Constitution class slideshowPresentation Transcript
Introduction• The 5000 Year Leap – Principles of Freedom (1981)• The Making of America – The substance and meaning of the constitution
Agenda• Constitution in one word• Founding Fathers• Why is the Constitution Important?• Myths about the Constitution• The Preamble of the United States Constitution• About liberty and how easily it can be lost• Political Spectrum• Horizontal separation of powers• Vertical separation of powers• Warnings from the Founding Fathers• Principles behind the Constitution• The Bill of Rights• Amendments• Further reading
Constitution in one word • Freedom • Prosperity • Peace / Safety All mankind, all around the world, is seeking the same three things:• Mankind longs for freedom – both personally and nationally• Mankind longs for prosperity - both personally and nationally• Mankind longs for peace and the means of escaping from the apocalyptic anguish brought on by the plague of war
Founding Fathers• They created the first free people to survive as a nation in modern times• They wrote a new kind of Constitution which is now the oldest in existence• They believed it was thoroughly possible to create a new kind of civilization, giving freedom, equality , and justice for all• They built a free-enterprise culture to encourage industry and prosperity• A few of the Founding Fathers: – Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence – James Madison, “father” of the Constitution – George Washington, hero-general of the War for Independence – George Mason, author of the first American Bill of Rights in Virginia – Other representatives - There were 74 delegates at the constitutional convention.
Founding Fathers - 2• Founding Fathers and subsequent leaders debated, researched and evaluated nearly 300 separate principles before they were included in the Constitution.• Hardly any single idea put in their formula that someone hadn’t thought before. However, the singularity of it all, was the fact that in 1787, none of those ideas was being substantially practiced anywhere in the world. It was in America that the Founding Fathers assembled the 28 great ideas that produced such successful formula• It was not successful from the first attempt. Actually it took about 180 years to gather all ideas in one document. The first constitution ends up too close to Anarchy – the national government made recommendations to the states and then prayed they would respond favorably.
Trivia about Jefferson:• It was said that he “could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin."• One of his biographers quotes a northern man who spoke thus of Jefferson: " When he spoke of law, I thought he was a lawyer; when he talked about mechanics, I was sure he was an engineer; when he got into medicine, it was evident that he was a physician; when he discussed theology, I was convinced that he must be a clergyman; when he talked literature, I made up my mind that I had run against a college professor who knew everything."
Why is the Constitution Important?• Constitution is the supreme law of the land. With the adoption of the Constitution our nation became a nation based on law, the Constitution being the supreme law of the land.• Is about individual freedom and liberty• Is about individual rights, and it explains the past, present and future. It’s a guide for future generations.• It explains why the US can be the greatest country in the world. The US represents approximately 5% of the world’s population, but has created more new wealth than all the rest of the world combined.
Why is the Constitution Important?• Why we are no longer the greatest country in the world? We have not followed the admonition of our Founding Fathers: “A people must from time to time, refresh themselves at the well-spring of their origin, lest they perish.” We have not assigned the maintaining of our Freedom a high priority: “A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry and frugality are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantage of liberty and to maintain a free government.” (MA Bill of Rights, 1780) We have allowed the mortal enemies of freedom to dominate the debate: “Though, when a people shall have become incapable of governing themselves and fit for a master, it is of little consequence, from what quarter he comes.” (G. Washington., Letter to Lafayette, 1788) “Effective resistance to usurpers is possible only provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.” (the Federalist no28., Alexander Hamilton)
Why is the Constitution Important?• Contains the solutions, the path to get back to the greatest country in the world, that beacon of “liberty, prosperity and hope”
Myths about the Constitution• Myth: The Constitution is out of date. Fact: The Constitution is NOT out of date. It is not more out of date than the desire for peace, freedom and prosperity is out of date.• Myth: It was custom built for that particular age or economy. Fact: It was NOT custom built for a particular age or economy. FOUNDING FATHERS were structuring a framework of government to fit the requirements of human nature. These do NOT change. Human Nature does NOT change.• Myth: It is a conglomerate of compromises. Fact: It took 4 months of debate to be able to reach general agreement on just about everything except the issues of slavery, proportionate representation, and the regulation of commerce – settled by compromise. It is a mistake to describe the rest of the Constitution as a “conglomerate of compromises”, because extreme patience was used to bring the minds into agreement.
Myths about the Constitution• Myth: It was about things that changed and no longer apply.• Fact: It is about the Human Nature – The founders were optimistic as well as realistic about human nature. – They realized that all human beings are a mixture of sunshine and shadow. • The sunshine consists of the perfectibility of human reason – this makes government and civilization possible. • The darker side of human nature is the imperfectability of human passion and man’s fault sense of judgment that makes government necessary. – The founders’ goal was to revive ancient principles which would allow the sunshine side of the human nature to enjoy virtually unlimited freedom, while setting up appropriate safeguards to prevent the doleful shadow of human passion, greed, and lust for power from spreading a permanent “dark ages” across the face of the globe.
Myths about the Constitution• Myth: It was imposed on people Fact: It was NOT imposed, but ratified. – FOUNDING FATHERS finished their work on Sep.17. 1787. – President WA attached a letter to the signed draft and sent it to the Congress. – The Congress ratified the Constitution without any changes and sent it to the states. – They ratified the main body of the Constitution but attached amendments. 189!! – Madison consolidate them to 12 and 10 of them were finally approved and ratified. – Thus was born America’s famous Bill of Rights.
Myths about the Constitution• Myth: It’s subject to interpretation and/or obsolete. Fact: From the founders’ own writings, the Constitution was intended to be strictly interpreted exactly as it was originally written. – They knew that in its original form it would adapt itself very readily to the needs of changing times. – It was specifically designed to disperse political power among the people and protect the freedom of the individual by putting chains on the excessive ambitions and frailties of human nature, which is always the same from generation to generation. – They knew we would need these constitutional chains in our present age just as much as they did in their own age. In other words,
The Preamble of the United States Constitution
The Preamble of the United States ConstitutionWe, the people - first provision (of 7): All authority in the People The People are the only safe depository of power Instinct of the People is to preserve freedom Duty of rulers is toward the People To inform the minds of the people and to follow their will is the chief duty of those placed a t their head. Government should be controlled by the people Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.
The Preamble of the United States Constitution2nd : The first goal of sound government is to provide a more perfect union.3rd : This constitution is designed to provide equal justice for all. – When a government protects the rights of its people and provides and adequate remedy for whose rights have been violated, then that government is providing equal justice for all. – Justice requires an opportunity and a place to complain of an injury as well as the machinery to provide a remedy. For the accused, justice requires the opportunity to hear and understand the charge, cross-examine those who are making the charge, have a fair and speedy trial, and have an opportunity to repair the wrong if found guilty.
The Preamble of the United States Constitution4th : This constitution is designed to ensure peace, security, and domestic tranquility among the people. Q: How do we determine whose responsibility it is to maintain law and order? Q: At what point does the federal government intervene? Q: How can the States defend themselves if the federal government becomes overbearing?5th : This constitution shall provide for the common defense against all enemies, both internally and externally.
The Preamble of the United States Constitution6th : This constitution is designed to promote those practices and policies which shall be for the general welfare of the whole nation. This provision anticipates the RIGHT of Americans to have its government serve the welfare of the people in their collective needs – that is, their GENERAL welfare – and not use the resources of the people for the benefit of certain states or certain people, which should be SPECIAL welfare. The federal government had been granted authority by the states to do ONLY TWENTY THINGS, and that each of these must be carried out for the GENERAL welfare of the whole nation.
The Preamble of the United States Constitution6th : The Founders said the purpose of the Constitution would be to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity – Samuel Adams said: "But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man." – When Alexis de Tocqueville came to the US in 1831, he observed how much the perpetuation of the American political system depended upon the training of the youth in the schools. He was particularly astonished by the knowledge that children possessed concerning the Constitution and how the American system operated.
About liberty … …and how easily it can be lost.Q: Shouldn’t we trust our leaders implicitly when we have chosen good men to govern us? A: Power Corrupts Even Good Men.“Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties ofthe people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men without a consequent loss of liberty!” - Henry
About liberty …and how easily it can be lost.Q: Why is dangerous to grant more power to rulers than is ABSOLUTELY necessary?“Its intent is a concession of power, on the part of the people, to their rulers. We know that private interest governs mankind generally. Power belongs originally to the people; but if rulers be not well guarded, that power may be usurped from them. People ought to be cautious in giving away power.These gentlemen say there is no occasion for general rules: everyone has one for himself. Everyone has an unalienable right of thinking for himself. There can be no inconvenience from laying down general rules. If we give awaymore power than we ought, we put ourselves in the situation of a man whoputs on an iron glove, which he can never take off till he breaks his arm. Let us beware of the iron glove of tyranny. Power is generally taken from the people by imposing on their understanding, or by fetters.” – Goudy
About liberty …and how easily it can be lost.Q: When is suspicion of our leader a virtue?A: Be Jealous of Those in Power for the sake of unborn generations Suspicion is justified “as long its object is the preservation of the public good and stays within proper bounds.” "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel." - Patrick Henry
About liberty …and how easily it can be lost.Q: When are our rights most endangered?A: In times of complacency. “For it is a truth, which the experience of all ages hasattested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 25.)
About liberty …and how easily it can be lost.Q: Why can’t rulers be satisfied with the power which is given them?A: Never forget the UNIVERSAL FRAILTY OF HUMAN NATURE “Indeed, if it were not for the depravity of human nature, we should stand in no need of human government at all.” – Livingston “No power, of any kind or degree, can be given but what may be abused; we have, therefore, only to consider whether anyparticular power is absolutely necessary. If it be, the power mustbe given, and we must run the risk of the abuse, considering our risk of this evil as one of the conditions of the imperfect state of human nature, where there is no good without the mixture ofsome evil. At the same time, it is undoubtedly our duty to guard against abuses as much as possible.” – Iredell
About liberty …and how easily it can be lost.Q-A: Human Propensity is to expand Power “From the nature of man, we may be sure that those who have power in their hands will not give it up, while they can retain it. On the contrary, we know that they will always, when they can, rather increase it.” - George Mason, speaking at the Philadelphia Convention.
Political Spectrum- What is left? What is right?- Communism on the left, Fascism on the right, as in opposition one to the other. Are they really different things & opposing?- People and parties are often called leftist or rightist. Origin?
Political SpectrumGovernment is defined in the dictionary, as “a system of ruling or controlling”,and therefore, the FOUNDING FATHERS measures political system in terms of theamount of coercive power or systematic control exercised over its people.In other words, not political PARTIES, but political POWER.
Political SpectrumThe FOUNDING FATHERS considered the two extremes to beAnarchy and Tyranny. No government, no law while at theother, too much control, too much political oppression, toomuch government.
• The objective: to find the balanced center. Hamilton refers to the “sensations of horror and disgust” which arise when studying the histories of those nations that are always “in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy”
• The constitution was based on (among many other things) lessons learned from People’s Law under Israelites, on aspects of the Anglo-Saxon culture.• Another point from Anglo-Saxon culture: striving for Consensus – the founders were most anxious to get general agreement whenever possible, rather than a majority vote. In the Anglo-Saxon meetings, the freemen did not take a vote, but kept “talking it out” until everyone or practically everyone felt satisfied.• Trivia: the head of 1,000 families was called the eolderman, later shortened to earl. The territory occupied by 1,000 families was called a shire, and the administrative assistant to the earl was called …the “shire reef”. We pronounce it sheriff.
The Three Headed Eagleor the Horizontal Separation of Powers
Horizontal Separation of Powers• The three heads of the eagle represent the three branches of our government. From left to right:• Executive - the administrative or executive department with all authority centered in a single, strong President, operating within a clearly defined framework of limited power.• Legislative (House and Senate) must both see eye-to eye on any legislation before becomes law.• Judicial – had the task of acting as guardian of the C and the interpretation of its principles as originally designed by the Founders.
Horizontal Separation of Powers• The two wings represent the two ways of approaching problems: What needs to be done? What does the government have the authority to do? •One wing is the problem solving wing of our government or the wing of compassion. It is sensitive to the unfulfilled needs of the people. The problem solving contingency within our government are the big thinkers who produce elaborate plans to solve problems. •The other wing is the conservation wing of our government with the responsibility of conserving the nation’s resources and the people’s freedom. The conservative contingency poses two questions in relation to the first groups proposed solutions: – Can we afford it? – What will it do to the rights and individual freedom of the people?
Horizontal Separation of Powers• If both of these wings fulfill their assigned function, the American Eagle will fly straight and higher than any civilization in the history of the world. But it either of these wings goes to sleep on the job, the Eagle will drift toward anarchy or tyranny.• If wing #1 becomes infatuated with the idea of solving all the problems of the nation regardless of the cost, and wing #2 fails to sober the problem- solvers with a more realistic approach, the eagle will spin off toward that side, and liberty is gradually given over to a tyrant.• On the other hand, if wing #1 fails to see the problems which need solving and wing #2 becomes inflexible in its course of not solving problems simply to save money, or not disturb the status quo, then it sterilizes the government and the government is in danger of losing authority, people decide to take matters in their own hands and anarchy results.
Horizontal Separation of Powers
Horizontal Separation of PowersImportance of maintaining the separation of power:• “[…] no country ever did, or ever can, long remain free, where they [powers] are blended” – Dawson • “If the three powers maintain their mutual independence of each other, our government may last long; but not so if either can assume the authorities of the other” – Jefferson • Don’t allow power to concentrate in Washington: “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated” - Jefferson
Vertical separation of powers• The purpose of the Founders was to assign to each level of government that service which it could perform the most efficiently and the most economically.• There was a remarkable rationale behind the whole system. It went back to the "ancient principles."• The vertical separation of powers among the states might be graphically portrayed as a pyramid with most of the power, authority, and government being at the wide bottom where the people are. As you ascend up the pyramid of government through the levels of families, communities, counties, states, and eventually the federal government, the areas of responsibility and authority get narrower and narrower, or in other words much more limited in scope.• The idea was to keep the government decentralized into many strong local self-governments.
Vertical separation of powers
Vertical separation of powers Assign Each Level of Government That Which It Does Best• The Founders emphasized repeatedly that the design of theConstitution was to distribute the authority of governmental serviceto that level where a particular function could be the most efficientlyadministered and at the least expense."The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but todivide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions he iscompetent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of thenation, and its foreign and federal relations; the state governments with the civilrights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the state generally; thecounties with the local concerns of the counties; and each ward direct theinterests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from thegreat national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in theadministration of every mans farm by himself, by placing under everyone whathis own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.“ - ThomasJefferson
Vertical separation of powers Assign Each Level of Government That Which It Does Best"It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers,but by their distribution that good government iseffected. Were not this great country already divided intostates, that division must be made, that each might do foritself what concerns itself directly, and what it can somuch better do than a distant authority. Every state againis divided into counties, each to take care of what lieswithin its local bounds; each county again into townshipsor wards, to manage minuter details; and every ward intofarms, to be governed each by its individual proprietor....It is by this partition of cares, descending in gradationfrom general to particular, that the mass of human affairsmay be best managed for the good and prosperity of all."
Vertical separation of powers The IndividualThe Founders perceived "the people" as individuals with theunalienable right to exercise their free agency in governing theirown affairs so long as it did not impose on the rights of others.They felt the individual has both the right and the responsibilityto solve most of the problems relating to work, play,associations, creature comforts, education, acquisition anddisposition of property, and the effort needed to make a personself-sustaining.As a member of society, the individual has a right to a voice anda vote.He or she has an inherent right to enjoy all of the generalprivileges and prerogatives enjoyed by the other members ofsociety.
Vertical separation of powers The Family• On the second level is the family, which the Founders considered to be the most important unit of organized society. It is within the family circle that individuals tend to find greater satisfaction and self-realization than in any other segment of the community, state, or nation.• The family is granted exclusive and sovereign rights which cannot be invaded by any other branch of government unless: – There is evidence of extended and extreme neglect of children. – There is evidence of criminal abuse. – The family residence is being used for criminal purposes.
Vertical separation of powers The Family• At the same time the family has inescapable responsibilities. Parents are responsible for the conduct of their children, the education of their children, the religious training of their children, and the responsibility of raising children to be morally competent, self- sustaining adults.• Social workers and state officials may not agree with the religious training, choice of schools, philosophy of child- rearing, or other details in the life of a family, but the doctrine of parens patriae (the right of the state to intervene) does not arise unless one or more of the above situations is present.
Vertical separation of powers The Community• There are a number of things which a community of families can do better than an individual family. This is the basis for the corporate community. – It has the responsibility to provide roads, schools, water, police protection, city courts to handle misdemeanors, etc. It also has the power to tax for the purpose of providing these specific services.
Vertical separation of powers The County• There are a number of activities which a group of communities can handle collectively with more efficiency than as individual communities.• These include: – the prosecution of serious crimes or minor crimes in the rural area, – the providing of a secure long-term county jail (for prisoners serving less than a year); – providing county roads, bridges, and drainage systems; providing rural schools, rural police services; – levying and collecting taxes based on the assessed value of property; – issuing licenses for fishing and hunting as well as marriages; – keeping records of deeds, births, deaths, and marriages; – conducting elections, – caring for the needy, and – protecting public health.
Vertical separation of powers The State• The state is the sovereign entity of a specified region which can function more effectively for all of the communities, counties, and people of the state than they could do for themselves.• The state has the authority to – tax, – regulate commerce, – establish courts, – define crime and prescribe punishment, – establish and maintain public schools, – build roads and bridges, and – supervise intrastate waterways.• The state can also pass laws to protect the health, safety, and morals of its people. Moral problems include such matters as liquor, gambling, drugs, and prostitution.
Vertical separation of powers The State• Sir William Blackstone describes the distinction between private and public morals. He says: "No matter how abandoned may be a mans principles, or how vicious his practice, provided he keeps his wickedness to himself, and does not violate public decency, he is out of the reach of human laws. But if he makes his vices public, then they become by his bad example, of pernicious effect to society, and it is the business of human laws to correct them."
Vertical separation of powers The StateThe Founders set up the states so that theywere a projection of the will of the people, notan auxiliary branch of the nationalgovernment.In their area of assigned responsibilities, theirpower was plenary, sovereign, and exclusive.In a very narrow area there was jointresponsibility with the federal government.
Vertical separation of powers The importance of state, strong local self-government to guard against corruption“The article, nearest my heart, is the division of counties into wards. Thesewill be pure and elementary republics, the sum of all which, taken together,composes the State, and will make of the whole a true democracy as to thebusiness of the wards, which is that of nearest and daily concern. The affairsof the larger sections, of counties, of States, and of the Union, not admittingpersonal transactions by the people, will be delegated to agents elected bythemselves; and representation will thus be substituted, where personalaction becomes impracticable. Yet, even over these representative organs,should they become corrupt and perverted, the division into wardsconstituting the people, in their wards, a regularly organized power, enablesthem by that organization to crush, regularly and peaceably, the usurpationsof their unfaithful agents, and rescues them from the dreadful necessity ofdoing it insurrectionally. In this way we shall be as republican as a largesociety can be; and secure the continuance of purity in our government, bythe salutary, peaceable, and regular control of the people.” - Jefferson
Vertical separation of powers• From this it can be seen that the Founders did not perceived the states to be administrative department of the national government.• They looked upon the states as exclusively assigned to handle certain internal matters which were no business whatever of the federal government.• On the other hand, they felt there were certain powers which should be preempted to the national government and that in those areas the states should not be allowed to interfere.
Warnings against temptations• Note: the FOUNDING FATHERS warn against the drift towards Collectivist Left – They warned against a number of temptations which might lure subsequent generations to abandon their freedoms and their rights by subjecting themselves to a strong federal administration operating on the Collectivist Left.• They warned against the “welfare state” where the government endeavors to take care of everyone from the cradle to the grave: “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” – Thomas Jefferson.• They warned against confiscatory taxation and deficit spending.
Warnings against temptations• They considered immoral for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debts to the next generation:“we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves […] within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life expectancy of the majority.”
Warnings against temptations• They considered immoral for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debts to the next generation: “we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves […] within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life expectancy of the majority.”• They also warned that the only way for the nation to prosper was to have equal protection of “rights” and not allow the government to get involved in trying to provide equal distribution of “things”• Against pooling of property as advocated by the proponents of communism (tried to make it unconstitutional).
Warnings against temptations• Campaigned for a strong program of widespread education, for an “enlightened electorate”:“On the people, therefore, of the US, it depends whether wise men,or fools, good or bad men, shall govern…Therefore, I will now lift upmy voice and cry aloud to the people: From year to year be careful inthe choice of your representatives, and all the higher powers ofgovernment. Fix your eyes upon men of good understanding, andknown honesty; men of knowledge, improved by experience; men whofear God, and hate covetousness; who love truth and righteousness,and sincerely wish the public welfare. … Let not men openly irreligiousand immoral become your legislators; … If the legislative body arecorrupt, you will soon have bad men for counselors, corrupt judges,unqualified justices, and officers in every department who willdishonor their stations; … Never give countenance to turbulent men,who wish to distinguish themselves, and rise to power, by formingcombinations and exciting insurrections against government. I callupon you also to support schools in all your towns, ... It is a debt youowe to your children.” – Samuel Langdon, 1788
Warnings against temptations The corollary to this primary principle was the obvious barn that this American type ofgovernment would not function efficiently, andperhaps might not even survive, if the PEOPLE did not maintain a constant vigilance and thereby develop what Jefferson called an intelligent and informed electorate.
Warnings against temptationsThe Founders continually emphasized the aspect of constitutional government in a free society.“only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. Asnations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” - Benjamin Franklin
Warnings against temptationsThe problem with freedom is that few people want toparticipate in the governing process. It is tedious, painful, aggravating and frustrating chore. Only when eachcitizen shoulders his share of the task is the burden ofgovernment endurable. However, unless the people havebeen educated to take their part, they instinctively shrugit off and say “Let Costin do it”. “A just and solid republican government maintained here, will be a standing monument and example for the aim and imitation of the people of other countries[…] What a satisfaction have we in the contemplation of the benevolent effects of our efforts, compared with those of the leaders of the other side […] who have endeavored to persuade us that men cannot be governed but by the rod.” -Thomas Jefferson
Warnings against temptationsThey warned about the cause and consequences of inflation: “A theft of greater magnitude and still more ruinous, is the making of paper money; it is greater, because in this money there is absolutely no real value; it is more ruinous, because, by its gradual depreciation during all the time of its existence, it produces the effect which would be produced by an infinity of successive deteriorations of the coins. All these iniquities are founded on the false idea, that money is but a sign." – Count Destutt Tracy
Sound government should be based on self- evident truths.There truths should be so obvious, so rational, and so morally sound that their authenticity is beyond reasonable dispute. THE 28 FREEDOM PRINCIPLES. (Anti-tyranny)
1st Principle: The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law .• [To Cicero] The building of a society on principles of NaturalLaw was nothing more nor less than recognizing and identifyingthe rules of “right conduct” with the laws of the Supreme Creatorof the universe.• A fundamental presupposition of Natural Law is that man’sreasoning power is a special dispensation of the Creator and isclosely akin to the rational or reasoning power of the Creatorhimself. In other words, man shares with his Creator this qualityof utilizing a rational approach to solving problems, and thereasoning of the mind will generally lead to common-senseconclusions based on (what Jefferson called) “the laws of Natureand of Nature’s God”.
1st Principle: The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law .True law:• is right reason in agreement with nature;• it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting;• it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions;• it is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely;• we cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it;• it is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application;• it is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general application;• when perfectly understood is called “wisdom”; when applied by government in regulating human relations it is called “justice”.
1st Principle: The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law .Examples of Natural Law:• Unalienable rights• Unalienable duties• The concept of habeas corpus• The concept of Limited government, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances• The right to Self-Preservation• The right to Contract• Laws protecting the Family• The concept of Justice by Reparation• The right to bear arms• The principle of No taxation without representation
2nd Principle: A free people cannot survive under a republican . constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters” – (Smyth, Writing of Benjamin Franklin)
2nd Principle: A free people cannot survive under a republican . constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong What is “Public Virtue”? Morality is identified with the Ten Commandments and obedience to the Creator’s mandate for “right conduct”, butthe early Americans identified “public virtue” as a very special quality of human maturity in character and service.
2nd Principle: A free people cannot survive under a republican . constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strongJames Madison said: “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue by the people is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men; so that we do not depend upon their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”
2nd Principle: A free people cannot survive under a republican . constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong “Virtue is not hereditary.” – Jefferson•Virtue has to be earned and it has to be learned.•Neither is virtue a permanent quality in humannature.•It has to be cultivated permanently and exercisedcontinuous.•The Founders looked to the home, the family, theschool and the churches to fuel the fires of virtuefrom generation to generation.
3rd Principle: The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.The Founder recognized human nature for what it is– a mixture of good and evil. They reasoned that apolitical process should be developed throughwhich the wisest, the most experienced, and themost virtuous can be precipitated to the surfaceand elected to public office. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neitherexternal nor internal control on government would be necessary.” – Federalist papers no.51.
3rd Principle: The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.• They tried to make the public office an honor rather than a position of profit.• Franklin gave a discourse on the need to fix the course of public service so that it would always attract men of public virtue and repel scoundrels scrambling for a soft job: “Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but when united in view of the same objects, they have in many minds the most violent effects. Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall at the same time be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it.
3rd Principle: The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders. “And of what kind are the men that will strive for this profitable preeminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters? It will not be the wise and moderate, the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust. It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits. These will thrust themselves into your government, and be your rulers.” – Franklin“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” - Mark Twain
4th Principle: Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.“Article 3: Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” “No religious reading, instruction or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination”. Obviously, under such restrictions, the only religious tenets to be taught in public schools would have to be those which were universally accepted by all faiths and completely fundamental to their premises. - Jefferson
4th Principle: Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.Teaching three important subjects:• Religion, which might be defined as a “fundamental system of beliefs concerning man’s origin and relationship to the cosmic universe as well as his relationship with his fellowmen.”• Morality, which may be described as “a standard of behavior distinguishing right from wrong”.• Knowledge, which is “an intellectual awareness and understanding of established facts relating to any field of human experience or inquiry (i.e. history, geography, science, etc).Founders envisioned the teaching of religion a unifyingcultural adhesive rather than a divisive apparatus.
4th Principle: Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.• The group of basic beliefs which constitute “the religion of America is the religion of all mankind” (S. Adams)• These fundamental beliefs belong to all world faiths and could therefore be taught without being offensive to any “sect or denomination”.• The Founders wanted the Federal Government excluded from all problems relating to Religion and churches.• The Supreme Court as well as Congress excluded from jurisdiction over religion.
4th Principle: Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.• De Tocqueville noted, in America, the clergy remains politically separated from the government but nevertheless provide a moral stability among the people which permits the government to prosper. In other words, there is a separation of church and state, but not a separation of religion and state.• De Tocqueville discovered that while clergymen felt it would be demeaning to their profession to become involved in partisan politics, they nevertheless believed implicitly in their duty to keep religious principles and moral values flowing out to the people as the best safeguard for America’s freedom and political security.
4th Principle: Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.“America is great because she is good and ifAmerica ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great”.
5th Principle: All Things were created by God, Therefore upon him all mankind are equallydependent, and to him they are equally responsible
6th Principle: All men are equal.Yet everyone knows that no two human beings areexactly alike in any respect. They are different whenthey are born. They plainly exhibit different naturalskills. They acquire different tastes. They developalong different lines. They vary in physical strength,mental capacity, emotional stability, inherited socialstatus, in their opportunities for self-fulfillment, andin scores of other ways.Then how can they be equal?
6th Principle: All men are equal.They can only be treated as equals in the sight of God, inthe sight of the law, and in the protection of their rights.“That all men are born to equal rights is true. Everybeing has a right to his own, as clear, as moral, assacred, as any other being has. But to teach that all menare born with equal powers and faculties, to equalinfluence in society, to equal property and advantagesthrough life, is as gross a fraud, a glaring imposition onthe credulity of the people.” – John Adams.
6th Principle: All men are equal.Nevertheless, there are some who insist thatpeople do not have equal rights unless theyhave “equal things”.The Founding Fathers were well acquainted withthis and set forth their belief in the nextprinciple.
7th Principle: The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not to provide equal things.• In Europe, it was very popular to proclaim that the role of government was to take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots” so that all might be truly “equal”.• So, what powers can be assigned to government? The Founders recognized that the people cannot delegate to their government the power to do anything except that which they have the lawful right to do themselves.
7th Principle: The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not to provide equal things.1. Do not help the needy completely. Merely help them to helpthemselves.2. Give the poor the satisfaction of “earned achievement” instead ofrewarding them without achievement.3. Allow the poor to climb the “appreciation ladder”–from tents tocabins, cabins to cottages, cottages to comfortable houses.4. Where emergency help is provided, do not prolong it to the pointwhere it becomes habitual.5. Strictly enforce the scale of “fixed responsibility”. The first andforemost level of responsibility is with the individual himself; thesecond level is the family; then the church; next the community; finallythe county, and in a disaster or emergency, the state.• Under no circumstances is the federal government to become involved in public welfare. The Founders felt it would corrupt the government and also the poor.
8th Principle: Men are endowed by their creator with Certain Unalienable rights.• The Founders did not believe that the basic rights of mankind originated from any social compact, king, emperor or governmental authority.• These great natural rights can be reduced to three principal articles: – The right of personal security – The right of personal liberty – The right of private property• Property rights essential to the pursuit of happiness
9th Principle: To protect man’s rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.10th Principle: The [God-given] right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.• FF subscribed to the concept that rulers are servants of the people and all sovereign authority to appoint or remove a ruler rests with the people.“It is a maxim that in every government, there must exist, somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, absolute, and uncontrollable power; but this power resides always in the BODY OF THE PEOPLE; and it never was, or can be, delegated to one man, or a few; [the great Creator] has never given to men a right to vest others with authority over them, unlimited either in duration or degree.” – Hamilton Albert.
11th Principle: The majority of people may alter orabolish a government which has become tyrannical.• Power rests in the majority• No right of revolt in a minority
12th Principle: The United States of America shall be a republic. A “constitutional republic”, where certain amount of power was delegated to the states and a certain amount was delegated to the national government. All other power was retained by the people.
12th Principle: The United States of America shall be a republic.
12th Principle: The United States of America shall be a republic.• Theoretically, a democracy requires the full participation of the masses of the people in the legislative or decision- making processes of government. This has never worked because the people become so occupied with their daily tasks that they will not properly study the issues, nor will they take the time to participate in extensive hearings before the vote is taken.• The Greeks tried to use democratic mass-participation in the government of their city-states, and each time it ended in tyranny.• A democracy becomes increasingly unwieldy and inefficient as the population grows. A republic, on the other hand, governs through elected representatives and can be expanded indefinitely
12th Principle: The United States of America shall be a republic.DEMOCRACY• A government of the masses.• Authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression.• Results in mobocracy.• Attitude towards property is communistic - negative property rights.• Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.• It results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy."
12th Principle: The United States of America shall be a republic.REPUBLIC• Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.• Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.• Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.• A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.• Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.• Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
13th Principle: A constitution should be structuredto permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. 14th Principle: Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the right to Property is secure.• Primary purpose of government is to protect property• Property rights are essential to liberty.
15th Principle: The highest level of prosperityoccurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations.• In a free society which has no rigid class structure, the free market system doesn’t work efficiently unless the constitutional structure of a nation provides and perpetuates 4 fundamental economic freedoms: 1. Freedom to try. 2. Freedom to buy. 3. Freedom to sell. 4. Freedom to fail.• This simply emphasizes that the greatest enemy of a free-market economy is illegitimate governmental intervention.
15th Principle: The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations.There are 4 situations where is legitimate: 1. To prevent force (criminal invasion of the market). 2. To prevent fraud (invasion of the market with deceptive trickery) 3. To prevent monopoly (destruction of competitive free trade) 4. To prevent debauchery.
15th Principle: The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations.A profit is whatever is necessary to make it worthwhilefor someone to provide the public with a product and aservice. This is the key to success under the free marketsystem. A corollary to this is:”No profit, no product.” • Is some regulation of the economy desirable? • Is Bigness bad? • When is rich too rich? …freedom to prosper. • Are there too many varieties of individual products?In some instances, governmental involvement is justified.However, there should be only minimal involvement.FOUNDING FATHERS said: “He governs best who governs least.”
15th Principle: The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. Concern for the poor and needy• Nevertheless, the Founders recognized that it is a mandate of God to help the poor and underprivileged. It is interesting how they said this should be done:1. Do not completely care for the needy–merely help them to help themselves.2. Give the poor the satisfaction of “earned achievement” instead of rewarding them without achievement.3. Allow the poor to climb the “appreciation ladder”–from tents to cabins, cabins to cottages, cottages to comfortable houses.4. Where emergency help is provided, do not prolong it to the point where it becomes habitual.5. Strictly enforce the scale of “fixed responsibility.” The first and foremost level of responsibility is with the individual himself; the second level is the family; then the church; next the community; finally the county, and, in a disaster or emergency, the state.6. Under no circumstances was the federal government to become involved in public welfare. The Founders felt it would corrupt the government and also the poor. No constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in so-called social welfare programs. (Making of America p 218-220)
15th Principle: The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. Concern for the poor and needy• The U. S. Constitution states in Article I, section 8:The people of the states empower the Congress to expend money (for the enumerated purposes listed in Article I, section 8), provided it is done in a way that benefits the general welfare of the whole people. Thomas Jefferson explained that this clause was not a grant of power to “spend” for the general welfare of the people, but was intended to “limit the power of taxation” to matters which provided for the welfare of “the Union ” or the welfare of the whole nation.• The Court unlawfully laid the foundation for what turned out to be an amendment to the Constitution in the 1936 Butler case, where “general welfare” was twisted to allow “special welfare”, and the federal budget jumped from six billion to six hundred billion in one generation. (Making of America p 255) Should the Federal Government be involved in Social Welfare, you be the judge.
16th Principle: The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.17th Principle:. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power.18th Principle:. The Unalienable Rights from the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. regulations.
19th Principle: Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people .• No principle was emphasized more vigorously during the Constitutional Convention than the necessity of limiting the authority of the federal government (10th Amendment).• Not only was this to be done by carefully defining the powers delegated to the government, but the Founders were determined to bind down its administrators with legal chains codified in the Constitution.
20th Principle: Efficiency and dispatch require governmentto operate according to the will of the majority, butconstitutional provisions must be made to protect the rightsof the minority. 21st Principle: Strong local self-government is the keystoneto preserving human freedom. 22nd Principle: A free people should be governed by lawand not the whims of men. 23th Principle: A free society cannot survive as a republicwithout a broad program of general education. 24th Principle: A free people will not survive unless theystay strong. 25th Principle: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendshipwith all nations: entangling alliances with none."
26th Principle: The core unit which determines the strengthof any society is the family; therefore, the governmentshould foster and protect its integrity.
27th Principle: The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest.• Slavery or involuntary servitude is the result of either subjugation by conquest or succumbing to the bondage of debt.• Debt, of course, is simply borrowing against the future. It exchanges a present advantage for a future obligation. It will require not only the return of the original advance of funds, but a substantial compensation to the creditor for the use of his money.• FF knew that borrowing can be a honorable procedure in time of crisis, but they deplored it just the same.• They looked upon it as a temporarily handicap which should be alleviated at the earliest possible moment.
28th Principle: The United States has a manifest destiny tobe an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
The Bill of Rights• The first feature of the Bill of Rights is therather amazing fact that it is not a declaration ofrights at all – It is a declaration of prohibitionsagainst the federal government.• In the mind of the Founders, usurpation andintervention by the federal government in theaffairs of he states and the people were themost ominous threats to the happiness andwelfare of the American Society.
The Bill of Rights• The second unique feature is the repeated declaration that the Founders did not want to have the federal government serve as a watchdog over the states responsibility to protect the rights of the people. If a state failed […] the Founders wanted the pressure to build up, thus forcing correction within the confines of the state without interference from the federal government whatsoever.• The Bill of Rights was never intended to be a list of individual rights, but a list of things the federal government could not do to the states.
The Bill of Rights• The Preamble to the Bill of Rights says, in part: "The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time oftheir adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution... .“• The "its" refers to the Constitutions powers, and "the Government" refers to the Federal Government. In other words, the purpose of the federal Bill of Rights is to clarify the limits of Federal Government power. Its purpose is *not* to limit the state governments powers IN ANY WAY.• And, the Founders were trying to help the courts avoid any “misconstruction” and also add certain “restrictive clauses” to prevent government arrogance and abuse.
1st Amendment“ Congress shall make no law respecting anestablishment of religion, or prohibiting the freeexercise thereof; or abridging the freedom ofspeech, or of the press; or the right of thepeople peaceably to assemble, and to petitionthe Government for a redress of grievances. ”
1st Amendment• The First Amendment prohibits the federal governmentfrom intermeddling in religious matters in any way. It isnot to take any positive action which would tend to createor favor some “establishment of religion”, nor is it tointerfere or prohibit the free exercise of any religion.• The individual state, however, has the responsibility tosee that laws and conditions are such that all religiousdenominations or sects receive equal treatment.• There should be a regularly established policy ofteaching the fundamentals of religion and morality in thepublic schools.
1st Amendment• Provision 216: The Congress shall make NO law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. This provision gave the American people the RIGHT to have the federal government prohibited from exercising any legal authority over the freedom of speech or the freedom of the press.• Provision 217: The Congress shall make NO law abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble. It is a violation of the law to assemble for the purpose of conspiring to commit a crime or to use violence in overthrowing constituted authority. However, a peaceable assembly for lawful discussion cannot be made a crime.
1st Amendment• Provision 218: The Congress shall make NO law abridging the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 1. By submitting a formal petition signed by numerous supporters (probably the least effective). 2. A personal letter or telegram (more effective than many citizens realize). 3. A personal contact (more effective, especially if it is done by several people at the same time) 4. A paid lobbyist (often very effective). 5. Public demonstration (very effective, providing there is no violence, which has a backslash effect which creates hostile resistance).
2nd Amendment• Provision 219: Because a well-regulated state militia is necessary for the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed by the federal government.Many Americans do not even realize that they belong to themilitia of their state. They confuse their state militia with theNational Guard, which is a specialized reserve corps in eachstate trained at the federal expense for immediate service.Under Title 10, section 31 of the US Code, the militia of eachstate includes” all able bodied males at least 17 years of ageand under 45 years of age who are or have made a declarationof intent to become citizens.” [ + all females, with the EqualRights Amendment]
2nd Amendment• The right to keep and bear arms was considered by the Founders to be an unalienable right connected with the preservation of life liberty and prosperity.• It is a historical fact that in nations where the political leaders want to curtail the rights of the people and take away their property and freedom, they always begin by trying to disarm them. This is usually done by first requiring them to register their firearms and imposing a heavy penalty on those who do not. It has determined that in many instances the next step is to deliberately provoke widespread rioting and violence. The government can then use this as an excuse to confiscate all firearms in the possession of private citizens and do it on the grounds that “we have to somehow stop all this killing.”
2nd AmendmentThe clear intent of the Second Amendment in thecommentaries of the Founders: “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always posses arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” - Lee“Every man be armed…Everyone who is able may have a gun” - Henry”The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to …prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” - S. Adams
2nd Amendment• The Senate in the process (of adopting) indicated its intent that the right be an individual one, for private purposes, by rejecting an amendment which would have limited the keeping and bearing of arms to bearing “for common defense”.• If this was not an “individual right”, there would be no reason for it to be inserted in state constitutions. State bills of rights necessarily protect only against action by the state, and by definition a state cannot infringe on its own rights; to attempt to protect a right belonging to the state by inserting it in a limitation of the state’s own powers would create an absurdity.
4th Amendment• Provision 221: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects shall not be violated.• Provision 222: The right of the people to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. (sixteenth Amendment eroded this).• Provision 223: No warrant shall be issued by the courts unless it is based on probable cause, supported by an oath or affirmation, and describes the particularity of the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.
5th Amendment• Provision 224: No person shall be required to answer to a capital or infamous crime unless the charges have been formally stated in a presentment or an indictment by a grand jury.• This provision gives the accused a number of advantages: – It protects him from the reckless accusation of malevolent individuals who know they can greatly damage the reputation of an individual simply by making the charge of some heinous offense against him. – By forcing the prosecutor and the witness to screen the facts through the grand jury, many groundless and seriously damaging rumors have been exposed and dismissed before they were given extensive publicity. – The formality of a grand jury hearing also compels the prosecutor to pinpoint the charges and demonstrate that he has witnesses and tangible evidence sufficiently conclusive to warrant a trial.
5th Amendment• Provision 226: No person shall be subject to double jeopardy for the same offense. – Note: not applicable when the jury fails to agree, or if convicted but reversed because of technicality by a higher court – another trial by another jury.• Provision 227: No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. – Note: one can be compelled to answer if the statue of limitations bars prosecution for the crime or have been pardoned, since he cannot be prosecuted anymore.
5th Amendment• Provision 228: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law.• Provision 229: No private property shall be taken for public use without just compensation. – Note: It is interesting that in 1923 a minimum wage law which required an employer to pay a certain wage, regardless of the earning ability of the employee, was held to be unconstitutional under this provision, since it tool private property for the public welfare in violation of this clause. It was reversed in 1936 by the Supreme Court, under the influence of New Deal policies.
6th Amendment• Provision 230: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial. – Note: The public trial is for the benefit of the accused and not the public.• Provision 231: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have a trial before an impartial jury in the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.
6th Amendment• Provision 230: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial. – Note: The public trial is for the benefit of the accused and not the public.• Provision 231: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have a trial before an impartial jury in the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.
6th Amendment• Provision 234: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have compulsory process to obtain witness in his favor. – as in, Constitution allows the defendant to use the good offices of the court and the enforcement machinery of a US marshal office to compel witnesses to participate in a trial in his defense.• Provision 235: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy have the right to counsel to assist him in his defense.
9th Amendment• Provision 241: The enumeration of certain rights in this Constitution shall not be interpreted to repudiate, deny, or disparage other rights belonging to the people, but which have not been enumerated. Note: Framers of the Constitution feared that the enumeration would never be complete and that other rights might therefore be lost because they were not included. This provision was designed to be a catch-all clause to protect all other rights, whether or not they had been mentioned in Bill of Rights.
10th Amendment• Provision 242: All powers not specifically delegated to the Congress of the United States by this Constitution, nor prohibited to the states by this Constitution, are reserved to the states or to the people. Compare with the federal involvement in schools, roads, housing, welfare, hospitals, banks, transportation, communications, air, water, land, natural resources, and so on.
12th Amendment• Provision 244: Electors voting for the Presidentand the Vice President shall meet in their respectivestates and shall vote on one ballot for President andon a separate ballot for VP; […] Note: This meant that if the electors voted 52 percent for one candidate and only 48 percent for another, the entire vote of all the electors of that state would go for the candidate represented by the majority. This is what it means to have the votes taken “by the states” with each state having “one vote”. This procedure often gives a totally unbalanced picture of the election returns, since a close vote may actually look like a landslide.
Congress, in its anxiety to codify freedom for everyperson born under the protection of the UnitedStates (and to liberate those who had been subjectsto involuntary servitude), undertook to pass threeamendments (13th, 14th and 15th) so that universalfreedom would be part of the Constitution.Unfortunately, some aspects of their effort providedmore heat than light and still remain the cause ofmuch confusion and litigation – not only over theissue of freedom, but because the 14th Amendmenthas been used by the federal government to greatlyenlarge its jurisdiction over the states.
13th Amendment• Provision 249: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States nor any place subject to its jurisdiction. Trivia: In the history of US, not all the slaves have been black. In the early settlements in America many of the colonies had white slaves or persons who had been sold into peonage. In fact, English felons were sold to the colonists to work out their terms of imprisonment in servitude.
14th Amendment• Provision 254: No state shall deprive any person of life,liberty, or property without due process of law. – simply a repetitionof what was already guaranteed in the 5th Amendment.• Provision 255: No state shall deny to any person who liveswithin its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Note: this provision makes any prohibitions or mandatory laws aimed at specific groups or classes unconstitutional. Note: a far questionable ruling was the one upholding the graduated (progressive) income tax. This ruling deprives a person of a certain amount of his property rights just because he or she has happened to accumulate enough property to put them in a graduated income tax bracket. – see 16th Amendment.
Security versus LibertyThe condition of unending, perpetual war only serves the purpose of lessening liberty."No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." "The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.“ - Madison
Security versus LibertyReject profoundly the satanic bargain that less freedom equals more safety.If we surrender our freedoms in order to defend the nation, what would be left that is worth defending?
Security versus LibertyWhen we show our government that we will notprotest its abuses of the natural law and willallow it to trample our freedoms just becausethere is a war being waged, we create anincentive for the government to go to war.Our complacency creates a perpetual cycle: Thegovernment wages wars in our names, and werelinquish more of our rights in the name ofsafety.
Security versus LibertyA classic formulation of the argument againstfreedom, the argument that security and stabilitycome at the expense of the laws and freedomsthat our Constitution was intended to guarantee.Those frightened by war and conflict, the first tosuccumb to the erosion of our freedoms, aredead wrong.When all of our liberties are gone, there will benothing left to protect.
Security versus LibertyFood for thought: The move towards criminal acts of omission (as opposed to criminal acts of commission).
Further reading/instructions• The National Center for Constitutional Studies - Principles of Liberty With Dr. Earl Taylor, President NCCS WWW.NCCS.NET , Free Lessons: http://1elearn.com/nccs/• Michael Badnarik ConstitutionClass• What do you really know about US Constitution? How do you consider the Constitution - The supreme law of the land or a living document, open to interpretation and voluntary to follow? Regardless, listen to this audio-book for an eye opening education on the origins and reasons for American Constitution: 03 - 5000 Year Leap (Center for Constitutional Studies). A bit too religious, but it will help explain what we take for granted. And a bit difficult to follow on “tape”, so feel free to get the printed book (The 5000 year leap : The 28 great ideas that changed the world / W. Cleon Skousen. https://catalog.kcls.org/record=b2138166~S1)• Get educated in American democracy by listening to Jon Stewart – 04 - America : a citizens guide to democracy inaction with a foreword by Thomas Jefferson / written and edited by Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin, David Javerbaum. (https://catalog.kcls.org/record=b1426803~S1)• Must see video: The American Form of Government http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE&feature=youtube_gdata
Further reading• Get fired up by the departure from simple common sense by our government by listening to 05- Glenn Becks Common Sense [sound recording]: the case against an out-of-control government, inspired by Thomas Paine / [Glenn Beck] (http://catalog.kcls.org/search/i=9780743599351). This book was co-authored with someone else (so ignore the author name), as is a must read/listen.• What do you think of empire-building, military-industrial union, corporate statism, and foreign entanglement? Listen to this audio-book: 06 - The Revolution – A manifesto (by Ron Paul) (http://catalog.kcls.org/search/i=9781600243554 )– for common sense explanations and solutions.• Do you consider yourself a conservative or a liberal? Do you really know what one stands for compared with the other? You should read then - American progressivism : a reader / edited and introduced by Ronald J. Pestritto and William J. Atto (https://catalog.kcls.org/record=b2284939~S1 ) – and see with which one you want to align or be identified.
Further reading• If you liked the 5000 Year leap and now understand what a good fundament America had, and want to know how is getting eroded every day, then you need to read The Constitution in exile : how the federal government has seized power by rewriting the supreme law - Andrew P. Napolitano (https://catalog.kcls.org/record=b2025717~S1).• Supplement The constitution in exile with the book Men in black (How the Supreme Court is destroying America) - Mark K.Levin (http://catalog.kcls.org/search/i=0786178981%20:)• Get an understanding from where Glenn Becks Common Sense got its ideas by listening to 08 - Common Sense - Thomas Paine• Get an understanding of what history teaches us, cause we are doomed to repeat it otherwise – listen 09-The PIG – Great Depression and the new Deal (http://catalog.kcls.org/search/i=9781433293573)• To see how we slowly change into sheep, read A nation of sheep / by Andrew P. Napolitano. (http://catalog.kcls.org/search/i=9781595550972)• Interested in how our founding principles are being trampled upon by judges, politicians, bureaucrats, prosecutors, and police in the name of the law? Napolitano shows how in Constitutional chaos : what happens when the government breaks its own laws / Andrew P. Napolitano.(http://catalog.kcls.org/search/i=0785260838 )
Further reading• Other recommended reading: • End the Fed by Ron Paul • The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek Crash Proof 2.0 by Peter Schiff • The Case Against the Fed by Murray N. Rothbard • America’s Great Depression by Murray N. Rothbard • Economics in One Easy Lesson by Henry Hazlitt (http://www.scribd.com/doc/6249655/Hazlitt-Economics-in-One-Lesson) • The Gold Standard by Lew Rockwell
“Ignorance will provide no protection, however, and those who do not understand will pay a high price for their prolonged denial.” - Unknown - “The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self- administered by its victims.The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those whichblissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.” - Unknown - “When a well-packaged web of lies has been soldgradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” - Unknown "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.“ —Thomas Jefferson