Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“You have put your finger on the dilemma of all government, and the reason I am an anarchist. The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it contains until it destroys.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

December 17, 2007

John Stossel & Ron Paul On Respecting The Constitution

by Doug Mataconis

Say what you might about Ron Paul and his supporters, but he’s the only candidate in the race who talks about following the Constitution and actually means what he says:

Paul talks a lot about the Constitution, more so than any other candidate.

“We’ve had a grand experiment in this country where we emphasize freedom. If you read the Constitution, the Constitution was designed to protect individual liberty, to restrain the government. But we have forgotten that.”

Restraining the government the way our founders intended, he says, would eliminate many of the regulations and federal programs we have today.

And he’s got one of the best lines of the campaign when he responds to the suggestion that his ideas are old-fashioned:

“Freedom is new, tyranny is old, it’s ancient,” Paul retorts.

Again, it’s a shame that ABC isn’t broadcasting any of this on television, but the message of freedom is still getting out.

Previous Posts:

John Stossel Interviews Ron Paul On Legalizing Drugs And Prostitution
John Stossel Talks To Ron Paul On The Proper Role Of Government
John Stossel & Ron Paul On Foreign Policy
John Stossel & Ron Paul On Immigration
John Stossel & Ron Paul On Health Care

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8 Comments

  1. Ron Paul. The next POTUS.

    If he isnt the next POTUS, the USA is going to ROT to HELL, its on the road to perdition, Ron Paul is the only one now who can get us off.

    Comment by Mick Russom — December 17, 2007 @ 3:34 am
  2. people need to see this:

    http://academicsforpaul.com/

    Comment by joe fish — December 17, 2007 @ 10:58 am
  3. That is a good line. I’m gonna have to steal it.

    Comment by somebody — December 17, 2007 @ 11:19 am
  4. People are getting sick and tired of the same old song-and-dance from their presidential candidates. See this YouTube music video, featuring horror movie icon, Reggie Bannister, from the international award-winning feature film, “Song of the Dead.” It’s a great satire on the president, the MSM, and the war on terror. The filmmaker is giving a share of his profits from the film to the Ron Paul campaign.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=qQmkkoxSKYw

    Comment by mketcher — December 17, 2007 @ 12:51 pm
  5. I want to bring up the superior system of the Republic in respects to the equal application of the Rights of all Citizens. The erosion of this extremely important principle from the governance of this country has been devastating to the cause of the individual, no matter what race, creed or gender.

    Those who seek majoritarian rule have transformed us into a national society and that fact has, in essence, crippled the proper and equitable functions of the Republic. The Constitution was not given by the assent of individuals that composed a nation, but as individuals that composed the independent and very distinct States in which they held citizenship. The States, based upon the authority of the People, then assented to the ratification of the Constitution as being federal in nature and not national. There is a very distinct and important difference that directly effects the not only the legislative process, but the application of law relating to the Right of the People and how the government functions.

    It is rare that we refer to ourselves as citizens of the individual State Republics; it was once the only reference to citizenship within this country. The reason for that was that this country was not viewed as a nation state, but a nation of States united under a federal system and not a national one. The thought of being a national citizen was contrary to the entire Republican ideal and for good reason; the federal government was only a reflection of the States and the authority the citizens invested, through the States, to the federal government. The People always acted as citizens of their respective States and not as citizens under the auspices of an aggregate national government.

    The Founders, well aware of the tendency of majoritarianism, intentionally placed walls of separation within this Republican system and for a very good reason. They knew that if the Constitutional transaction were to work properly, it would not, could not be regarded as forming one nation, but a federal union of States. They knew that if such a national system were to be placed above that of the federal union of States then the will of the majority would gradually bind the minority within society.

    Yes, I am aware that there will be those who will relate this to the catch phrase “States Rights”, and will dutifully denigrate any suggestion that we return to a system that allowed the States such authority and powers, yet there is nothing more Constitutional then doing just that. I make no apologies whatsoever for such a stance, for I know that it is one of the primary factors in saving this country from the terminal illness it now faces under the increasingly dangerous usurpations of the so-called federal government. While the Founders instituted attributes to the government that are national in nature, such as those relating to foreign relations, treaties, and interstate commerce; those attributes were extremely limited and were delegated to the federal government but not innately expressed.

    The Founders never adopted principles that remotely resemble the system that we now allow ourselves to be subjected to in this country. It was clear that the Framers of the Constitution always considered each State to be a sovereign body, composed of sovereign individuals, independent of all other States and bound only by the voluntary act of a reflective union of States. The Constitution established this union of States federally, not nationally. I will not, at this time, delve into the various actions and acts that have transformed this federal union of States into a National Union, but suffice to say, it has had the exact effects foreseen by Our Founders. They pegged the results of such a transition exactly and indeed their fears have become a reality in this country.

    The Founders were extremely wise in their delegation of powers, the system of elections that provided for the House of Representatives severed a national attribute because the their powers are derived directly from the People who are proportionally represented. On the other hand, the Senate [although no longer due to the 17th Amendment], served a federal attribute because it derives its powers from the State Republics and indirectly from the People. It was an incredible system that functioned to protect the People not only against the possible abuse of powers by the government, but from the possible threat of majoritarianism.

    Federal powers were limited to a defined sphere of influence because the Founders realized the propensity of power to corrupt those who hold power. It is readily easy to see that they were correct in their assumptions and had this country remained a Republic, such corruption would find a rather difficult expression due to all the checks and balances embedded within the system. At the time of the writing and ratification of the Constitution, the Founders placed the dependency of the federal government on the States rather than the States being dependent upon the federal government. Ultimately however, both the federal and the State governments were to be dependent on the People and their consent to be governed.

    While the federal government was fitted with a multiple layer of checks and balances, so too the States were placed under an equally powerful system of checks and balances. The interconnectivity of the system balanced the system and kept the respective powers and authorities in check. As the federal government was to reflect the States, so too was the States to reflect the districts, counties and local governments. Each layer of governmental processes reflected the consent and will of the People and in that reflection there was a high degree of restraint placed on each level of government. Those facts are extremely important if the application of law is meted out with justice and equality.

    The possibility of ambitious encroachments by either the States or the federal governments would be inhibited by the opposition of either level of government, not to mention the possibility of the vocal opposition of the People. The Constitution did not combine powers in a way that would lead to an accumulation powers that would pose a danger to the Liberty and Rights of the People. They were very precise in purpose to decrease, although not eliminate, the possibility of such consolidation.

    The Founders took particular note of the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu in the formation of this system of government. Indeed, the Baron stated: “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body there can be no liberty because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate enact tyrannical laws to execute them in a tyrannical manner. Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with all the violence of an oppressor.” He was, of course, right in his assumptions and we see such combined powers in play today as the various branches of our government either relinquish powers or their powers are usurped by another branch. Likewise, the powers and authorities of the States have been trumped by the increased powers of the federal government.

    I will refrain from going into the various delegations of powers found within the Constitution, but suffice to say that the Founders thought of just about everything regarding the proper uses of powers and authorities within the system. Perhaps it is once again time to place our trust in a system that proved far wiser then the fading credibility of our present government; once again we should hearken to the voice of wisdom when it comes to the proper role of government in this country.

    Comment by Republicae — December 18, 2007 @ 8:17 am
  6. During the period that the Federal Reserve Act was passed, so too was the 16th and 17th Amendment to the Constitution. Of course, many people tend to realize that the 16th Amendment (Progressive Income Tax) and the Federal Reserve Act have not been in the best interest of the People, but few realize that the 17th Amendment has caused major damage to this former Constitutional Republic. It is strange that the same politicians didn’t attempt to amend the Constitution to include the Federal Reserve Act and deny Congress the authority to coin money; perhaps they thought themselves lucky to “ratify” the 16th and 17th Amendments.

    Section 3 of the Constitution states:

    “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

    Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.”

    Now, there was a very good reason why the Founding Fathers placed the Senators outside the direct electoral process and placed them within a framework of indirect elections. By doing this, the Founders knew that they were placing yet another level of checks and balances over the government. They sought to keep the balance of power between the State Republics and the federal branches of the Executive, Legislature and Judicial. In fact, they wanted to be sure that the Rights and Interests of the State Republics were maintained while keeping a very close eye on the federal branches. They also wanted the Senate to be comprised of men who were mature, possessing a higher degree of experience and wisdom then those directly elected to the House of Representatives.

    The Senate was to be insolated from influences of direct politics, financial corruption and whims of the public. Senators were to answer indirectly to the People through their respective State Legislatures. It really was a stroke of absolute genius; too bad the same corrupt officials that brought us the Federal Reserve Act and Progressive Income Tax eliminated this extremely valuable check on power and abuse.

    In 1787, John Dickerson, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from the State of Delaware spoke about the power of this vital check on governmental power: “ The preservation of the States in a certain degree of agency is indispensable, it will produce the collision between the different authorities that should be wished for in order to check each other.”

    The Senate, appointed by the respective State Legislatures, also provided a very strong barrier to potential mistakes made by the Citizens of each State Republic. James Madison in the Federalist #63, said that indirect elections would be a “defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions and would blend stability with Liberty.”

    The Power and Rights of the State Republics, through the direction and guidance of each State Legislature, would be the only influence on their respective Senators. The Senate would dutifully represent the best interest of the State Republics and therefore, the Citizens of each State. It was, to say the least, an ideal program to maintain the balance of power and curtail potential usurpations of the federal government over the States and their People.

    Of course, the 17th Amendment was touted as a measure to eliminate undue influences on the Senate from special interests yet it had the opposite effect.

    With the passage of the 16th, 17th Amendments and the Federal Reserve Act, the government increased its reach and power over the People. There are some who question the validity of the actual ratification of the above-mentioned Amendments, but time and space restrict us from that subject at this time.

    At one time, the power of taxation was only on the State Level, with revenues being submitted to the federal government to fund the various limited functions of government, but in 1913 all of that changed, in fact it was all reversed. Each of these pieces of legislations, more than any other, allowed the growth of the federal government beyond the restrictions and limitations of the Constitution.

    Now, although the State Republics have been neutered by the overwhelming reach and power of the federal authority, they stand as potentially the only viable medium for the People of this Country to regain control over their government. Within the Halls of the State Legislatures abides the some of the last remaining remnants of Constitutional Power, sitting dormant and un-utilized by those who have either forgotten their power or who have played their respective political party plays far too long.

    If We, the People of these United States of America are ever to regain Our Sovereignty, I have a feeling that it will only come when we retake the Halls of Power within the individual State Houses and Governorships. It is not enough to simply support certain run-of-the-mill Republican or Democratic candidates; we must field candidates who are dedicated to the ideals of Constitutionalism and the goal of restoring the Republic to the People.

    Most people, especially our politicians have forgotten, or chose to ignore the fact that it is absolutely indispensable to the well-being of a Free People that each person enjoy the full benefits of Liberty, not as would be granted or allowed by government, but that Liberty which is Guaranteed by Providential Right alone! All demands upon us for any part of our Liberty or even our substance, which is not given by our own consent amounts to nothing more than governmental allowance of a measure of contingent freedom.

    Freedom which is contingent upon the allowances of the government is no Freedom at all, indeed it amounts to little more than coercive tyranny and should not be allowed to stand. The People of this Nation are neither the property nor the wards of this government; the government is the ward and possession of the People. The correct role of this government should be viewed and maintained as nothing more than a tool, created and used to promote and secure the ability of the People to live their lives in Liberty and Freedom. The primary function and really the only reason for the existence of this government is proclaimed within the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and explained within the Constitution of the United States.

    Any man who values his Freedom, indeed his Life, must demand of the government the full acceptance of his Natural Right, unfettered by governmental intervention or coercion. Without such a demand by the People, government will always gravitate toward an arbitrary will and application of law to the point that neither the law nor the Constitution will remain without being stripped of all vestiges of Liberty. Within the writings of Our Founding Fathers are solutions; embedded within the Founding Documents are principles which provide both wisdom and guidance for the proper role of government, to be used as a tool, an instrument that forms the foundation of Our ability to live Free.

    Our ability to live Free is not, nor was it ever intended to relieve the responsibility of each man to determine his own direction in life, nor to provide a safety net for those lives. Our primary Freedom is the Freedom from government intervention and interference. Under the Founding philosophy, the political Sovereignty exists only in and through the People themselves, not in a governmental body. Until that Sovereignty is restored to the People, we will continue to live under a state of existence no different than any other person living under any other state. We will suffer the same fate as all others, differing little from any other person who must play second fiddle to their state ideology and the force of coercion. Currently, this Nation has regressed into a pre-revolutionary state, one where the government is seen as the end all be all, and end all, the final authority to grant or abridge any Right to its Citizens.

    In this country, we are experiencing such a shocking change in the manner in which the government sees itself and its positional authority over the People and it appears that it is not an accidental sway of tyranny that grips this land, but an intentional push toward authoritarianism. Government was only instituted to secure the Natural Liberty of the Individual, that qualification for its existence has not changed nor diminished, yet when such a responsibility has been abandoned by government, then it is the Right of the People to seek other arrangements which will ensure the security of their Liberty.

    This government has forsaken “Just Power” in favor of “Raw Power”. It has lost it sense that the Unalienable Rights of the People are inviolate and that the Protection of those Rights is the primary obligation the government has to the People. No individual, no political party, no class of people, no authority, and no government have the right to deprive the People of Liberty. For government is the trustee of the Common Liberty of the People as long as it remains trustworthy of that post! When a government no longer is willing or able to be entrusted with safeguarding the Liberty of the People then it should no longer be considered as a legitimate authority and ultimately it must be treated as an Enemy of the People.

    This government does not have the lawful right to issue any law, arbitrarily, that it pleases, in order to bind us and nullify Our Natural Liberty. Consent is not the same as Representation, for all Representation must come from the directive of the People. Although at one point in our history, the directive of the People was the power and the authority of the vote, it is no longer the case. Now, it appears that those who hold office do so at the will of special interests, corporations, even secret and foreign influences.

    We have become nothing more than subjects to the government, and our lives are now regulated and controlled by its will, coerced to comply by penalty of law and governmental decree. It should be beyond all measure of patience that the government should assume such power over us, to impose its will and domination.

    If government can assume power over our lives, our properties, indeed over our labor and the fruit of our labor, then it can assume authority for any purpose that it designs, without our consent. “For if government can take away even one penny from us against our wills, then they can indeed take away everything!”

    “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

    In Liberty,

    Republicae-Seditionist

    Comment by Republicae — December 18, 2007 @ 8:21 am
  7. America is being undermined on many fronts. The one most eminent is our Bankruptcy. Fueled by War, Empire Maintenance, and Fallacious Spending of congress; The economic Overtaking of America will not be far off. The effects are just now becoming evident. We will be sold to our enemies rather than forced into submission.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate running for president that has the vision of the founding fathers of this country ingrained in his heart. Core Character Counts. He is the only one in the field that I would trust my money and my family’s safety with.

    The honesty and integrity displayed by Ron Paul coupled with the message he espouses is the glue that binds the support together. The word could not do it alone and this is precisely why the media and the others are baffled. The Ron Paul Supporters Value Substance Over Symbolism. We fully believe that Ron Paul will follow his words as his record shows. He is not as the others with Pandering Platitudes.

    The commonality with all Americans is the Constitution. This is why his support group can not be pigeon holed in to a specific category. We Are Diverse And Many. There is no singular stereotype that even comes close to the specification of the group.

    To help with your education here are some sites I recommend:

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/about/

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/

    http://www.ronpaullibrary.org

    http://www.house.gov/paul/

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul

    Think For Yourself; Do Not Be Easily Led.

    Views Untested Are Worthless.

    Comment by Brad — December 18, 2007 @ 6:17 pm
  8. Its going to be a fight so to speak BUT all we have to do is 1. register to vote republican and 2. actually go and vote. We can get this done and then take our country back.

    Comment by ron paul money bomb — December 19, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

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