SPECIAL EDITION

In this special edition of WWGWD I wish to address a problem with the current mindset of a great number of people.  It seems that, come election time, people narrow down, in their heads, which two people are the most likely to get elected.  They then choose to support the one that the lesser of the two evils.

I hear people say, often, “I agree with Suchnsuch, but he doesn’t have a chance, so I’m voting for blanketeeblank.”  It is difficult for me to listen to such things.  I am reminded of what things are truly important, and how easily someone can just let them go, simply because they might take a bit of effort to maintain.

“Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.” – George Washington

George Washington reminds us, in order for a smaller army to become successful, it needs discipline.  If you find yourself in a situation, fighting for liberty, and you begin to feel that it’s beginning to look hopeless, and you think you need to compromise your values so you don’t lose everything, maybe you just need to hold your ground and maintain the fight.

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington

This is what George Washington would have done…

“The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.” – George Washington

I feel like my article on our foreign policy, using the viewpoint of Thomas Paine didn’t quite hit the issue hard enough.  The point is that America is supposed to be the land of the free.  Not only are the occupants supposed to be free, but the same respect must be given to other lands.  Essentially, if the individual want to live their life free from tyranny, they must not bring tyranny to others.  You live your life your way, and you leave others to live life their way.

George Washington was well aware, that if one person, alone, was in charge of military action, they would bring the power of the military to other places and start needless wars.  This possibility was offered a safety net.  In the constitution, it is written that the president of the United States cannot take offensive military action without the Congress first giving the OK to do so.  This insured that only necessary wars were fought.

General George Washington knew, quite well, the importance of war.  He also knew, very well, the importance of not going to war.  Only a truly necessary call to arms should make use of the lives of our soldiers.  Only a truly necessary war should take the lives of even our enemies.

When President Obama failed to get the go-ahead from Congress before attacking Libya, he was in direct violation of the Constitution.  He was going against the very beliefs that our first, and, in my opinion, greatest president held.  At that very moment, he was eligible to be removed from office, and I promise you, this is exactly what George Washington would have done.

Endless oppression brings the Paine.

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was an Englishman who made it to America just in time to take part in the American Revolution.  He was the journalist in charge of Common Sense (a pamphlet originally signed “Written by an Englishman”).  He came to America and helped convince the colonists to fight for their liberty.

John Adams was been quoted, saying, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”  He referred to the importance of educating the people on why they should wish for freedom, when trying to convince them why they should stand up against the British.  It was Thomas Paine’s promotion of liberty in America that gives him the title as one of America’s Founding fathers.  However, it was not solely America’s freedom that he cared about.  He believed that all men deserved liberty.

When I read about Thomas Paine, I can’t help but to dwell on our country’s current foreign policies.  Our presidents start wars with countries that have not attacked us, on the basis that they could if they were given a chance to.  President Obama, for instance, started aerial assaults on Libya, claiming that he was not breaking the constitutional requirement for congress to authorize a war declaration, because it was not a war.  In his eyes, it was not a war, because Libya was not shooting back.  In that case, it’s not war.  It’s oppression.

Until Vietnam, America did not enter a war until there was an attack made by another country on America.  Now, we have endless warring that currently costs us $9.5 million a day.  For a government that can’t afford to pay its bills, or live up to its obligations, our government is spending a lot of money trying to build an empire it does not need.

Regardless of how someone feels about current wars, we must all turn back to Thomas Paine, and ask ourselves how he would feel.  I’m willing to bet that he would dismiss it completely.  He’d be more concerned about what our Federal Government has become.  He would wonder why we’re arguing about details and not discussing a government, right here, which has become much more oppressive of its people than it has ever been before.  Maybe he would even start writing an article about it…

John Adams feared ignorance.

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” – John Adams

In this quote, by America’s second president, he refers the secrecy in government.  He believed that people could not have liberty without the knowledge of what their representatives were up to.

I fully believe that John Adams was onto something.  Today, with their intentions masked, politicians are able to get away with a great many things, simply do to the ignorance they ensure for the people.  However, this quote also gives rise to another point:  People who do not understand liberty can not have it.

In the modern day and age, liberty is something that you read in a book, and talk about on the 4th of July.  You assume that you have it, and that this country is somehow unique because of it.  You never quite take the time to understand it.  That is the true mistake.  If people do not understand what liberty is, then government is free to do as it pleases.  Then, the government shall fall more and more into totalitarianism.

What is liberty, then?  Liberty is the instance when one exercises free will, without oppression by authority.  Essentially, liberty means that the government isn’t stopping you from being free.

Do we have liberty, anymore?  Of course we do!  We just don’t have it in abundance, as we once did.  For instance, you’re allowed to earn money…so long as you pay a portion to the government.  You’re allowed to buy a car…so long as you pay the government for the right.  You’re allowed to keep the car…so long as you’re willing to “rent” it from the government, with one easy payment a year.

Economic freedoms are not the only things limited.  Personal freedoms are, as well.  For instance, you can smoke…so long as you are smoking what the government wants you to.  You can get married…so long as you meet the governments requirements.  You can take advantage of your second amendment right to bare arms…so long as you arm yourself with the things that your government allow you to have (side not:  2nd amendment was created so that you could protect yourself from the government).  You can eat and drink…so long as you eat and drink the things that government wants you to (look it up).

It occurs to me that there have been a great many restrictions put on America’s liberty, since the time of John Adams.  There are simply too many to mention in one article.  In the end, it is the duty of every individual to educate themselves.

As for deciding what the reaction of John Adams would be, if he viewed the current state of our country, he already answered that question, long ago.

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” – John Adams

The Unconstitutional 3rd Chamber of Congress

James Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution.”  Specifically, he designed the Virginia Plan, which called for a bicameral (two chambers) legislative branch of the government.  James Madison, and Edmond Randolph (the man who officially put forth the idea at the Constitutional Convention) believed that it was important to have three separate branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial), and a system of checks and balances, to keep any one body from having too much power.

In the constitution, it decrees that only congress can put forth legislation, but either branch could do so.  In addition, it also gives the House of Representatives the ability to make amendments to the proposed legislation.  Also, the Senate is given the ability to filibuster.

When the politicians of the current government invented a debt ceiling crisis, who knew what they had in mind.  Now that they claimed to have designed a solution I can hear James Madison screaming from his grave, “Nooo!”

The result is a Super Congress.  A third legislative chamber, created by the hands of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, which sets new precedent for authority, in the future.

The Super Congress is a group of 12 individuals whose single duty is to write legislation.  Upon completion, the two houses of congress are not allowed to filibuster or make any changes to what the Super Congress has written.  The votes will be simple up or down (yes or no) votes.  Either the rest of congress agrees to the terms that the Super Congress comes up with, or there is no solution.  This takes the authority away from the rest of congress to create legislation on the topic.  Therefore, it keeps them from doing what they’re elected to do…legislate.

As a bonus, for the President of the United States, this debt deal also allows for the President to decide the next round of increase in the debt ceiling.  What’s more, if congress doesn’t like it, they need 2/3 of congress to stop him.  Where, as of right now, it would only require a simple majority, over ½, of congress to stop him.  This takes away from congress their constitutional authority to regulate monetary policy.

You have to wonder if the politicians currently in office have ever even heard about the Constitution.  Let alone, read it.  If they had ever heard of James Madison, and the Framers of the Constitution, would they have constructed such an abomination?

If government was too big 2 centuries ago…

“I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” – Thomas Jefferson

Wealth redistribution via the government is nothing new.  Thomas Jefferson, however, viewed this not just as a problem in the eyes of liberty, but as a problem with government.

In order to run distribution programs, you need more government bureaucrats.  To pay these bureaucrats, you need more revenue.  This means raising taxes on the hard working contributors of society.  The larger the government is, the more expensive it will be to maintain.  The real problem, however, is that the larger the government is, the more powerful it is.  The more it can get its hands on, the more it will get its hands on.  People don’t only have their economic freedoms taken away, but also their personal freedoms.

With a federal government that is a great many times larger, more expensive, and powerful than in Jefferson’s day, we have to ask:  If Thomas Jefferson thought that government was too big in his day, what would he think of the colossus that is today’s Federal Government?

“…Government of the politicians…against the people…”

Welcome to the United States of America!  It’s the greatest country on Earth!

Why is it the greatest country on Earth?  Well, according to President Obama, it’s because we live here.  If we lived in France, then France would be the greatest country on Earth.  I agree, but only to the point that a person tends to take pride in their country.  I disagree with President Obama, however, on what makes America different.

“…Government of the people, by the people, for the people…” – Abraham Lincoln

What most people think of, when they hear the name “Abe Lincoln,” is the abolishment of slavery.  President Lincoln was willing to go to war to give voice to those who didn’t have it.  Of course, it would be much later when the right to vote would be given to everyone, but no one will disagree that Abe took a step in the right direction.

When Abraham Lincoln made the above quote, it was not a message against slavery, but instead was a reference to liberty.  America was a land where the people ran the government, not visa versa.  This was something that had never been tried before.

The thing that makes America different is our history.  True, every nation has a history, but not every nation is an ongoing experiment.  The government was set up to protect the liberties of the people.

Today, we might know a different America.  Today, Obama has all but declared himself king.  There was even talk of him making use of the 14th Amendment to bypass the majority of congress, and the majority of Americans, to get his way in the debt talks.  The founders, of course, designed the Constitution to protect the rights of the people, and spread out the powers of government, so that no man could grow too powerful, and would probably frown on this.

And there is the issue at hand.  Do we still have a government “of the people…for the people?”

What would Abraham Lincoln say in Gettysburg today?

Alexander Hamilton was not a fan of big government.

“The principal purposes to be answered by union are these — the common defense of the members; the preservation of the public peace as well against internal convulsions as external attacks; the regulation of commerce with other nations and between the States; the superintendence of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries…If the circumstances of our country are such as to demand a compound instead of a simple, a confederate instead of a sole, government, the essential point which will remain to be adjusted will be to discriminate the OBJECTS, as far as it can be done, which shall appertain to the different provinces or departments of power; allowing to each the most ample authority for fulfilling the objects committed to its charge.” – Alexander Hamilton, referring to the guidelines set by the Constitution

What Alexander Hamilton was referring to, was that the federal government was to have a few, specific, functions.  It was not meant to deviate from these functions, but was suppose to be fully capable of serving these needs.  Also, the federal government is not to interfere with state or local policies.  Instead, it was to be the responsibility of each (federal, state, and local governments) to carry out specific functions.

Today, our Federal Government has its hands in just about everything that the states and local governments do.  For instance, the state governments are held responsible for overseeing the education of its people.  This is something that the Federal Government has no authority over.  Yet, there is a US Department of Education, in the Federal Government.  This was President Jimmy Carter’s doing, in 1980.  He, among many other politicians in government, has seen to it that the Federal Government has its hands in everything, and affects everyone.

The Federal Government was never meant to grow as big and powerful as it has.  Those who wrote up the Constitution, as guidelines meant to protect the liberty of the people, saw a large and all powerful Federal Government as a problem.  Not only does a big government infringe upon the liberty of the people, but it can potentially become, with constant enlargement, unsustainable.

Think of a great bridge, spanning a river.  The bridge represents our economy.  Now, begin adding a greater and greater mass, on top of the bridge.  This mass is the Federal Government (and any other government that weighs upon the economy).  As the mass grows, the supports of the bridge that hold it strain to continue to support the mass.  Sooner or later, the mass will simply too much for the supports, and everything will crumble.

Just imagine if Alexander Hamilton were around, today.  How would he feel about a government that has grown so big and powerful?

Ben Franklin knew we would screw ourselves.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Today, we have a federal government that is too large to sustain itself.  It needs to borrow money to offset the difference in its costs.  On top of that, it has found that it can also print money.  Now, as the debt ceiling grows ever closer, those in positions of power have decided that we need to fix this problem by borrowing more, printing more, and raising taxes.  It’s a sure fire system to bring more damage to our already weak economy.

The question is:  how did we get in this mess?

Politicians have learned that in order to get votes, they simply need to give people things.  They start programs to do the things that charities already do.  They start programs to “spread the wealth.”  They’ve found that if they take money from the richest 10% of Americans, and give it to the other 90%, they can lose one vote and pick up 9 more (theoretically speaking).

Americans have learned to put people in charge, like President Obama, who will start Obamacare, and half a dozen other programs, without worrying about the costs.  They believe that they can always borrow more money, print more money, and, when need be, raise taxes (on those who can “afford it”) to accommodate.

To eliminate these programs is to “harm the people that the programs help.”  Never mind that the programs are destroying our economy, inevitably harming everyone.

The problem is simply that we have voted for bigger governments, which promise to give us more.  Benjamin Franklin saw this as a potential problem.  He counted on the people to stand up and do what’s right, when need be.  Otherwise, it would bring about the end of this great republic.

What Would George Washington Do?

I’ve noticed that, in time, the government has grown larger, the taxes are more numerous, and our freedoms have been minimized. Sure, it’s easy to accept these facts, since we’re all born into them, and have grown accustomed to them. From the moment you’re able to talk and understand what others are saying, you’re told that the government protects you, taxes are necessary, and anything illegal is wrong. Whatever you’re born into, you simply accept. As the government grows, you might feel inclined to fight it, but once it’s done, it’s over. You pay the new taxes, and pace through your house, steaming mad, and then you get over it and go on with life. It’s fear that the government uses, when it wants your freedoms. The constitution is meant to protect your liberty from the government, but if you’re afraid and turn to the government to protect you, you’re more likely to be willing to give up your constitutional rights.

So, if the people are content with life, who’s left to care? I decided to amuse myself, a bit. I decided to put the legends of America’s past into the present day USA. What would Benjamin “The First American” Franklin think about all the different areas the Federal Government has its hands in? How would Thomas Jefferson feel about the property tax (a system where you have to continuously pay the government for the property you own, meaning that you don’t own it at all, and are just renting it)? What would George Washington do, if he saw a Federal Government stripping the people of their constitutional rights?

Can anyone say “Second American Revolution?”

In this series, which i will post a new article of at the end of each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I will explore the current issues of the United States, and compare our current status to that of the days of our forefathers.  Then, together, we will ask questions like “What would George Washington do?” (WWGWD)