There is a root cause of the economic hell this country is enduring, and it is unnecessary. by James Goodfellow
Friday, June 26, 2009
I've read a hundred reasons why this country is in the mess it's in. Henry David Thoreau once noted, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". I believe there is much effort spent on branches, and that there is only one root problem in America that relates to government. If you want to fix the political mess we are in, that's where you need to strike. As with illness, if you attack only symptoms, leaving the cause untouched, you will never recover your health.
The Founding Fathers of this country had an idea of the role of government in a free country. They opposed tyranny in all it's forms - despite the near fatal flaw of not outlawing slavery. They crafted documents describing what this government was to do and for good measure, threw in one describing what it was not to do. In the former, they introduced a series of checks and balances to insure that no one branch of government gained an upper hand. Those are the marching orders for our elected officials. Whether they follow the orders or not is in question.
What our forefathers assumed, was that voters would insure that only those showed the capacity to understand the Constitution and the honesty and firmness to be guided by it would remain in office. They assumed we would take the time to understand what they were trying to accomplish if we cherished what their efforts had given us. That we would use that understanding at the polls to reject those who did not share it. They assumed that we would be the final check and balance.
We have the mess we're in because collectively, as a nation, we have failed miserably in that duty. That is the core problem that has cost us our economy. That is what has driven this country off a cliff. That is the root. That is the cause. That is what must be defeated if we are to recover. Most elected officials have grand schemes, utopians ideals, seeming little economic sense. None of it supported by the Constitution, not even close, at least not by my understanding. Why are they still in office?
In 2008, Congress overwhelmingly passed the bank bailout. There was immense citizen uproar, and yet very few candidates who voted or the bailout lost their jobs. It was clearly unconstitutional, it lacked all common sense, it was rammed through Congress with no debate, it reeked of cronyism, and yet there were no consequences. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. It is but a recent example; there are literally thousands of others before and since.
We must demand that our officials honor their Oath Of Office. We must expect them to adhere to the Constitution, in both letter and context. We must hold them to the highest standards of ethics, honesty and integrity. When we do that, then we shall have killed the root of this evil, and our country can heal. Every other effort is futile.
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Posted By: Jahfre Fire Eater
Date: 2009-06-27 07:02:30
Hi James, Good article. I am also a dedicated root-striker. I hardly ever bother to look at the branches and leaves...they all look the same from my perspective.
Regarding the "founding fathers": - Trying to outlaw slavery was a deal breaker. So, this omission was not a near fatal flaw but instead, an enabling compromise.
- Bad assumptions on the part of the FF regarding their expectations of voters if they thought what you say they did. I can't know what they thought or what they assumed but I'd say they would have been very naïve indeed to assume the historical opposition to the resulting form of government would cease to exist in the future based on the actions of voters. That is quite an implausible expectation.
The Constitution is the result of an evolutionary process. These Founding Fathers you mention had been part of that process all along. There were various permutations of organization between 1774 and 1779 resulting in 14 "Presidents" before George Washington was sworn in as the first president under the current Constitution. It isn't as if these founding fathers just sat down and wrote the Constitution then patted themselves on the back for how smart they were, expecting that the magnificence of their work would shine for itself and enlighten the masses such that they would blindly and dogmatically support it for eternity. No. Their expectations about the future were neatly summed up by Ben Franklin's response to the question "Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy" : "A republic, if you can keep it." He knew it would be a struggle and didn't assume voters would ensure it's future.
Frankly, your laying these assumptions at the founding father's feet as the core of their hope for the future makes them sound like fools. No, I suspect they did not hold these assumptions at all...but you do. This sounds like a tactic to me. If you can convince some poor voter that he is guilty of disappointing the founding fathers perhaps he will "wake up" and do what you want him to do.
Regarding "duty": - No one has a duty to a government. This fallacy is the core of Socialism. Doing ones 'duty' is a deplorable excuse for committing atrocious actions. Not doing ones 'duty' is a deplorable accusation for explaining why our situation exists today. In this you sound like a dictator who believes if you assign duty and everyone carries it out the world would be perfect. Guess what? In the real world there is free will. Any explanation that involves the elimination of free will is a fantasy, an illusion, a dream. - Generally, any plan that implies "If every one would just..." (do their duty, vote for Ron Paul, boycott fed notes, etc.) Is a plan worthy of ridicule. Everyone won't. That's the fact. What is plan B? Hopefully something that takes into account that fact.
Finally regarding "The Root" and "Why are they still in office?" - You mention "immense citizen uproar". So what? When votes are counted there isn't a stack labeled "uproar". Uproar is not a constructive political activity. - Many who would participate in the uproar do not participate in party activities such as shaping and selecting candidates who will be electable. Instead, they waste their passion on useless independent and 3rd party activities the later wonder "why are they still in office" I'm sorry, but the answer is pretty obvious to me. - Finally, "demand officials honor their Oath of Office". Yeah, ok, we demand...gee, it seems that demanding is not an effective political tactic either. Wait, lets give it one more try...**demanding**...nope, no effect. You see, The Root that must be struck is the up and coming candidate. Once you elect a snake you cannot reasonably expect your demands to change the snake into a gerbil. Instead, you need to do the work to ensure the snake is not on the ballot in the first place. This is the key to political change that is incomprehensible to those who refuse to participate in mainstream party politics. Yes it sucks, yes it is icky, ugly and uncomfortable. That's why it is so easy to avoid and why 3rd parties are such an attractive safety zone for those who are participating in uproars and other futile ego stroking activities...anything to avoid constructive political behavior.
Strike the Root! Participate in your local candidate selection process. Keep the snakes off the ballots!
Posted By: James Goodfellow
Date: 2009-06-28 12:22:08
Mr Fire Eater (pardon the gender assumption),
Thanks for the feedback. I should have been more clear, but then the article gets too long - a compromise :)
I realize that slavery was a deal breaker. I merely meant that the country nearly killed itself 85 years later. From a federal level, the issue was of course money, and as a side note, union vs states rights. Kinda tough to rally the troops around that though, so the issue of slavery made a better foil. Gee, that worked so well, let's make it a rule.
As to the rest of your input, I agree for the most part. What I had hoped to convey was that the only way this country keeps the pearl of freedom it was given; what was laid out in 1787, what Montesquieu, and before him Thomas Hooker, John Locke, et al added unwittingly to the cause, is when the electorate remains vigilant/ BTW, there are only two groups that ensure this republic's future: the voters and the candidates - that's the whole of the country, save children. It takes no imagination to forecast our future if the latter hold sway - just extrapolate.
That's where the duty comes in, or put another way, responsibility. Not duty to a government (your words, not mine), not a duty that is imposed on you from the outside, but a duty to yourself, to your children, if you value your freedoms and wish to keep them. I'd rather kick back, savor a beer and assume the chains of the Constitution will keep the bastards in check, but I wasn't born yesterday. It's hard work, educating oneself, developing the skills necessary to persuade others, listening to friends defend statism and the Constitution in the same breath while ignoring the gross contradiction.
I value my freedom, and I'm guessing I'm in the majority there. I gladly assume the responsibility of defending it, and I know I'm in the minority there. The point is, I don't think it's all that difficult to do - assume the responsibility that is. When an official shows through his or her actions that they don't understand the job description, don't vote for them. Simple. Doesn't solve all the problems, but hey, it's a start.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as receiving 2,000 phone calls, emails, letters, and visits a day. 95% of those voicing their opinion were calling for the Senator to NOT vote for the bailouts of the Bush Administration, whuch were also supported by both Obama and McCain. I can only assume that our other Ohio Senator, George Voinovich, also received the same amount of outcry.
Both of my Ohio Senators voted Yes on the bill anyway. So indeed what did happen to those politicians that supported the Goldman Sachs coup of the United States through the channels of the Federal Reserve? Well, Obama became President, McCain kept his seat in Arizona, as did Brown and Voinovich in Ohio.
The problem is that, at the time, the majority of the People did not understand dollar hedgemony and American economics and how this swindle related to the fiat currency of this Republic. That is slowly starting to change and many more of the People are beginning to grasp the importance of our monetary and fiscal policy and how the Federal Reserve accommodates this crony capitalism with the blessing of the Congress, the Senate, and the President. This fiat currency is the vehicle that allows for the "Land of the Thief and the Home of the Slave".
Henry Ford said it best when he stated, "It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." When I saw the light of the truth behind the control implemented at the hands of our fiat currency, I was ready to go to war. Many more of us are awakening to this system and perhaps 2010 will be a different set of results. Unfortunately, Americans have short memories and ignorance has prevailed in our recent past.
I fear that we are near the last bastions of hope of a peaceful R3volution. These would be HR 1207, the upcoming Continental Congress (www,givemeliberty.org), and the State sovereignty movements. These may be our only last peaceful recourses available. HR 1207 is being subdued by Congressman Barney Frank and the Financial Service Committee, but 10th amendment resolutions are starting to take foot and the message of the Continental Congress may well resonate after this coming Thanksgiving.
Take punches when you can in this fight and remember that there are more of us than them. We have a chance and education of the masses is our best weapon of choice in this battle. Once awakened, the human spirit of freedom grows with an intensity most have not experienced in their former slumbered life.