- Published: 01 January 2012
Lawfully Speaking Vol. V, Issue No. 1
A Periodic Internet Political Column
Written by William H. Huff
‘I have a dream that one day...’ the President of the United States, as well as the Congress and the supreme Court will all voluntarily limit themselves to activities within the strict bounds of the Constitution. This would be the best government according to such giants as Jefferson and Madison. What would happen if the President picked up his Mickey Mouse phone and found that it would only connect to those he has Constitutional authority to direct, and that it was supervised by software that would terminate his call whenever his language contemplated exceeding his lawful authority?
For example, this application could prevent calls from the President to persuade the Congress to share or abrogate its exclusive authority to Declare War. We need a government as free of arrogation as it is of abrogation.
Small Government: Bad Enough - Big Government: Even Worse
We must all be reprogrammed to understand with the Founders and Framers that government is at best a necessary evil. Therefore, the larger it gets, the more evil and unnecessary it will become, and the more destructive of the very rights it was instituted to protect. If we expect something unconstitutional from government, we are part of the problem.
Is there a simple, straightforward way to examine a law in order to determine its lawfulness? Bastiat provides a good framework: “See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime...” Read more here.
How can we be rehabilitated? How can we learn not to expect more from government than it can lawfully provide?
Education is the first key, and one of the first things that must be wrenched away from government control or influence. ‘Free Public Schools’ have become the Reproductive Organs of the State. That is what they were designed to do, and that is what they have done. The schools founded at the beginning of our Republic were Free from government influence or control; Public in the sense that they were open to the public, and they were Schools in the sense that they taught all of the basics, the 3-R’s, while they supported the philosophy and religious convictions of the child and the family, rather than attempting to mold him into an automaton for the State. They were not perfect, they were just perhaps the best institutions of learning that had been conceived up to that point.
Consider some of the materials the Framers of our Constitution considered as essential to every well-rounded American curriculum. It is well documented that they planned to educate every citizen to be well versed in:
1) “George Washington’s Farewell Address [which, alone, could have prevented most of the dialogue/diatribe about our present obsession with Iraq and delusions of empire];”
2) “The Federalist Papers [considered to be written at a reading level that surpasses our present-day ‘erudite’ Ph.D’s.];”
3) “The Declaration of Independence;”
4) “The Virginia Resolutions of 1799 [one of two important documents protesting the first encroachments by the federal government on States’ and citizens’ rights];”
5) “Essay Concerning the True and Original Intent of Civil Government” by John Locke, and
6) “Discourses Concerning Civil Government” by Algernon Sydney [this writing was used as evidence against him for which he was ultimately beheaded].
I have never met anyone well acquainted with the above documents who would not insist on their timeless and profound value. We neglect them at our extreme peril.
The day has arrived when seriously studying the above documents inescapably leads to an indictment of those who now think they are in power. The day may soon come when it costs you as much as it cost Algernon Sydney for the mere ‘privilege’ of possessing or reading any of them.
By the way, you should not stress yourself by reading and studying these documents if you are only going to sit on your hands after you learn them. Maybe the Purple Pill will be a better alternative for the faint hearted. Just remember, tyranny also has unavoidable side effects. America will not become a more pleasant place as she becomes more ignorant.
Please also read “Do You Know Marx from Madison?”
“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” - Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1905