Skip to comments.The Danger of a Corrupted Constitution
Posted on 08/04/2012 3:48:54 PM PDT by Jacquerie
History Rhymes. Our colonial ancestors did not revolt against an awful British Constitution. On the contrary, they admired what was to that time, that noblest improvement of human reason. There was no shortage of admiration for the British system of Commons, Lords and King, which blended so well the Aristotelian forms of republic, aristocracy and monarchy. Through the balance of the British Constitution, its citizens were the freest on earth. Even members of the Stamp Act Congress gloried in having been born under the most perfect form of government. Arch Anti-Federalist Patrick Henry, during the Virginia debates over ratification of the Constitution, expressed high regard for that which we discarded in 1776.
No, our complaints were over corruption of that brilliant system. The marvelous mixture of the English constitution was dependent on what American Whigs believed, the three distinct powers, or bodies of the legislature being entirely independent of each other. But as Whigs interpreted the events of the 18th century, the Crown had been able to evade the restrictions of the revolutionary settlement of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and had found means to corrupt the other branches of the constitution from within.
Throughout the 18th century, the Crown slyly avoided the blunt and clumsy instrument of the veto over Parliamentary bills, and instead resorted to influencing the electoral process and members of Parliament in order to achieve its treacherous ends. It appeared to those who clung to the original principles of the constitution and the growing tradition of separation of powers that the Crown, in its painful efforts to build majorities through borough-mongering and the distribution of patronage, was in fact bribing its way into tyranny. Sound familiar?
It is upon this principle, Americans concluded, that the King of Great Britain is absolute, for though he doth not act without the Parliament, by places, pensions, honors and promises, he obtains the sanction of the Parliament for doing as he pleases. The ancient form is preserved, but the spirit of the constitution is evaporated.
By the 1760s this took the form in America of bold attempts by the Crown to subvert our elected Assemblies. Members were offered government jobs by Royal Governors. These often required little effort, but paid well, were secure and offered societal status. Of course, ones employment was dependant upon voting the right way. Judges were not immune, for a Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court found his place through the influence of a Lords mistress.
The Crown was clearly bent on changing American society. Men everywhere sought ministerial jobs and favors. Especially in cities, an artificial inter-colonial aristocracy which emerged from honors bestowed by the Crown was entrenching itself, consolidating and setting itself apart from the mass of American yeomen.
Royal officials on both sides of the Atlantic were concerned with the instability of American society. They determined that what was needed was strengthening of the aristocratic element, those with a few distinctions so as to maintain proper subordination of rank and civil discipline. Various proposals were made, among which were establishment in America of a Nobility appointed by the King for life.
Americans disagreed. We fast felt ourselves sliding into decay and certain tyranny. In order to save our liberties, our rights as Englishmen, a clean break from Great Britain was necessary.
Fast forward to 2012. Are we not similarly living under a wonderful but corrupted beauty, the Constitution of the United States?
How many clauses and entire amendments have been effectively excised from it? Is the best path to financial security through private enterprise or government service? Are we not subject to laws in the form of regulations outside of our control through the legislative process? Can property owners push a spade into the earth without fear an armed federal agent will harass them? Do our politicians through the law, encourage citizen toward virtuous living which strengthens society and binds us together, or do they foment divisions among us? How many millions have been bought to support the regime through corrupting money handouts? Have our Senators become nothing but pompous Aristocrats, lacking only the prefix of Lord, who assume infinite wisdom to arrange and direct every aspect of our lives? Does our President perform duties as per the Constitution or assume the powers of a despot?
In colonial times the judiciary was an appendage of the Crown and served purely at the pleasure of the King. Needless to say, the judges defended both their jobs and the prerogatives of their Sovereign, the King of England. Our judiciary, serving for life, was made independent of the Executive and Congress. We The People, via the Constitution are the Sovereigns. But, whose prerogatives does our exalted Supreme Court protect? We, the Sovereigns, or the national government?
The organic Tea Party movement opposes our modern day oppressors in general and the tyrannical goals of Obama and the Democrat Party in particular. Like our ancestors, we seek to end the corruption of our Constitution and renew its guarantees. Our Founders listed twenty seven charges against a corrupt George III of England. Many of the same apply today. The difference between then and now, is that then, we had the courage to act.
You must be one of those strict-constructionists...pleased to meet you.
History portion adapted from The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787 by Gordon S. Wood, 1969.
Subjects, not citizens.
Although the founding fathers might well have believed it, the idea that George III was a tyrant is mostly crap. George III was a conscientious constitutional monarch, who actually took a major step in promoting Parliamentary governance by surrendering the revenue of the Crown Estates in return for an annual stipend that was decided by Parliament. An act which effectively was the last major step in making Parliament master over the Crown.
With the colonies, it was corrupt and arrogant Tories within Parliament, led by Lord North et al who provoked the colonies into rebellion. All the King did was his constitutional duty of supporting his government’s actions to both tax and then issue punitive measures against the restive and then rebellious colonies, he was never the driving force behind them. George III was simply a convenient hate-figure for the rebellious colonists to rally against, rather than the far more abstract machinery of Parliamentary bureaucracy and ministerial arrogance that was truly to blame...
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Thanks for writing/posting. BTTT!
live - free - republic
I refer you to this contemporary Gilray cartoon:
In Britain, ‘subjects’ had rights, many so-called ‘citizens’ of other lands had not. The same hypocrisy which is inherent in so-called ‘people’s democratic republics’. British freedoms had substance, the French merely had style...
A huge difference between then and now is that unlike our situation as colonists, we the people are fundamentally responsible for our condition today. Despite my closing sentence, to revolt now would be something akin to rebellion against ourselves.
Still, if Hussein is reelected . . .
Much as I enjoyed the thoughtfulness and historicity of the essay, and the accuracy with which it states the grave corruption that has been done to our Constitution...
I must point out that the merger of the legislature and executive is a mutual effort!
Recent history had President Bush at the mercy of the legislature for an unpopular war.
There was much media ballyhoo about the Iraq “surge”. LOL! in reality congress was demanding concessions for it’s support. Our Constitution is rightly designed to make congress’ approval paramount for military adventures, foreign or domestic. Bush had the choice between acceding to Nancy and Harry or being forced to leave Iraq precipitously. Putting us and the whole world in grave danger.
President Obama was a weak fool and Harry and Nancy were the undisputed- and unreported- leaders of the country. Obama is not corrupting us through power but through weakness (and foolishness).
Now I believe our huge debt further binds the two departments whose separation is the heart of our freedoms.
Though I am not knowledgeable enough to do more than state that as an opinion.
In fact, however, the original Constitution is fully empowered. It's just being ignored.
To replace it, a second Constitution has been made, based on the 14th Amendment, which presumes Americans are corporations created by, and owned by, the government.
How is this done? By keeping people ignorant about it.
How are people kept ignorant? Easy - they WANT to be ignorant.
So if, for example, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court tries with all of his power, over the most important ruling of modern times, to TELL them about it... they will simply refuse to read it.
It's easy to pray for help. It's hard to accept it when it arrives.
I was almost done writing about that very same thing...but you beat me to it!
Agree. That is quotable.
It was remade again based on that steaming sack of socialist sophistry we refer to in polite company as the "New Deal Commerce Clause".
I love the ending of this piece.
Buying chicken sandwiches doesn’t solve anything. We will have to fight for our survival.
I read it. ‘The Crown’ is not the same as ‘The King’. The Crown is the executive branch of the government. I can agree that the Crown was having a corrupting influence on how Britain and its colonies was being run, but even then, power was being excercised in the monarch’s name by the government, it wasn’t the King himself who was the driving force behind the policies of the Crown...
Thanks for the ping.