Friday, August 5, 2011
Congratulations on winning the award. It's nice to see a ray of hope. I've been fighting a tendency to become depressed.
I'm headed, hopefully, toward becoming an old man. I'm over 60. I spent the majority of my life with a political attitude that apparently holds most Americans: paying attention during elections, but only being marginally aware the rest of the time.
For the past year, as I began to see the truth of what has happened to the America I grew up in, the true causes of that, and the direction we're headed, I became more and more alarmed. At first I was enthusiastic about our chances of reforming our republic.
About a week and a half ago, I had an experience which transformed my life. I became, for lack of a better term, a “born again” Christian. I don't know how else to describe it. The revelations I've had, and the truths I now see plainly have been a rather rude awakening, in both my personal life, and my opinions about the public business of government in this country. In reference to the latter, I see a growing storm coming. We face a crisis in this country because of lost morality, both in our citizens, and also in our elected officials. The latter is the logical result of the former.
“The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so!” – Ronald Reagan 1964
That statement, while still perfectly true, can no longer be applied only to “our Liberal friends”, if it ever could. Today, it's also true for the majority of Republicans and even the Tea Party.
You see, I've realized that restoring our republic is a much bigger task than I'd ever imagined. At first I thought that we could just find a ramp and get the car up to the upper level of the multi-level highway. Now I clearly see that we're going to need at least 4-wheel drive and a winch, and will probably have to abandon the vehicle and walk. Now, I see that we have a political mountain to climb if we ever hope to get back to the ideals of our founding fathers, like George Washington. Our system has sunk that low, and is in constant danger of going over the edge of a yawning abyss.
Any course of action is fraught with the possibility of unintended consequences. Those are sometimes good, but more often, as with most things, bad. While Divine guidance may eliminate that possibility, and careful thought can minimize that possibility, too often, in our govenment's past, and especially today, those two things didn't and don't happen.
In 1913, which is ninety eight years ago, two events happened that effectively turned our republic into what our founding fathers so feared, warned us about, and worked so hard to prevent through their design of our Constitution. Yesterday, Al Gore said something about, “… the problems facing our democracy…”. You think you live in a republic? You don't. You may not even be aware of what a republic is, and how it's really supposed to work. We've gone that far downhill. Our system of government has become a national democracy, even though our Constitution guarantees us a “republican form of government”. What could possibly have had such an effect on the very fabric of our form of government? The “terrible two” of 1913: the 16th and 17th Amendments to our Constitution, which were both ratified that year.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Before the 16th Amendment, the Federal tax system was as fair as our founding fathers could make it. The President and Congress decided how much revenue it would take to operate the government. That number was divided by the U.S. population, according to the mandantory census, which gave the number of dollars required of each citizen. The amount needed was then apportioned among the several States, according to that same census, by population. None of this Robin Hood crap. The citizens of your State decided amongst themselves how best to collect that Federal tax, as well as the State taxes needed. It was collected and given by the State to the Federal government. It was a fair system for a republic of free citizens.
Our Constitution was written mostly by Christian men, and all were men who believed in the ideals of liberty freedom, and our God given rights.
If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God. – George Washington to Constitutional Convention delagates
Alas, those who followed them and amended that Constitution apparently too often had no such belief or guidance. The people who elected them to change the Constitution did not posess the same level of respect for the truth and Christian ideals of those voting in the days of George Washington. The actions of the people they elected proves that.
Anybody but a saint is subject to temptation. Most of us give in, at least some of the time. Temptation not resisted leads to sin. Sin comes in several flavors, and most of us have a mix. Envy, Greed, Theft, Deceit and Pride are always near the top, but don't fortget Sloth. The proponents of the 16th Amendment got it ratified by appealing to elements of Envy and Greed. The text of the amenment is simple and seemingly blameless: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the serveral States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
The usual reason given for the need for that amenment today is the extra work required to get the States to collect tax and give it to the Federal government. What they told the U.S. citizens of the day to get it ratified is a much different story. They appealed to the citizen's Envy by promising to extract income tax only from the rich-those-greedy-bastards. The fact that the rich would be paying at least a part of what should be their share appealed to both their Greed and Larceny. They lied, knowingly or unknowingly when they said that it would only ever be applied to the evil rich. It was the very first example of a Marxist principle being applied to U.S. Constitutional Law. Marx published his “Communist Manifesto” in 1848. By 1913 it had had a chance to percolate through human society.
As first implemented, it did apply only to the rich, and the super-rich. The system had only two rate categories, a 1% entry rate, and a top rate of 7%, which only applied to incomes above $500,000 ($10 million in 2007 dollars). One possibly unintended consequence was that it removed the ability for the citizens of a State to decide how they would tax themselves, leaving that decision to Washington. Another is that it removed State protection of citizens from potential Federal abuse. In a republic, aren't the States supposed to be the primary buffer to prevent Federal abuse? Get into trouble with the IRS and see how much your State protects you. I don't recommend that. The main overall effect was to further lessen States Rights.
The other twin of the amendment birth of that fateful year was the 17th Amendment, which provides for the popular election of United States Senators. In getting that one passed, they simply appealed to the hubris of the population. The idea was that people of 1913 were better educated and deserved more of a choice in picking Senators than the founders had given them. Prior to the amendment, the Senators for each State were elected by both legislative houses of the State. The business and competition of life often reduces it to a “dog eat dog” arena, even amongst these United States. A Senator used to represent the interests of their State, and to protect States Rights, and the rights of their citizens against Federal abuse. Remember, anytime you have government, you're going to have abuse, or at least attempted abuse. It goes with the territory. Am I the only one who remembers $400 toilet seats for Air Force planes?
“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” – Thomas Paine
“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority…the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions.” – Noah Webster
The abuse of special interests buying governemt influence has existed ever since the first government, but we've developed it into a high art, here in America. Special interest, like sin, comes in many flavors. Businesses, unions, “cause” groups like pro and anti abortionists or La Raza, the list is seemingly endless. Those of us with Christian ideals believe that our elected officials should be principled, moral people who feel a sense of duty to guard our Constitutional rights. Too bad for us that too many of our countrymen don't and haven't shared those concerns. When good men stand by and do nothing, evil flourishes. With the passage of the 17th Amendment, both houses of Congress and the President are open to being influenced by special interests. Where those special interests used to have to look for politicians they could influence, with the general moral decline in America, and the proliferation of Marxist ideals, they can shop around for the candidate with best deal and then buy that person's election with campaign ads. It's never been easier for them.
The Republicans are owned by oil, banks, farmers and ethanol producers, defense contractors, etc. The Democrats are owned by unions, the welfare crowd who votes for a living, and the special interest groups like “gays” and La Raza. Who speaks for the people? The Constitution, yours truly, yourself if you're lucky, and a very few others. The corruption by our government by business bothers me, but not as much as the corruption by Marxist elements. Business wants the country to do well, just especially well for them. The Marxist elements want to fundamentally change us, and their worst elements want to destroy us. To me, that's a big problem. That's why I support Republicans, and the Tea Party especially. At least until something better comes along.
The pre-existing 14th Amendment, with it's Section 2 provisions that gave the vote to the poor, now upheld by precedent, but originally because they were predominately black, gave the Progressives a “foot in the door”. The “nose of the camel was under the edge of the tent, at last”. Combine that with a national tax system that penalizes the rich, and it allows them to put on their Robin Hood mask. Today, Robin Hood is a cousin of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and his job is to keep the more vocal elements of opposition hiding in the woods of Sherwood Forrest, while U.N. sponsored agents buy up all the good farmland in America, under the agis of Agenda 21.
As you can see by what I believe, if even part of it is true, we have a mountain to climb in order to get back to first principles. I've become an unashamed reactionary.
Unless and until we can return our government to a being a true republic, and reform our election system into something where it takes the qualities of honesty and respect for the people's God given rights to get elected, instead of special interest money, our problems won't be solved, and will only get worse. That's the simple truth as I see it, so help me God.
“It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” – Daniel Webster
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington
“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” – Thomas Jefferson
“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams