Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trees in the Forest

                    There is an old adage that tells us that sometimes we are too busy looking at the trees to actually see the forest.  A very good example of this adage is this political season.   We are so busy stewing about the many, many issues that we forget the dire need to defend the Constitution from Obama and his supporters.

                    My husband and I watched the new documentary film entitled 2016 Obama's America last night.  It was scary but very direct.  I highly recommend that every voter watch this film before Election Day.  The film itself is not political.  It simply tells the known facts about Obama's life in a way that viewers can better understand why he acts as he does.  Every voter needs to know the real Obama and his ideas in order to know who and what they are voting for or against.  This film helped me to see past the trees in order to see the forest better.

                    Thomas Sowell, a well-known economist, author, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, California, posted an article entitled "`Issues' or America?"  I found this article to be very interesting.  Sowell began his article with these words:

                    "There are some very serious issues at stake in this year's election - so many that some people may not be able to see the forest for the trees.  Individual issues are the trees, but the forest is the future of America as we have known it.
                    "The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues."

                    Sowell then proceeds to explain how some of the issues are blinding us to the fact that the Constitution and our nation are being changed right before our eyes.  His first example was Obama's executive order to suspend legal liability for young illegal aliens.  He explained that as we "debate" whether or not this is a good thing, we overlook "the much more fundamental undermining of the whole American system of Constitutional government.

                    "The separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches of government is at the heart of the Constitution of the United States - and the Constitution is at the heart of freedom for Americans.
                    "No President of the United States is authorized to repeal parts of legislation passed by Congress.  He may veto the whole legislation, but then Congress can override his veto if they have enough votes.  Nevertheless, every President takes an oath to faithfully execute the laws that have been passed and sustained - not just the ones he happens to agree with.

                    "If laws passed by the elected representatives of the people can be simply over-ruled unilaterally by whoever is in the White House, then we are no longer a free people, choosing what laws we want to live under….
                    "When we confine our debates to the merits or demerits of particular executive orders, we are tacitly accepting arbitrary rule.  The Constitution of the United States cannot protect us unless we protect the Constitution.  But, if we allow ourselves to get bogged down in the details of particular policies imposed by executive orders, and vote solely on that basis, then we have failed to protect the Constitution - and ourselves…

                    "If Obama gets reelected, he knows that he needs no longer worry about what the voters think about anything he does.  Never having to face them again, he can take his arbitrary rule by decree as far as he wants.  He may be challenged in the courts but, if he gets just one more Supreme Court appointment, he can pick someone who will rubber stamp anything he does and give him a 5 to 4 majority."

                    The whole Chick-fil-A fiasco, including the shooting that took place in a Conservative organization by a deranged gay rights supporter, had us looking at trees (traditional marriage versus gay "marriage") instead of watching the forest (Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech).  I will admit that I was blinded at first, but now see more clearly!

                    The talk about Romney's taxes or his going to Church, Obamacare, and the economy are all issues.  Some of these issues are much more important than other issues, but we need to see past them in order to see the damages being done to our rule of law.

                    To help us understand the importance of defending the Constitution instead of fighting brush fires in the trees, The Heritage Foundation posted a report written by William A. Schambra and entitled "The Origins and Revival of Constitutional Conservatism:  1912 and 2012."  

                    Many people, both Republicans and Democrats, dislike the Tea Party.  I do not dislike them, but I am a little more leery of some of them after encountering Ron Paul supporters at the Alaska State Republican Convention.  One thing we cannot doubt about the Tea Party is their desire to return to Constitutional principles.  Schambra began his report with this observation, "To many observers of today's boisterously populist Tea Party movement, one of its most striking features is its apparent obsession with the U.S. Constitution.  `More than any political movement in recent memory,' law professor Jared Goldstein writes, `the Tea Party is centrally focused on the meaning of the Constitution.'  In apparent agreement, Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe maintain in Give Us Liberty:  A Tea Party Manifesto that `First and foremost, the Tea Party movement is concerned with recovering constitutional principles in government.'

                    "Observers are also puzzled by this populist effort to recover constitutional principles, for it seems to be fundamentally anti-populist or anti-democratic.  In the past, widespread popular movements rallying around constitutional principles seemed to possess only a democratic `drive' gear.  That is, according to a supportive school of thought, the `popular constitutionalists,' they drove the Constitution toward ever greater democratic inclusiveness and empowerment, as did the civil rights, women's, and gay rights movements.

                    "But the Tea Partiers seemingly want to add a `reverse' gear to popular constitutionalism, for they seek the restoration of a Constitution that would reimpose limits on the reach of federal public policy, no matter how popular it may prove to be with American democratic majorities.  Goldstein concludes that the `Tea Party movement advances a broad anti-democratic agenda that seeks to rein in democracy by preventing majorities from enacting a large array of regulatory measures that have long been understood to be available through ordinary politics.'  By seeking constitutional restoration, the movement `expresses strong disdain for democracy, arguing that the nation is facing catastrophe due to the excesses of democracy, in which strict limits on governmental powers have been abandoned.'

                    "A democratic movement devoted to reimposing anti-democratic constitutional limits on the popular will:  Is this simply another of the necessarily incoherent, self-contradictory impulses we have come to expect from a movement that is, in historian Jill Lepore's characterization, both deeply anti-historical and anti-intellectual?

                    "I think not.  Indeed, wrestling with the problem of democracy and its relationship to the American Constitution is, I would argue, a first step toward recovering our founding document from the progressive opprobrium beneath which it has labored for over a century.  As the Tea Party senses, progressivism acquired for itself an unfair advantage when it linked the notion of constitutional legitimacy to the cause of unlimited government powers in the name of democracy.  There is, of course, another view of the Constitution, closer to that of the Founders, which finds no contradiction in the notion of a constitutionally limited or constrained democracy.

                    "As it turns out, we celebrate this year the 100th anniversary of the American presidential election in which this very conflict of constitutional visions played a central role.  We may come to appreciate the coherence of a popular effort to restore limits on the popular will by revisiting the issues of the election of 1912 and, in particular, the contest for the Republican presidential nomination between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt."

                    The remainder of this report details the efforts of Theodore Roosevelt to "reform" the Constitution and the work of other leaders who were willing to lose the Presidential Election of 1912 in order to save the Constitution from Teddy Roosevelt.  Roosevelt was "grounded in an effort to correct what he understood to be the democratic insufficiencies of the American Constitution."  He expressed his views in a speech given at the Ohio Constitutional Convention in Columbus on February 1, 1912, in a speech entitled "A Charter of Democracy."  He challenged President William Howard Taft for the Republican nomination and lost because of his views.  He continued to run for the office of President on the Progressive Party ticket.  There was a three-way contest between Roosevelt, Taft, and Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and Wilson won the election.  Wilson was not good for our nation, but the Constitution was spared for the time being. 

                    The 2012 Presidential Election is a battle between two ideologies, two opposing ideas of how our nation should be governed.  Democrats believe that we need a bigger and bigger government, one that knows what is best for us and takes care of us from cradle to grave; Republicans believe in limited government, one that is big enough to protect us from enemies (foreign and domestic) but small enough to be controlled by people who are capable of meeting their own basic needs.  Our very freedoms and liberties are at stake in this election.  It is important that each of us study the Constitution and educate ourselves about what is at stake.  We must stop clamoring about the trees and stand up for the Constitution!

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