of the Constitution clearly laid out the procedures for altering or modifying the Constitution.

Article 5 of the Constitution states,

"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."

The Constitution clearly states that to be altered or modified it must be amended, that amendment being ratified by three fourths of the state legislatures. This is important, because there have been numerous laws and executive orders passed which violate various sections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights without going through this amendment process. Therefore, all these laws are literally against the law by virtue of their not being made constitutional amendments.

Article 6 of the Constitution states that,

"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."

If you follow the logic, the Constitution is, first and foremost, the supreme law of the land. Secondly, all laws passed shall be in pursuance of the Constitution. Finally, the only legal way to alter or modify the Constitution is to amend it as described in Article 5. Therefore any law passed by local, state, or the federal government that either infringes upon the rights of the citizenry as described in the Bill of Rights, or grants powers or authority to a governmental agency not specifically described in the Constitution, is plain and simple illegal.

To cite a few examples, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution states,

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. "

The 2nd Amendment deals with the rights of the people to keep and bear arms, and the maintenance of a well regulated militia. Neither of these rights are to be infringed. Yet how many gun control laws have been passed, all of which violate are illegal because they were not made law via the amendment process? I am not saying everyone should be entitled to own a bazooka or rocket launchers, but until the Constitution is amended to specify clearly what type arms the people are able to keep and bear, any law prohibiting them is unconstitutional.

Also, how many of you can say that you know of anyone who is in the militia? We have an armed forces, of which the National Guard is a part. Yet the Constitution, in Article 1, Section 8, clearly distinguishes between armed forces and the militia.

"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 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;"

It is plainly stated that the militia should be called into action to repel invasions. Having a well armed militia on our border would be a mighty deterrent to the illegal aliens who might choose to cross our borders, wouldn't you think? Yet the concept of an militia consisting of armed citizens is something that people today are unwilling to accept.

Yet George Washington once said,

"It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it. "

Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson stated,

"Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state."

It is quite apparent that the spirit and the letter of the 2nd amendment have been violated by numerous gun control laws and our governments unwillingness to maintain an armed and trained militia for our nations defense.

Next, Article 2, Section 8 of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power to "coin money, regulate the value thereof..." It is within the power of Congress to coin our currency and regulate its value. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that our Congress can grant that power to a group of privately owned banking establishments, as per the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The Constitution was not amended giving that authority to these privately owned banks, therefore the FED and their stranglehold on our currency is unconstitutional.

Thomas Jefferson warned us about what would occur if we ever allowed that to happen,

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Finally I would like to speak for a moment about states rights. Article 1, Section 10 defines the limits the Constitution places upon the individual states.

"No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility."

"No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress."

"No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. "

Those are the only clearly stated limits upon the individual states as found in the Constitution. However, the 10th amendment to the Constitution is wide ranging in its scope when it says,

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the federal government the authority to regulate education, agriculture, communications, and a host of other powers. Yet the Constitution clearly states that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively..."

If taken literally, there are untold federal agencies that are not authorized by the Constitution. The powers granted them go beyond the scope of power authorized the federal government and were designed to be left up to the states to handle at the local level.

I could go on and on, citing individual laws and executive orders that have been passed that violate the Constitution. That, however, is not my point. My intent was to show that the people of this country are woefully ignorant in regards to what powers the Constitution grants the various branches of our federal government and what powers it prohibits them from wielding.

That is why the campaigns leading up to a major election fascinate me. I cannot understand how and why the people of this country can fall for candidates who so blatantly promise things that are not authorized them by the very document they swear to uphold upon entering office.

It is an interesting time to be sure, but it is also very sad in that if things don't change our government will continue to usurp powers the Constitution does not authorize it. We will eventually come to a point, if we aren't there already, where the Constitution is meaningless, as President Bush is rumored to have said, "...just a Goddamned piece of paper...". When that happens, all the rights and liberties our founding fathers fought and died for will have vanished.

I think it is way past time for the American people to turn off their televisions and get out a copy of the Constitution and see what it actually says, before it is just some historical relic that has no meaning or value anymore.

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