Sunday, December 23, 2012

The U.S. Constitution: A Gift That Keeps on Giving

By, Chris Rossini
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Remember that sneaky Constitutional Convention? The one that hid behind the words "We The People"....

'Just let us centralize power' they pleaded.

The Constitution would shackle the beast....There would be checks & balances....separation of powers....a Bill of Rights...'whatever it takes...just let us centralize!'.

Here we are, over 200 years later and The Constitution remains a gift that just keeps on giving. The NY Times shows the effectiveness of the document with the coming appointment of John Kerry as Secretary of State:
But though Mr. Kerry would bring even deeper experience to the job than Mrs. Clinton did, his appointment is likely to further centralize policy decisions in the White House, where for the past four years the president and a small circle of advisers have kept a tight grip...

“There’s every reason to believe that we’re going to have a very White House-centric foreign policy,” said David J. Rothkopf, the chief executive of the Foreign Policy Group. “Kerry is going to have to show his loyalty and willingness to work within the Obama system.”
Now let's rewind back to Constitutional Convention days to see what they thought of a "White House-centric" foreign policy.

Madison wrote to Jefferson:
“The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. It has accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.”
Hamilton wrote in Federalist #69 that the President’s authority:
“would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.”
Washington said:
“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress. Therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.”
James Wilson:
“This system will not hurry us into war. It is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man or a single body of men to involve us in such distress, for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large. This declaration must be made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives. In this circumstance, we may draw the certain conclusion that nothing but our interest can draw us into war.”
When was the last time Congress declared war? 1941...and EPJ readers know about El Presidente's role in bringing about that declaration.

It goes without saying that the even though the centralizers who "with studied care" thought they could shackle the beast, were dead wrong.

And Patrick Henry was right:
“Consider what you are about to do before you part with the government. Take longer time in reckoning things; revolutions like this have happened in almost every country in Europe; similar examples are to be found in ancient Greece and ancient Rome — instances of the people losing their liberty by their own carelessness and the ambition of a few…

But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire..."
The American Empire, at some point, will reach the same fate as every empire that has preceded it. Let's just hope that the libertarians who are around at that point are smart enough to realize: There is no way to shackle the beast.

Choose Liberty instead.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to EPJ for the articles that look back on political history. I have become interested in these matters, in particular since 2008. Recent reads include Andrew Napolitano's 2012 release Theodore and Woodrow, and now completing a 1974 release by Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr. "Progressivism In America." The Progressive movement has roots in Europe(think Germany, UK), with of all people Charles Darwin's 'theories' being a partial basis for the movement, and justification for a living U.S. Constitution. The movement flowered under Theodore Roosevelt(TR), Woodrow Wilson(WW) (both heavily influenced by late 1800's progressives and their writings), and has never looked back. In fact, Empire(termed Imperialism in the Ekirch book) is exactly what TR(Spanish American War) and WW(WWI) sought, though pushback did occur from those favoring what had been a relatively non-imperialist America.

    Also, in the late 1800's, early 1900's the beginning of governmental collusion with large corporate interests and banks appeared to commence. TR made his mark initially as a trust buster and taking on the oil and railroad interests. It would seem there was pushback by said interests initially, but a later shift where large interests and politicians-bureaucrats came to understand collusion could be beneficial to their interests(of course not necessarily the citizenry interest).

    At 2013, Imperialism, Progressivism is again in full bloom. Also, in full bloom is the collusion of large banks, large companies with government at all levels(Fed., state, local). One now can better understand the takeover of the money supply(Dec. 2013 Fed. Reserve Act signed by WR), introduction of income(WW), and many other taxes, growth of regulatory power, centralization of power in Washington(and now primarily the Executive Branch).