Skip to comments.The States Can Do It. They can restore the Constitution
Posted on 05/06/2009 2:28:07 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The States still have the power and the means to bring the Federal Government into compliance with the intent of the Founders, but to do so they must be willing to kill the Sacred Cow of American politics - democracy.
Mostly unheralded and unknown, the Founding Fathers feared and rejected it.
Examination of Farrand's Records, (The minutes and journal of the 1787 convention) clearly reveals the Founders' intent. For instance:
Gerry, "The evils we experience (in the confederation) flow from an excess of democracy."
Madison describing Randolph: "the General Object (of the Convention) was to find a cure for the evils under which the U.S. laboured; that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy."
Writing in Humanitas, Vol IX, No 2, C. H. Hoebeke, correctly describes the attitude and objective of the delegates as, "Having in the short span of eleven years experienced the violent swing of the political pendulum from abusive monarchy to abusive majoritarianism, and in the process discovered that life, liberty, and property were no more secure under the latter than they had been under the former, the Constitution's framers saw the will of the people as a force to be restrained and refined, not unleashed and encouraged."
Their only concession to election by the people is the House of Representatives.
Election of the President would be by a slate of electors appointed by the State Legislatures, two steps removed from popular election.
The Senate was to be the lynchpin of our protection. The Senators, appointed by the State Legislatures would be a body of deliberative Statesmen, our guardians, immune to the whims of popular causes. In Farrand's Records, we find:
Madison: "It (the Senate) would keep up the balance and restrain, if possible, the fury of Democracy."
Randolph: "The object of this 2nd branch (Senate) is to control the democratic branch of the National Legislature."
In Federalist No. 63, (author unknown) believed to be Hamilton or Madison, in reference to the Senate, wrote, ". . . .there are particular moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion, or some illicit advantage, or misled by the artful misrepresentations of interested men, may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn. In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice, and truth can regain their authority over the public mind?"
As perfect as the Constitution was, there was a weak link, the poison pill of democracy lurked in the future. All of the State Legislatures were and still are products of democracy, popular election. This would prove to be our undoing. When the Populists mounted a campaign to undo what the Founding Fathers had done, they exploited this point of vulnerability.
Starting in the 1820s, massive public campaigns convinced the State Legislators, dependent on the people for reelection, to delegate their power to appoint the Presidential electors to popular election by the people. This prompted Alexis de Tocqueville to remark that the "American republics will be obliged more frequently to introduce the plan of election by an elected body into their system of representation, or run the risk of perishing miserably on the shoals of democracy."
Later in the 19th Century, the Populists manipulated the appointment process of Senators into a state of near chaos. In 1913 a new batch of legislators dependent on the people for reelection bowed once again to popular demand and turned the selection of Senators over to popular election when they ratified the 17th Amendment.
It didn't happen instantly, but over the span of a few years the allegiance of the Senators shifted to the Washington power structure and there is where it resides to this day.
The transition was complete. The nation became and still is a democracy, exactly what the Founding Fathers tried to prevent. What we have, the outward cause of the Tea Parties and Sovereignty Resolutions, is exactly what they wanted to thwart and should be proof enough of their wisdom,
The State Legislatures must do three things to turn this around and they are the only ones who can do it.
1. Take back the power to appoint the Presidential electors. A majority vote in the legislature is all it will take to cancel the popular presidential elections, primary and general. It should be done now but with a delayed effective date - no earlier than February 1, 2013 to show it is not directed at the incumbent.
2. The Legislatures must come together as a cohesive unit to draft the amendment necessary to repeal the 17th Amendment. As a united group they send it to Congress with a request to enact and return it to the States for ratification. If Congress fails to or refuses to act, go to court, contending that submittal of an identical amendment by more than three fourths of the States constitutes a de facto ratification. Therefore, the court should order the Archives to accept and process it as such. The Populist lawyers will say this is not possible, because the States will not have standing to support the action. This, however, will not be a problem. Standing is virtually assured.
3. Immediately do whatever is necessary within each State to restructure the Legislature to be in line with the original configuration of Congress. House of Representatives? Popular election. The Senates? Each County will have one Senator who is appointed by the County Commission. The purpose of this is three fold.
First: It demonstrates their willingness to do for themselves what they demand of Congress.
Second: It affords their citizens a higher degree of protection from them. Congress does not have an exclusive on legislative tyranny.
Third: It helps prevent the same mistake by future legislators.
This will do it if the State Legislatures have the backbone and determination to see it through. Otherwise, the rocky "shoals of democracy" await us.
The Genie of democracy is out of the bottle. The sheeple have already made their three wishes and must suffer the consequences. The republic cannot be restored now except by spilling the blood of tyrants and patriots.
I agree, but we need people willing to push this in each state. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions come to mind.
I believe obamarama would order the US Military to confront any state that might seriously challenge his authority. Hopefully our Military leaders would not honor his order.
Repeal of the 17th Amendment would be a good start. Have our Senators again represent their State and not the electorate. Of course, there’s little chance of this happening.
how many tyrants and how many patriots?
just do the math
I know where the odds lay and who they are in favor of
Certainly not the first time this has been been posted, but . . .
Not long ago on FR there was great criticism made by some against others who made the distinction between a democracy and a republic.
Both interesting and important are the distinctions made between a democracy and a republic by the United States War Department (now called the Department of Defense) in 1928, in Training Manual No. 2000-25. This manual was “Prepared under the direction of the Chief of Staff” for military officers on the subject of citizenship. We reproduce the pertinent portion of Training Manual 2000-25 here.
: A government of the masses.
: Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression results in mobocracy.
: Attitude toward property is communistic, negating property rights.
: Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
: Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
: Attitude toward [governance] 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.
Helping us to more clearly understand the results of democracy, Professor Alexander Tytler penned the following words in America over 230 years ago, when the American colonies where still under the British Crown.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again to bondage.
BTTT for a later read.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. ~ H. L. Mencken
Is there a link to this authors works?
“The Genie of democracy is out of the bottle. The sheeple have already made their three wishes and must suffer the consequences. The republic cannot be restored now except by spilling the blood of tyrants and patriots.”
God help us.
I agree with this idea... but states could also shrug off federal dominance by rejecting any and all federal money for anything. No federal money means no federal control over said money.
BTTT for later
Yeah, yeah !
Can’t have all them civilians runnin’ around with no one in charge !!
Tell me: When you pledge allegiance to the flag (assuming you do so), and you stand tall, with your hand over your heart, do you keep your fingers crossed ?
That this makes no sense is beside the point. Obviously the purpose of the Senate of the federal body was not "one-man, one vote." It made the States equal in status, not the people as in the House. Only one state has a unicameral legislature, and no one would prefer that the Senates of the States afford status to the counties. It's an excellent notion. Unfortunately, the strangle hold of lobbyists and the legislative-culture have created fifty little Washingtons, each with its own subculture and language and score cards. Above many of them are the even more invisible lawyers of the Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Justice Department.
The average legislator in the U.S. is a step below a Congressman in attention-span, which is slightly less than that of a circus monkey. The razzle-dazzle of legislative sessions and the jaded Mandarin classes of professional legislative staff would easily block these measures on a legislative level.
I can think of no way to get around this other than for candidates to add these to their platforms while running for office. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but perhaps the only way to combat these Populist subversions is by a kind of populist strategy. Perhaps that's the way it should be.